LETTER: The things the legion does

Cassandra Chin wrote an exceptional article on the Grand Forks Legion in the Oct. 5 issue and I would like to add a few personal comments.

Editor:

Re: Grand Forks Royal Canadian Legion facing bankruptcy, (Oct. 5 issue of the Grand Forks Gazette)

Gazette reporter Cassandra Chin wrote an exceptional article on our legion in the Oct. 5 issue and I would like to add a few personal comments.

My husband, Bill McCaffrey (a WWII veteran), was president of Grand Forks Legion Branch 59 for three terms.

This organization was very important to him largely due to the contributions and assistance given over the years to local army, navy and air force veterans in need, as well as RCMP personnel.  The annual poppy fund drive’s sole purpose is to this very worthy cause.

The legion raises considerable funds from bingo and meat draws but the gaming commission ruling designates that the majority of these monies must be donated to charities – hence the numerous photos you see of fortunate youth, community and research recipients all benefitting from legion activity, as co-ordinated by our proud legion volunteers.

None of these funds may be used for the upkeep of the branch building on 6th Street.

Why join the legion?  As a legion member, you benefit from camaraderie, the opportunity to assist with branch programs and giving back to the community in which we live.

Past member activities included dart and crib nights and the popular Community Christmas Dinner, which we started in 1980 and continued for 20 years.  The 85th anniversary of our legion branch will be Nov. 16 and anyone can join our legion.

We also have annual bursaries for post secondary students, the annual Breakfast with Santa fundraiser, to purchase toys for local children and finally, our ‘front and centre’ showing on the annual Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, parade followed by lounge socializing.

Should participation dwindle to the point that retaining the building is not viable, it will be a most unfortunate outcome for the Grand Forks Community and the multiple groups who benefit from the existence of Branch 59. The city and the legion need one another.

Kay McCaffrey, Grand Forks