"We're a service club first and foremost," says Bob Chapman, First Vice President of the Coquitlam Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. "We support our veterans, for sure, but we also sponsor events in the community, including kids' sports, such as soccer teams and baseball teams."
Legion volunteers work to raise funds for local hospitals, such as Eagle Ridge Hospital, and seniors' care homes, in addition to helping individual war veterans both young and old.
"We raised money for a service dog for one of our younger veterans who came back after a tour of duty in Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)," Bob says. "We've purchased a furnace for a veteran's widow and we've helped folks get hearing aids and assisted an older veteran with his rent."
"Behr Paint came and painted the Legion," Bob notes, "and a local auto mechanic has donated his services to help. We're very appreciative of any and all the help the community gives us."
An easy way community members could help the Legion is by holding their own fundraisers at the Branch or by renting the facilities.
"We support local kids' sports teams," Bob explains, "but I don't think Mom and Dad realize that when it comes time to hold their own fundraising events, we'd love to see them held here. We have everything you need for an event – a great kitchen, bar, and even entertainment."
The Branch also has rooms to rent for local businesses that are looking for a place to hold a seminar or team meeting.
"We're a pretty successful Legion," Bob adds, "but many of the Branches are disappearing. Service clubs in general are disappearing. We work hard to help the community and we'd love to see the community support us. Have your next event here, or just pop down to enjoy the entertainment. It's a great place with friendly people."
For further information on the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 263, call 604.937.3863, stop by 1025 Ridgeway Avenue, Coquitlam, email or visit the website at. The Royal Canadian Legion in Coquitlam can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.