The Abbotsford branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is inviting new members to join at any time.
Membership is no longer limited to the relatives of veterans, and anyone is welcome to participate in legion activities.
The branch holds several activities every month at its location at 2513 West Railway St., including a breakfast hosted by the ladies auxiliary every Sunday morning, and fish and chips on the first Friday of every month.
They also hold karaoke on Wednesday afternoons and music bingo on Thursdays, with bacon-and-egg draws on both days.
Friday afternoons is music bingo, while the evenings have a large karaoke following. Saturday afternoons consist of a weekly meat draw with live entertainment.
Winners now receive gift cards from Save-on-Foods and Davis Meats to purchase the products they prefer.
Special events are also held throughout the year. In 2019, for example, the branch held a Cinco de Mayo-themed dinner, a Race Day, Grey Cup Day, a Super Bowl gathering, and a wine tasting and art display.
All funds raised by the legion or donations made are always put back into the community. This amounted to about $81,000 in 2019.
Last year, these funds went to endeavours such as Remembrance Day ceremonies, bursaries for university students, the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, the local food bank, the Citadel Therapy Canine Association and the Silverfox air cadet squadron.
As well, any veteran or family member of a veteran has also been assisted with hearing aids, groceries, glasses or scooters – whatever is needed.
Other areas where donations have been made include new beds and mattresses for veteran residents at the Cottage-Worthington Pavilion, a local care facility.
The legion will also be updating the cenotaph in Thunderbird Memorial Square with veterans’ names that are currently missing and correcting misspelled names.
Veteran care homes the Brock Fahrni Pavilion and the George Derby Centre received donations from the poppy fund, and a new bench is in the works for the veterans section of Hazelwood Cemetery.
A display of red tulips was a bright spot in the legion last year, with the money raised from the sale of these tulips going towards the 75th anniversary of the Dutch Liberation. A ceremony will be held at the cenotaph on May 2 for anyone wishing to attend.
The legion’s next fundraiser is the raffle of a Bo Horvat Vancouver Canuck jersey.
Also through the Abbotsford legion, historian Peter Slade wrote a book titled Abbotsford’s Forgotten Soldiers From World War One, which is available at peterwilliamslade.ca.
The current president is Wendy Schmidt, who has had security cameras installed at the legion’s building. Security doors have also been installed, following a few break-ins over the past year.
For more information about the Abbotsford Legion, call 604-853-1711, visit abbylegion.ca or email email@example.com.