The Abbotsford Legion had a busy year in 2017, with a number of highlights, including celebrating its 90th birthday.
A mural was painted on the south wall of the legion by Erika Walker, an art professor from the University of Nova Scotia, who was assisted by Alisha Deddon and Mashaal Alzeer.
Many veterans and their families were assisted with hearing aids, dentures, eyeglasses and some with financial aid.
One veteran was looking forward to hearing her grandchildren when they spoke to her, while another was able to complete a lifelong dream to finish her nursing education.
Bursaries were presented to eight students to assist them with education costs, while veterans associations were given donations from the branch, as well as being guests at the Abbotsford Legion for lunch four times last year.
The Abbotsford branch donated $60,000 to various organizations, including BC Child Find, Canuck Place, Brock Fahrni, Mounted Military Motorcycle Riders, George Derby Care Facility and the Robert Hanna Victory Cross plaque installed at the cenotaph.
Three trips were made to Ashcroft with donations of cash and items – such as clothing and furniture – for the evacuees of the wildfires in Ashcroft and Cache Creek.
Other donations included the Silver Fox Cadet Squadron, the Fraser Valley Singers and the Legion Foundation Training Program.
The veterans at Valhaven Home painted poppies on cards and sent thank yous to the branch for remembering the veterans who fought for the freedom and the rights we have today.
The legion also received donated mannequins from the manager at The Bay, Reuben Prince, and one mannequin stands proud to welcome members and guests.
Also last year, the poppy campaign heard about two local heroes from The Pantry restaurant who chased a poppy money box down the street after a thief stole it, and a woman from Crossroads restaurant who felt so bad when the poppy box went missing she plucked a $20 bill from her tips and donated it to the cause.
Among the activities the legion will hold this year are fish and chip nights, pasta nights, meat draws, darts, karaoke and painting classes.
There will also be a potluck Snow Ball on Jan. 27, and a Valentine’s dinner and dance on Feb. 14.
Visit abbylegion.ca for the full schedule or call 604-853-1711 for more information.