February Presidents Report
Thankfully we have just about made it through a month of snow and cold weather. Hopefully spring is around the corner. Robertson Memorial continues to host line dancing 5 times a week and a Dine and Dance every Thursday evening in the canteen. Our Legion also supports darts, pool and cards. Every other week Sandra and Stephen provide the opportunity to play Trivial Pursuit in Schooners Pub starting at 8:00. Next date is March 1. Come on down and join the fun.
It is worth mentioning that the students from Irvine took the time to make Valentines for our Vets. It is wonderful to have students remember our Veterans throughout the year. Also thank you to everyone for your support for our Valentine Basket Raffle. The winner said she was very pleased with the goodies inside the basket
Some dates to remember are April 13th when we will hold the Annual 90th and 90th+ Birthday Party for our Legion Veterans. Also, on April 17 we plan to show a movie to celebrate National Film Day. There would be no charge. Title of the video TBA in the near future. June 1 we will need volunteers to help us clean the Veterans headstones out at Hillside Cemetery. June 2 is Decoration Day. Last year we had a great turn out so start planning on being part of the colour party or attending as we recognize and remember our Veterans.
Our staff continues to make us proud as they work to move the Legion forward. We have had busy times such as the Friday evening Meat Raffles and they have stepped up to the plate and worked together as an efficient team. Well done!! The Office staff, as well have worked hard to ensure the success of our Legion. Thank you all.
Our kitchen staff continues to impress our customers with their culinary skills. Diane’s pizza skills have become known far and wide. Demand is increasing so we need to consider purchasing a double pizza oven so that she is able to bake the pizzas and not tie up the other oven. The pizza oven would allow us to keep up with the increased demand and we could possibly sell them more often. The pizza oven if purchased would mean 240 wiring which would need to be installed by an electrician and would add to the cost of the oven. Hopefully membership will support the recommendation to purchase the pizza oven. Amanda is to be congratulated for stepping up and doing a great job with the assistance of Barb Lemna, President of the LA, to serve the dinner last Thursday evening.
Just a reminder that your Legion does have a lending library with a good selection of current novels that may be of interest. You can feel free to donate books you have finished reading or you can exchange books or just make a small donation. Either way if reading is one of your hobbies, come on down and browse at the selection.
The Spring District Rally will be held in Bellevue on April 27th. Should you wish to attend then you should notify the Office. Your registration will be reimbursed if you decide to attend. The AB/NWT Convention will be held in Drumheller May 10-12. Registration will be paid for all members who wish to attend. It is up to the membership to decide how much will be available for members of the Executive. Last year we allotted $2400 to be divided amongst the executive who decided to attend. This will be discussed and decided at a General Meeting.
New members are joining on a daily basis but we need to encourage our members who have not renewed to step up and renew for the 2019 year. As an aside, one new member who was also a veteran, shared with me that he wished he had joined sooner as the Legion had the same comradery and reminded him of the messes when he was in the service.
Thank you all for the warm welcome that Branch Members extend to our new members and visitors to make them feel so welcome. Dominion Command reports that 25% of non-renewing members found the branch experience unhospitable. I can proudly and loudly state that this was not at our Branch. By working together, we can make our Branch a strong and vibrant partner in our community. We encourage you to invite your family and friends to join the Legion. Every member makes a difference in the lives of Veterans and their families in your community – and across the nation.
We have solved the recycling problem by getting a bin for all our cardboard and recycling items for $25.00 a month. We have responded to our members who have told us the ATM is not fast enough as well as the internet and we have contacted Shaw and this has been rectified. We now have the highest speed available. We need to continue to hear from you to help make our Legion the best it can be. Please let your Executive know if you have any suggestions or new activities or if you would like to be on any of the committees, especially Club activities or Entertainment.
I need to individually thank the Executive on your behalf. Gary Wilson as PR Chair has had to create and launch a new website at www.legion17.org because we could not access the old website. He has done a great job keeping members informed and updating the website. Gary has also done a super job sending current emails to members and others. Serge Lavine has been an awesome lotteries Chair, acting Sgt at Arms and House and Maintenance Chair. Serge has been a positive addition to the Executive. Gerry Beebe as Membership Chair has taken the membership totally digital and is helping the Office staff to streamline the whole operation of new memberships, renewals and updating member data with Dominion Command. Everything can now be done via the computer. Well done Gerry. Kim Bohnet has been a wonderful asset to the Executive. He has brought sports to the forefront and his boundless energy continues to bring tournaments to our Legion. In fact the story of the Pool tables is about to have a very happy ending as of the end of February our line of credit will be down to $5700.00. Less than 18 months to buy all those pool tables, who would have thought we could do so well. Lorraine Lozo continues to work hard applying for and getting grants for our Legion. Jim Pitt, although on the road again, keeps involved in the Stampede $10,000 cash draw, Decoration Day and Remembrance Day. Travel safe Jim.
We have a new executive member in Jack Bennett. Jack will become the new House and Maintenance Chair. Jack will be a very positive addition to the Executive.
Roger Beebe and his work crew continue to do an amazing job cleaning up, organizing and painting the Poppy storeroom and have made a History room for us all access. Be sure to drop by and have a look. Prepare to be amazed.
We have had a great deal of snow and our snow removal guy has done a great job keeping up with it, sometimes shoveling 3 times in one day. Thank you to Curtis for his super effort in keeping our walks safe and clear.
Our Executive is planning on attending the Board Training for Not for Profits offered at the Medicine Hat College on March 13th.The cost is $85.00 per person and we have recommended that up to 4 Executive members attend.
Thank you to all the awesome volunteers that help to keep our Branch humming. This includes our Meat Raffle and Chase the President workers. Feb 22 the Branch was extremely busy and we had a full house. Thank you for supporting the Legion but more importantly thank you for your patience when we are so busy. Many members commented to me how well the Bar Staff worked and on the great tasting food. March 1st will be extremely busy so we ask in advance for your patience and understanding.
Feb 22-23 also saw the Branch hosting the Rodney Schwab Memorial Pool Tournament. Kim Bohnet and his volunteers and all the Pool Players are to be congratulated for a well- run tournament. Once again the Bar Staff and the Kitchen staff rose to the occasion and helped to make for another outstanding day for everyone.
Because of your dedication to your Branch, the Legion can continue to provide support to Veterans and their families, remember the Fallen, and support our communities. You are part of an essential national network. Thank you for already renewing for 2019 but if you have not renewing today will keep your membership in good standing for the upcoming year.
Support the Legion’s activities. If you have not renewed membership dues for the year 2019 please consider as they remain at $55.00.
Plan to attend the March 27th General meeting as we will be honouring a Veteran of the Viet Nam War with the United States Medal. Also, if you know of any D-Day Veterans please let the Branch know so we can share with them the events planned to celebrate and honour the events surrounding D-Day. This information is available at https://www.junobeach.org/juno/75/.
Your Executive has decided to recommend that as a project we collect items that are needed at the Champion Centre. These items include clothing, including jackets, shirts or sweater, toiletry items, towels, gloves, socks and even boots and shoes that you no longer need and are just gently used. Bring items to the Legion and place them in the bins you will find at the back of the Canteen. The contents will be delivered over the next two weeks. Thanks in advance for you generosity.
Starting the March 5th the Loonie Draw will be open to all Legion members who have paid their dues for 2019. Your Executive decided to no longer sell key cards and thus open the Loonie Draw as a perk to all members who are paid up. Make sure you renew your membership by March 1st so we can enter your name in the Number Bin.
Thank you letters were received from the recipients of the Robertson Memorial Medicine Hat College Bursaries.
Thank you to “Something Techy” for getting our outdoor cameras up and running and upgrading our security system. This company also gave us a financial break on the total cost. Please support them if you have any computer needs.
As you can see it has been another busy productive month at Robertson Memorial Branch No 17. Thank you to all members for your wonderful support in moving our Branch forward.