Barry’s Bay Legion pancake breakfast unaffected by new restrictions

Valley people looking forward to tomorrow morning’s monthly Pancake Breakfast at the Barry’s Bay Legion Branch 406, 250 John Street in Barry’s Bay will be pleased to know that today’s restrictions from the Province on size of gatherings applies only to private, unmonitored events. Legion President Heather Poliquin advises this is because the Legion is a “staffed business.” The new gathering restrictions are for private gatherings only. So you will be able to fill up on pancakes, eggs, sausages and all the trimmings tomorrow morning between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Above: Legion volunteers at work. Mike Shulist (left) has your coffee, tea and orange juice ready; Betty Kirby (right) prepares individual syrup portions. Photos Heather Poliquin

That’s good news for the Legion because it has been a tough year for Branch 406. Poliquin provided a statement to The Current explaining that the initial objective of the Pancake Breakfasts on the third Sunday of each month was to raise enough funds to replace the floor of Branch 406’s Front Hall – an expense of approximately $20,000. She said, “This fundraising effort was progressing well until February 2020 when the Branch had to pay for a required safety upgrade its kitchen propane system. This upgrade and associated follow-on repairs cost the Branch almost $10,000 and the only funds available to pay for it were the net profits that had been generated from the Pancake Breakfast.  Following this issue, the Pandemic hit and the Branch had to close its doors from 18 March to 13 June 2020.”

Poliquin continued, “As a result of the current COVID-19 restrictions, which do not allow us to pursue our normal business model – Hall Rental to crowds over 50 people, the Branch will be in “Survival Mode” throughout the winter and spring, with priority given to paying bills, maintaining the building infrastructure, and support to the community when possible.  All improvement projects, including the Front Hall floor replacement, have been put on hold for the foreseeable future and as a consequence of this, all funds generated from the Pancake Breakfasts will now be put towards operational costs to keep the doors open.”    

She added, “I would like to thank members of the Community for their continued support of the Pancake Breakfasts and I hope that this support will continue throughout the challenges we are facing at the moment.”

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