There was a lot going on at the Redcliff Legion on Saturday night. It was Robert Burns night and the rear room was decorated with long tables packed with people.
Additionally, both outgoing and incoming executives were present. Incoming president will be Peter Devlin and incoming vice president is Jamie Billings.
It was also a night of celebration as a cheque for $40,000 was being presented. BJ Brooks, outgoing vice president, explained that a member donated $20,000 and it has now been matched, resulting in the Legion reaching its interim fundraising goal. The funds have bought them time and they’ve given themselves until the spring, the beginning of the financial year in April, to try for $60,000.
The fundraising was undertaken due to a misappropriation of funds, around $64,000. Outgoing president Lee Sanders realized the books weren’t in order when he first came on board and requested a full financial audit. The RCMP are involved and the investigation is still ongoing.
“Doors are still open,” stated Brooks. “You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the facilities. There is a new menu, wing Wednesdays, fish Friday, specials. The patio will be open in the spring. So, we are moving in the right direction.”
After 96 years of operation, the executive is hoping to make it to the 100th anniversary.
Sanders says, “The community has been fantastic. Without the donation, we couldn’t stay open, or it would be difficult to stay open. We are able to give back to the community by having a venue they can come to. We can continue providing somewhere for the service dogs, but most importantly, the veterans.”
SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News