Legion launches two-weekend bottle drive

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The Tillsonburg Legion is doing what it can to stay afloat as the province navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major bottle drive fundraiser for the Legion has been planned the next two weekends, July 24-26 and July 31-August 2.

“We have the bottle drive coming up this weekend,” said Dianne Hodges, Tillsonburg Branch 153 president, Royal Canadian Legion.

Bring your bottles, cans, or anything that can be returned to The Beer Store to the Legion’s back parking lot at 16 Durham Street. Drop-offs can be made from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. each day of the bottle drive starting Friday, July 24.

The local Legion hosted its first curbside pickup Ham and Scalloped Potato Dinner event on July 11th and had a positive response from the community.

“We actually sold out – 175 dinners,” said Hodges, noting the Legion had no income from the time it closed in March until July, and the support was appreciated.

It took a team of volunteers, including cooks, people putting hot food into takeout containers, and another three-person team outside making sure customers got their orders safely.

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“175 dinners between 4:30-6 p.m. and we never had a lineup of more than two people. That was so slick.

“We also opened our patio last weekend and it was well supported. It will be open for the rest of the summer, Friday to Sunday, 2-5 p.m., unless we have weather like we did yesterday (Sunday).

“We’re very pleased with the opening of the patio and very grateful to the community for its support.”

A Curbside Meatloaf Supper has been planned August 22, a special day for Hodges (it’s her birthday).

Decoration Day at the Cemetery

The Legion’s Decoration Day at the Tillsonburg Cemetery on August 16 has been cancelled.

“Usually it’s the third Sunday in August. We cancelled only because of the (COVID-19) restrictions. As much as we wanted to see it happen… there’s just too many unknowns. We decided if we can’t do what we traditionally do, we have to cancel it. But it will be back next year.”

Town staff will be putting out about 325 flags at the cemetery on the weekend of August 16 in memory of the veterans.

“We are just grateful for the support of the community,” Hodges concluded, noting that as Zone Commander she knows there are some branches that do not get the support the Legion does in Tillsonburg.

“So thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

cabbott@postmedia.com