The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 129 in Haliburton is working towards becoming fully accessible.

President Mike Waller said they are fundraising for an elevator, and have finally started on the build. They hope to have it finished for the Remembrance Dinner, the Saturday before Remembrance Day, in the fall.

Waller said they want to make the upstairs and downstairs accessible to everyone.

“There is a clubroom downstairs, as well as an accessible washroom that is not available for those who can’t do stairs,” Waller said.

The legion depends on volunteers, who run events, fundraise, and do outreach within the community.

“We rely on donations, and room rentals to keep the lights on and the doors open,” Waller said. “We have several things happening at the legion every week, and there is more that we would like to do here, as well as in the community.”

Darts, cards, and bingo are some of the weekly activities, but there are also information sessions, a walking club, concerts, 50/50 draws, and meat draws, to name a few.

According to Waller and secretary Michelle Anton, the meat draw every Friday can be quite an experience. Anton said, “it can be a lot of fun and provides some folks with something they might not be able to afford otherwise.”

Bingo at the legion happens Wednesday evenings with anywhere from 45 to 125 players, and is busier in summer. Not only does it have weekly jackpots of $500, but every month there is a $1,000 jackpot.

Volunteers Adrienne Clark and Andrew Hitchen co-run this event, which for some people in the community is the only time they get out of their house. “For some it provides a purpose, somewhere to go,” said Clark.

There is the obvious socialization and interaction that most people come to the legion for, but it also builds community, emotional health, and well-being. “One of our goals is to offer as many things as we can for seniors because there isn’t really any other place for seniors here,” Waller said. “Even though we cater to them, we welcome anyone that wants to come to anything we offer.”

Waller said they are grateful to those who donate money and time to the legion.

“We could not operate without either, and always welcome new volunteers.”