Helping the helpers

Royal Canadian Legion seeks support for renovations

Bonnie Learning
Published on December 8, 2015

Gerald Osmond stands in the kitchen at the Legion, which he refers to as the “money maker” for the not-for-profit organization. Osmond says the Legion is in great need commercial upgrades for its kitchen and is seeking community support to help make that happen.

©Bonnie Learning/The Labradorian

An organization known for helping others is now seeking help for themselves.

The Royal Canadian Legion Brach 51 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is seeking public and corporate support to help with some greatly needed renovations to their building.

“Our major expense and priority is the kitchen,” explained Gerald Osmond, 1st vice president of the Legion.

“We have old cupboards, the space is small when you have lots of volunteers in here, we need to extend the back wall four feet so we can fit in a walk-in cooler and freezer…sometimes, we have volunteers here till 4:30 a.m. (after a function) washing dishes because we have just one small dishwasher.”

Osmond said a new CO2 system and air conditioner needs to be installed, and all the appliances need to be upgraded to commercial standards.

He added the kitchen is the Legion’s money maker in terms of revenue.

“Weddings, Christmas parties, other events — that is where we get our revenue,” he said, noting the Legion is a not-for-profit organization. “We don’t get any funding from government or other means.”

Osmond noted it simply isn’t possible to foot the entire bill themselves, as they still need money to help others.

“We are here to help veterans and their families, as well as anyone else who may need assistance,” said Osmond. “We can’t afford to do renovations and help all those people, too.”

Gerald Osmond, 1st vice president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 51 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, is seeking public and business support to do some much-needed upgrades to the kitchen as well as other areas of the building. Osmond said they are looking for help to offset an estimated $170,000 renovation cost.
Bonnie Learning/The Labradorian

Osmond added many improvements have been made to the Legion over the past couple of years, including a new roof, new exterior siding, and enhancements made to both bar areas and bathrooms. All of these renovations, he said, were possible by adding to the building’s mortgage.

“We’re not in a financial position to do that, at this time, for these renovations.”

Osmond noted in addition a massive kitchen renovation, they would also like to work on improvements to the Legionnaire’s Room, the office space, and new flooring for the main areas.

All told, he said, the Legion is looking for support to help offset a $170,000 cost.

“If we can get all this looked after, we’ll be set for another 20 years or more,” said Osmond.

Anyone looking for more information to make a donation can call Gerald Osmond at 897-5214 or the Legion at 896-3447.