A long-term care facility in Yarmouth has gotten a lot of service out of its van, but it’s time for a new one, and a number of local legion branches are stepping up to help make it happen.
It will cost about $104,000 to replace the van at Veterans Place, which acquired its present vehicle over a decade-and-a-half ago.
“It’s served its purpose,” said Don McCumber, the legion’s district commander. “It’s costing now a fair amount of money to keep it properly maintained. It’s served its purpose to the veterans and it’s necessary now to look at replacing it with a newer model.”
The five legion branches in Zone 12 are committed to helping Veterans Place get a new vehicle, he said.
Those branches are Yarmouth, Wedgeport, West Pubnico, Cape Sable and Lockeport.
McCumber used to be the Zone 12 commander, a position now held by Al Videto, a member of the Lockeport legion. McCumber is now commander for District E, which consists of 14 legion branches from Yarmouth to Chester.
Even in his new role as district commander, however, he is staying on as chairman of the Zone 12 committee fundraising for the Veterans Place van.
“They didn’t want to change anything in mid-stream,” McCumber said, “so I said ‘yes, I certainly will continue on (as committee chair).’”
The committee includes the five legion branch presidents in Zone 12, as well as some Veterans Place staff members and Miff O’Connell, who is representing the vets at Veterans Place.
O’Connell, who served in the Second World War, also has donated $1,000 to the cause, as did Sweeny’s Funeral Home. The hope is that other businesses will take up the challenge and do their part to support the effort.
McCumber says they are getting the word out about the project and looking for help. He cited a presentation to Yarmouth town council as an example, as well as an invitation to speak to the Yarmouth Rotary Club.
“We’ll be making future presentations to councils and to various other organizations,” he said.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the vehicle campaign can do so through their legion branch or by contacting Veterans Place.
Acknowledging that the fundraising effort is really just starting, McCumber was asked if they have a timeframe in mind for the campaign.
“It would be nice to be able to have it completed by fall,” he said.