Sooke legion members have opened their hearts and the branch’s doors to assist people fleeing the chaos, crossfire and carnage in Ukraine.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 hosts a sit-down Ukrainian-style dinner on June 18 to raise funds for relief efforts, one of several planned initiatives.
“All of the events we see daily in the coverage of what’s going on in Ukraine have affected our members, including veterans and civilians alike,” said Murray Lambert, a legion member on the committee organizing the event.
“Ukrainians always say that it takes many villages to make change and provide help. We began thinking about what we could do after one of our members, Tom Lott, donated the Ukrainian flag flying outside our branch. We want the community to know that the village of Sooke is trying to do its part.”
Lambert said legion members quickly stepped up to form the Sooke Community Ukrainian Relief Fund committee to assist Ukrainians who are moving to Sooke because of the situation in their country.
“We have such great members at our branch, so dedicated to assisting those who need a helping hand,” he said. “Corrine Vickery Payne from Chompkin’s at Grill 54 is handling the food, Joyce Volek is helping organize the event, Trudy Coulter is helping get the word out, and Debbie Davies has been handling 50-50 draws to support our efforts.”
Lambert said the committee has been fortunate to draw on the experience of Al Stuart, the former chair of the branch’s Poppy Campaign committee.
“He’s been a huge help organizing the event,” Lambert added.
The committee also appreciates the support received from Village Food Markets and Western Foods.
There is a limit of 150 tickets available for the sit-down dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $25.
There’s also the option of ordering a takeout dinner for $25, with up to 100 pre-paid, pre-ordered dinners available for pick up from noon to 3 p.m. on the the day of the event.
If you can’t attend the dinner but would like to support the efforts, you can drop off a donation at the Royal Canadian Legion at 6726 Eustace Rd. from Wednesday to Saturday between 2 and 9 p.m.
You can also donate through the GoFundMe page at Sooke Community Ukrainian Relief Fund.