By Mike Anderson

MPP Caroline Mulroney visited the Sutton Legion on April 26 to view improvements made possible by a recent capital grant from the province’s Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).

Awarded in 2022, the $47,900 grant paid for various upgrades, including a new patio and storage shed, doors and locks, and an accessible washroom.

“Local organizations, like Legions, are essential to communities across our province,” said MPP Mulroney.

“They provide a gathering space for our veterans, their families, and community members.”

Sutton Legion President Scott Olar, Janice McGurran & MPP Caroline Mulroney

“They also give back to our community, enriching our towns with their dedication, philanthropy and the events they organize to bring people together.”

MPP Mulroney was joined by Janice McGurran from the Trillium Foundation, who brought a framed picture of her late father, WW2 veteran Tom McGurran, who ran the poppy fund and helped other veterans get medical and mental health benefits at his Legion in Richmond Hill.

“It’s extremely important to support Legions because a Legion is like part of the family,” McGurran said.

“It’s not just veterans, it’s also veteran’s families. So when you’re subsidizing improvements to the Legion Hall, you’re taking care of the family. And you are highlighting the importance to the community of this group that is inclusive and welcomes everybody.”

Janice McGurran holds picture of her late father, WW2 veteran Tom McGurran

Sutton Legion President Scott Olar thanked branch members who helped with the projects, as well as teachers and grade 11 & 12 students from Sutton District High School’s Exploring Opportunities Program (EOP) for building the back patio and shed.

“The money allowed us to update our patio, poppy shed, dishwasher, water heater, and all exterior doors and locks. But the biggest improvement came when we installed our first handicap washroom. This was long overdue and a much-needed upgrade,” Olar said.

“I’d like to thank Glennis Bell for keeping our paperwork in fine order during this process, and I’d also like to thank Peter Leach, Jerry Popadynec and Jim Hartwick for stepping up and saving the branch labour costs to get all these projects done. These three people really stretched our dollar over the last year.”

“I also would like to give a big shout out to the kids who have pitched in and volunteered from the Sutton District High School and their two teachers, Mr. Todd Hickling and Mr. Andrew Schmidt. All their effort and hard work is greatly appreciated.”