Veteran's Service Club Grant Benefits Wakaw

Wakaw Legion Branch 195 is pleased to acknowledge the Veterans Service Club Grant that was made available by the Saskatchewan Government to use in multiple projects this year to continue to improve the Wakaw Legion hall. These improvements included a fresh outside paint job, an outside deck connecting to the wheelchair accessibility ramp, a smart TV and accessories, electrical upgrade work, a computer with software and tech support, and new chairs for the hall. Introduced in 2019-20, the Saskatchewan Veterans Service Club Support Program provides grants for repairs and upgrades, special events, operations, programs and activities to engage the community and advance the work of veterans' service organizations across the province. The 2022-23, program funding was set at $1.5 million.

Administered by the Royal Canadian Legion Saskatchewan Command, which also sits on the adjudication committee with the Saskatchewan ANAVETS and the Government of Saskatchewan, the maximum annual amount per club has been raised to $30,000. This has increased from $25,000 last year. "Many of our branches have been able to make use of this program," Royal Canadian Legion Saskatchewan Command President Keith Andrews said. "We are greatly appreciative for this funding."

Chad Wagner, the executive director of the Royal Canadian Legion Saskatchewan Command said in April when the provincial budget was released that he expected capital and infrastructure upgrades would be the focus of many branches. “Ones that we really like to see are ones that are going to make these clubs sustainable into the future, maybe reducing utility costs or more efficient equipment, HVAC systems, heating systems, air conditioning, those sorts of things,” he said and definitely the electrical upgrades completed this year by the Legion will do just that. During the pandemic, local Legion members were busy working on other upgrades to the facility including the washroom area along with a new floor.

President of Legion Branch 195, Jack Jones, shared that a small operating grant was also received which assisted in keeping the building operating as increased utilities and insurance costs pose challenges for service clubs as well. “We appreciate these grants which have helped improve our hall for the use of our veterans and the community of Wakaw and surrounding area,” Jones said in a statement.

Pictures were supplied by the Legion of some of the improvements that were able to be carried out with this support, as well as the placard the Legion proudly displays both inside and outside the Branch 195 Hall to show Saskatchewan’s support through the Veterans Service Club Grant Program.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder