The Royal Canadian Legion, like so many other organizations, is having trouble with membership and volunteerism.
According to the recent Port Elgin Legion bulletin, at one time, Legion clubrooms were full and there were lots of volunteers with a line-up to be elected to the Branch Executive but it is not the case today, and Port Elgin branch is not alone. Many branches are struggling not only with membership but to have people step up and commit the time to chair a committee or sit on the Executive are they are now looking at succession planning.
The public become most aware of the Legion during the annual Poppy campaign. It is the major fundraising campaign and it could not happen without Legion Member volunteers. Last year’s campaign (2019), volunteers donated close to 80 hours of in-store canvassing. and young Air Cadet volunteers provided close to 20 hours of canvassing support organized by their leader Capt. Rob Herborth. In addition, over 40 Branch Member volunteers helped prepare the Poppy boxes, with canvassing and audit, in the office, putting up the Poppy Banner and counting the money. What many do not realize is that people can also donate to the Poppy fund year-round.
The Legion has two entities. One is business and the other is service. On the business side, the goal is to survive and, on the service side, the Legions are the keepers of remembrance and one cannot function without the other. Without succession the Legion will die.
To learn more about Port Elgin Legion, read the branch bulletin by Rhonda Harrison.