A recent New Hamburg Independent article posted online and to Facebook indicated that the New Hamburg branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was experiencing financial challenges and at risk of closing as early as September, largely due to the impact of COVID-19.
While COVID-19 has prevented the Branch from holding social events and meetings since March, which has impacted finances, the Branch Executive would like to clarify that we will not close our doors as early as September, and anticipate being financially solvent for the immediate future. In the long term, if we are unable to fully open the Branch to our members and the community for events and rentals in 2021, the situation could change. Our Executive continues to meet monthly and monitor the situation.
The Independent article correctly points out that our Branch owns its building, which has financially sheltered us to a degree during this pandemic. Additionally, as restrictions are beginning to lift with Ontario entering Stage 3 of the reopening plan, we’ve been able to open our outdoor patio on Saturdays since June, all while respecting regional and provincial health guidelines, such as social distancing.
The bigger and more immediate risk to the survival of the New Hamburg Legion is our membership and volunteers. The Independent article accurately reflects diminishing membership numbers, and finding volunteers for our events and to be part of the Executive is becoming increasingly difficult. We would encourage the community to learn more about the Royal Canadian Legion and the New Hamburg branch, how we contribute to the community, and opportunities to volunteer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all Canadians, and many Royal Canadian Legion branches across the country are in jeopardy of closing due to the financial strain. We are fortunate at this time that we are not one of them. The Executive of the New Hamburg Legion would like to thank everyone in our community for their support and willingness to help our organization. We wish to apologize for the misinformation that was shared in the New Hamburg Independent article.
Finally, we welcome our members and non-members to come and join us on our patio for food and beverages, every Saturday in August and September (weather permitting) from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
With the recent transition to Stage 2 openings in our region, the New Hamburg Legion will open the patio on:
Saturday, June 27th, 1-4pm
Wednesday, July 1st (Canada Day), 1-5pm with food available.
Saturday, July 4th, 1-4pm
We are excited that we are able to transition to reopening and invite everyone for comradeship. We will be following regional and provincial guidelines, and ask our patrons to do the same. More details can be found here:
Recently our branch made 2 donations totalling $2097.17 to the Wilmot Family Resource Food Bank. These funds were raised at Christmas time for this purpose, through a 50/50 draw, silent auction and a donation from our Restless Seniors group.
Normally this donation is made in June when school has finished and the Food Bank resources are low for the summer. However with the strain on the Food Banks because of COVID-19 your branch Executive made the donation early to assist the Food Bank immediately.
We would like to thank all our members and members of the community for their support to make this donation possible.
With the continuing threat of the COVID-19 virus, the branch will be closed for the month of April.
Normally we start our annual nominations for the Branch Executive at this time of year. As a result of the Branch closure, Executive nominations will be held at our next planned general meeting on May 7th, with the elections at the following general meeting on June 4th.
These are difficult times, unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. The Branch Executive wishes everyone good health through this trial. Your health and well-being is our top concern and the reason we have paused Branch operations. However the Branch thrives because of the participation of members and guests. Our operating margins are very small, with any profits supporting veterans and the community. When we reopen, we urge everyone to do their part to ensure the Branch continues to provide the service it does. For some of you that could mean volunteering to join the Executive; for others, volunteering to support special events; but for all, please support the Branch by taking part in the many activities, from Friday night dinners, to entertainment evenings, and to the many special events. Details are always available on our Website or on Social Media (Facebook and Twitter).
We look forward to seeing everyone in comradeship as soon as circumstances allow.
Due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 virus, and in line with government health recommendations, we have decided to close the New Hamburg Legion Branch as of Tuesday, 17 March. Further communications will follow as the circumstance changes.
We wish good health for all our members and visitors and look forward to when we can again share some comradeship.