Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb presents a cheque in the amount of $7,500 to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 president David Brideau Thursday, Feb. 4. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb presents a cheque in the amount of $7,500 to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 president David Brideau Thursday, Feb. 4. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

City of Williams Lake supports legion with $7,500 COVID-relief funding

“It will go toward basic utilities and give us breathing room for the unknown.”

The legion in Williams Lake has received a $7,500 boost as the city continues to share some of its $2.6 million COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant for local governments from the province.

David Brideau, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139, said the restart grant will help keep the branch open.

“It will go toward basic utilities and give us breathing room for the unknown,” Brideau told the Tribune. “During a pandemic there is even great uncertainty and I want to thank the city for helping take off a lot of strain that branches like ours are presently experiencing.”

Currently the legion cannot hold its regular 50/50 and meat draws, which are major fundraisers.

The doors are open, but capacity is limited to COVID-19 restrictions.

Brideau said technically they can have more than 50 people, but to be safe they’ve restricted it to 50.

“There are days when it is slower, but for the most part we are definitely grateful for members who attend and support our different dinners.”

Cobb said he knows the funding is necessary with the group’s inability to fundraise.

Joyce Norberg, past president, said in previous interview that monthly costs of the legion are about $15,000 and the legion needs about $10,000 to cover monthly costs, noting the revenue is down considerably.

“We need to get to May when we will get earnings from our legion campground at Felker Lake,” she said.

More than 60 years ago the legion leased the campsite area from the provincial government and has used the proceeds to help with operations.

Read more: Legion feeding less fortunate with weekly luncheons in Williams Lake



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