BC Interior Community Foundation’s Christmas Cheer Fund wants to help Legion expand its reach
Kamloops Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52 secretary Brenda Thomson (right) and president Daniel Martin are looking forward to meeting new people at their 425 Lansdowne St. location downtown
The Royal Canadian Legion is one of four non-profits being helped this year by the Christmas Cheer Fund.
Like many non-profit organizations, the Kamloops branch is struggling to bring people back into their premises since re-opening after pandemic-related closures.
Although membership numbers remain steady, there have been fewer visitors to the Legion, downtown at 425 Lansdowne St. As a result, the organization struggles to pay its staff and meet expenses. Recently, the monthly rent increased dramatically.
Branch secretary Brenda Thomson said the Legion would like to expand its reach in the community by offering new programs, especially for vulnerable seniors and veterans.
With the closure of the Seniors Information Centre in Brocklehurst, Thomson said the Legion would like to fill that gap.
“Our kitchen is small, but with an injection of funds to modernize, we could start offering low-cost lunches and dinners,” she said.
Thomson said opportunities are few for seniors in the city, as there aren’t many places for them to have a light lunch or dinner and socialize with peers, perhaps play a game of cards, crib, pool or darts.
From its earliest days, the primary mission of the Legion has been to provide support and services to veterans and their families. Each year, Legion members and volunteers run the Poppy Campaign and organize Remembrance Day services on Nov. 11.
“Remembrance Day is a unique day of the year because that’s when people discover the Legion,” Thomson said, noting the public is welcome to drop in at any time to have a beverage and a bite to eat, talk with some veterans, play some pool and participate in meat draws.
“You can find a home here,” Thomson said.
“You can find a safe place here.”
Last year, the Legion donated nearly $100,000 from its BC Gaming and the Poppy Fund.
Thomson said all proceeds from the Poppy Campaign are used to support veterans and does not fund operating costs, such as rent for the building.
In 2026, the Kamloops Legion is hoping to celebrate its 100th anniversary. To ensure that happens, the venerable organization could use a little help from the public.