It’s getting tougher for the Royal Canadian Legion in Regina to keep its doors open.
According to the legion’s first vice president, Ron Hitchcock — between museum donations, and its cafe and bar sales — there’s not enough money to pay for the building’s operating costs, which work out to roughly $15,000 per year.
Plus, between a decline in membership and a drop in revenue due to changes in building ownership a few years ago, Hitchcock added, the legion’s dipping into its savings to stay afloat.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in the meantime to help the legion get back on its feet.
“We’re kind of ashamed and embarrassed to ask for money, but then we have to look at it as we’re not doing it for ourselves — we’re doing it for veterans,” he reasoned.
“We do have young veterans here, who are taking over and are going to lead us into the future, so we hope that we’ll have a building here to help them do that.”
In the past, Hitchcock noted the legion brought in significant revenue by renting out its hall, but that’s since been bulldozed into a parking lot.
He added being “in this hole” is taking away from offering programs, like guitar lessons, to veterans.
“It might be simple to some people, but if it takes your mind off of what you saw in your life, what you did in your life or what you’re trying to forget in your life, it’s a wonderful thing,” he explained.
For those wanting to donate directly to programs for veterans, Hitchcock suggests buying poppies through the Poppy Fund, starting on Friday.