Members of the Salmon Arm Legion, including president Matt Fowler (second from left), stopped by the Mall at Piccadilly on Thursday, May 20 to donate a cheque for $21,000 to the Shuswap Hospital Foundation on the last day of its Radiothon fundraiser. (Contributed)

Members of the Salmon Arm Legion, including president Matt Fowler (second from left), stopped by the Mall at Piccadilly on Thursday, May 20 to donate a cheque for $21,000 to the Shuswap Hospital Foundation on the last day of its Radiothon fundraiser. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm legion president looking forward to events, with concert booked for September

Organization continues serving community through pandemic

The lights may have been off at Branch 62, but Salmon Arm Legion members were still busy serving the community.

Part of that work included the recent distribution of donations, including a cheque for $21,000 to the Shuswap Hospital Foundation. Matt Fowler, president of the local legion, said the funding for foundation came from the Poppy campaign.

“Those funds, they’re earmarked especially for veterans’ care and also for anything seniors can benefit from,” said Fowler.

The legion also provided donations of $2,500 to the 1781 Rocky Mountain Rangers and the 222 Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Fowler said Branch 62 has also been able to provide support to other non-profit groups in the area, despite the financial challenges COVID-19 and related restrictions has put on legions.

“All we do is we work for the community serving veterans and their families and the communities that we’re in,” said Fowler.

Read more: Shuswap Hospital Foundation fundraiser finale at Salmon Arm mall

Read more: B.C. government announces $1.5 million in pandemic relief for struggling Legion branches

With the easing of restrictions, the legion has been able to reopen the branch, with a safety plan in place, at 141 Hudson Ave. NW. Upon returning to the building, members were greeted with a newly repainted interior and LED lighting – part of an effort brighten up the space and reduce the overhead, so more money can go back into supporting community.

“I can’t wait to start having events in there and generating more revenue to give away,” said Fowler. “It’s a bad business plan, everything you make you give away, but that’s what we do.”

There is already one event scheduled, a September concert by Neil Diamond impersonator Bobby Bruce, aka Nearly Neil. Fowler said these shows have always sold out and he expects the same with September’s gig.
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