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Legion gives Pioneer Lodge financial boost

By February 17, 2022No Comments
Joy Bell, administrator of Pioneer Lodge and House, was joined by a handful of happy residents on Friday morning as Jim Leckie of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #39 presented a cheque for $11,000 to be used for renovations in some of the facilities older rooms. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source


Thanks to an $11,000 donation from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #39 Lloydminster, residents at Pioneer Lodge are reinvigorated and more independent than ever.

A cheque presentation to commemorate the joyous donation was held at the Lodge last Friday morning, which was concluded with a roaring round of applause from Lodge residents. 

The funds will be used to renovate two rooms at Pioneer Lodge, updating the bathrooms to make them more resident-friendly. 

“Some of the rooms don’t have walk-in showers, they have the old tubs people have to step over and it’s not convenient,” said Jim Leckie, treasurer, Royal Canadian Legion Branch #39. 

“The toilets are low, so it makes them hard to get up out of, so, they’re putting in walk-in showers with safety poles and grab-bars. Same with the toilets; new toilets and grab bars to help them get up.”

Last November, Pioneer Lodge received an $11,000 donation from the local Legion’s Poppy fund, but the local membership wanted to do more. 

“Our membership had wanted to give twice that much, so this year, (we donated) out of our gaming funds for the amount of money we raised in our Branch,” said Leckie.

“I’d like to point out we’re only open two days a week for four hours, but we’ve been selling gaming tickets and Nevadas and so forth in the Branch, and on the street to people who will buy our tickets,” he added with a laugh.

“We raised a substantial amount of money, so we’re going to give them $11,000 from our gaming fund to bring us up to that $22,000 we originally promised.”

The $22,000 donation also holds meaning to local Legion members as well as the residents who will reap the benefits of the funds. 

“We actually had veterans in here last year, and I think we still got a couple of veterans in here, and we have wives of veterans, and I’m sure there’s kids of veterans living here,” he said.

Joy Bell, administrator of Pioneer Lodge and House, was almost at a loss for words when talking about the donation and what it will provide for residents. 

“This is phenomenal,” she said. “The Legion has supported us like this before, and we take these funds and renovate bathrooms in our residents’ rooms that were built in the 1970s and ‘90s that have the traditional step-in bathtubs. We pull that out, we put in a walk-in shower, we upgrade the toilet and the sink, and it just makes a world of difference for any of our residents that have a little bit of mobility issues.

“It gives them back independence again.”

What kind of independence you might be wondering?

“What we see from them, I don’t know how to put it into words,” she said. “What we see from our residents is the self-confidence back again, the ability to care for yourself. It’s just a very positive influence in their lives.”

With provincial and federal talks in the works for an $82.5M expansion at the Lodge, Bell clarified the need for rooms is creeping back up to pre-pandemic numbers.

“Pioneer had over 114 names on the waiting list when the pandemic hit in 2019,” she said. 

“At that time we had 132 lodge rooms, so we virtually had the same number waiting to fill the rooms as we had at that time. 

“Right now we have 79 on a waiting list and we’re just now starting to see that list starting to grow again. People are becoming a little more comfortable with the masks and the mandates and what needs to happen inside a type of living facility like this one during outbreaks and pandemics, so we’re starting to see that list creeping up again.”