The Houston Royal Canadian Legion Branch #249 recently received a total of $35,500 from Dungate Community Forest,Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, and Northern Development Initiative Trust.
“The board considered the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #249’s strong presence in the Houston area for over 60 years,including providing the ladies auxiliary program, Remembrance Day services, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, and the poppy fund. Director Newell supported the application,” commented Melany de Weerdt, Chief Administrative Officer for theRegional District of Bulkley-Nechako.
“Northern Development is proud to support the upgrades at the Houston legion with a $29,682 grant through our community halls and recreation facility program. The electrical, lighting and ceiling upgrades are necessary to maintain the legion’s services and to attract additional users to the facility. Legions serve as social hubs in communities across northernB.C.. Not only do they offer services for veterans, but they also provide venues for meetings, events and other gatherings vital to building strong communities,“ commented Joel McKay, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Development InitiativeTrust.
The donations are going to finance changing all of the light fixtures in the legion to LED, put in new ceiling tiles, and re-insulate the roof upstairs to reduce heating costs.
“When applying to Northern Development Initiative Trust we had to come up with a creative name. So instead of ‘electrical and renovations’ we titled this project, ‘Lighting the way to our future,’” said Joanne Woodbeck, executive secretary for theHouston Royal Canadian Legion Branch #249.
Since then, the renovation has become a community focus project to enhance the legion for all of its veterans, seniors, and patrons.
“In order to reduce some of the costs, we had to turn [the project] into a community event in the sense that we are doing 80per cent of the work ourselves. All the the insulation and ceiling tiles and being done by volunteers, and the electrical work is being done by Tower Communications,” said Woodbeck.
On Feb. 9 at the Houston Royal Canadian Legion Branch #249, the Houston Royal Canadian Army Cadets volunteered their time to begin the the first work bee of removing ceiling tiles.
The legion will also be donating 100 of the ceiling tiles to the Houston Secondary School to be reused for student painting and art projects.
“We are extremely grateful that the legion considered donating the tiles. The art students will certainly make good use of them,” commented Paul Batley, art and photography teacher at the Houston Secondary School.
“We’re trying really hard to make this a community event and incorporating as many avenues as possible,” said Woodbeck.
More volunteers attended the work bee on the weekend to remove the t-bars, and light fixtures.
On Feb. 18 volunteers will be installing the new vapour barrier and insulation. The legion is always looking for volunteers to help out. If you are interested in being apart of this project, contact Jo at 250-845-4151.