Following back-to-back rainstorms, the 20-year-old roof began to leak resulting in damage to the lounge and Rosedale Room. The ceiling then partially collapsed and soaked the carpet.
“July 11th, we had a rainstorm, and we had a leak and I discovered it the next day. It was not big, it was a minor one, so I went up on the roof the next day and thought I patched it. Which worked fine because we never got any rain until the 24th of July,” said Summerland Legion second-vice-president and house and grounds committee chairperson, Pat O’Sullivan.
“The evening of the 24th … got a really good rainstorm, some wind and I thought in the morning, I’ll just come and check on it to see how my patch did and I walked in the door… and there were tiles all over the place. There was water everywhere in about five different locations, it was just a mess.”
According to legion members, insurance will only cover damages to the building but not a new roof as the roof is 20 years old.
The estimated cost of the roof repairs, however, is around $75,000.
“The Legion does take in a lot of money in both our gaming accounts and with the poppy fund. But we’re not allowed to use them for everyday operations,” said Summerland Legion past president John Dorn.
“So, we have a little bit in the reserve fund but nowhere near the $75,000 that we need.”
It’s already been a tough couple of years for the legion — first pandemic closures and just hours after Remembrance Day last year, thieves broke in and stole poppy fund donations and caused extensive damage throughout the building.
The legion received an outpouring of support back then and has once again turned to the community for help.
“We have been soliciting direct donations from the community and the Summerland community has been very generous,” said Dorn.
“And we’re at about $30,000 with people waiting in the wings for us to finalize some things.”
Several events are scheduled to help raise funds for a new roof, including a parking lot rummage sale and BBQ this weekend at the legion.
The sale is expected to run from 9 am-3 pm on Saturday and will also include live music, and tattoos for kids.
“Then the next weekend after that at a local wine Ve Oh Lay Acres Winery, we’re having what we call Sip in Support, where 25 per cent of all receipts for both wine and food are donated to the Legion,” said Dorn.
“And they have a petting zoo there and any donations to the petting zoo, the animals are giving the donations to the Legion as well.”
Although there is no exact timeline as to when the legion will reopen, there is hope that repairs will be finished by mid-October.
“We have a new chef, Chef Andy, and the meals are spectacular, and he’s just been able to do a pop-up tent around the around the back. There are numerous clubs that use this facility for their meetings and we always have events like dances, music bingo nights, that sort of thing and we’ve just had to shut them down,” said Dorn.
“The very important thing is that we have to be open by Remembrance Day because that’s the most important day of the year here at the Legion.”
Information on ways to donate or about the upcoming events can be found on the Summerland Legion website.