The Sooke Royal Canadian Legion is well on its way to recovery, after the local community stepped up its support significantly in the last month and a half.
“We’re overwhelmed with positive response from the Sooke community,” said Branch 54’s secretary Merle Fulton, adding the Sooke legion has been “innudated with messages” via social media and people coming to buy memberships.
In addition to that, there was also a big fundraiser over the weekend with a silent auction for the legion, with another coming up at the end of May. Fulton said this fundraiser will be done on behalf of the legion by the Sooke Embrace Facebook Group, a Sooke group of residents dedicated to help locals and local causes. In this event, there will be a garage sale and barbecue.
The legion also received a humble $10,000 from the District of Sooke as part of its community grants program, with an additional $1,000 from the Capital Regional District Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. Both grants are expected to be available sometime this summer.
With funds trickling in, Fulton noted the legion is now in the process of getting the exterior of the building painted, and a plan is in motion to allow student artists to provide artwork for part of the exterior revamp process, as it was done before on an older section of the branch.
But for now, the efforts continue for more fundraising, Fulton added.
“We are looking at applying for more grants, locally and provincially, or wherever we need to, and hopefully get other projects off the ground.”
Only months ago, the legion sang a capsizing and darker tune, after its senior staff publicly announced it was “broke” and that it had “nearly zero” operating funds to keep going, news which shook the Sooke community as a whole.