Rivers Auxiliary puts foundation grant to good use


By Donna Falkevitch

Ladies Auxiliary First vIce-president

Rivers Ladies Auxiliary to Royal Canadian Legion Branch  No. 75 received its charter in May 1946 and last year celebrated 70 years of service in this community. Auxiliary members are committed to helping the local veterans, branch and community. They also provide both financial and service support to keep the legion building well maintained. Over those 70 years the auxiliary has financially supported Branch 75 in projects such as painting, roof repairs, air conditioning, washroom renovations, two new furnaces, tables, chairs, kitchen flooring, cooler repairs, a new bingo board and cenotaph maintenance. The latest project was the upgrading of cupboards and counters in the upstairs canteen area. This was made possible, in part, by a $1,500 grant received from Rivers & Area Community Foundation in 2016. The remainder of the cost was provided by the auxiliary, which raised monies through various activities that were well-supported by the community. This canteen was once used as a full kitchen but is now mainly used to dispense snacks and beverages during bingo, socials and other special events.

The auxiliary continues to support the Royal Canadian Legion Auxiliary Provincial Scholarship Fund and the Legion Athletic Camp Scholarships to the Peace Gardens. It also provides scholarships to Rivers Collegiate Institute, runs a weekly bingo program at Riverdale Personal Care Home, delivers Meals on Wheels, donates to many local charities in the Rivers area, donates to Star Burst at Deer Lodge Hospital, Rolling River Festival of the Arts and has five adopted veterans within Rivers who receive various gifts and visits throughout the year. 

How are these funds raised? It is the work of many hands that make meals, sandwiches, cookies, squares, coffee and beverages and cater to funeral luncheons, anniversaries, Remembrance Day teas or meetings. We work the canteen at the weekly bingo and we also rent out our kitchen for special events.

Flowers planted annually at the cenotaph to show honour and respect to the war dead are done so by auxiliary members. In recent years these flower beds have been improved through grants and funding procured by the auxiliary. Seven hundred tulips were planted in the fall of 2015 as part of the Friendship Garden program. When they bloomed in the spring of 2016, a surprise was revealed. Hopefully there will be an additional surprise this spring to recognize Canada’s 150th birthday.  

We are always happy to welcome new members. As stated in the manual of regulations and bylaws governing Ladies Auxiliaries of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Command, “Membership is open to a woman (i) who is of good character (ii) who has reached the age of 18 and is eligible to be a member of the Royal Canadian Legion (Canadian citizen).”

Our meetings are generally held on the first Monday of each month in the upper hall. If you are interested in joining our great group of dedicated women, please contact president Marlene Hayhurst at 204-328-7096 or myself at 204-729-7203.

The auxiliary is most grateful to Rivers & Area Community Foundation for the financial support that made the purchase of the new cupboards and counters a reality.  Thank you to the foundation and the people of Riverdale Municipality who continue to support us in our service to the community.