LaSalle Legion hopes benefit comedy night can help keep it alive

On Tuesday morning, the LaSalle branch of the Royal Canadian Legion learned the financial troubles threatening to shut it down have gone from bad to worse.

The Legion found out that the already substantial tax bill it's facing have grown by another $30,000.

A clerical error stripped the branch of its charitable status, and if it doesn't come up with the money to cover its debts within a few weeks, it could shut down — possibly as soon as Nov. 4, the day the Legion holds its annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

But members of the community are hoping laughter may help save the Legion, before it's too late.

Well-known Montreal comic Joey Elias is headlining a benefit show at the Legion on the evening of Friday, Oct. 19

"A lot of people I've run into are saying, 'well the vets are old, they're going to be gone.' No they're not," Elias told CJAD 800's Natasha Hall. "Everybody on that show said, 'I'm in it. I don't want money, because it's important to you, it's important to me.'"

Elias, who's traveled to Afghanistan to perform for Canadian troops, says having a strong network of Legion branches is as important as it's ever been for the LaSalle community, and represents an important support for veterans, both young and old alike.

"I don't know if people know this, but there's a slew of vets that have just served in Afghanistan that are suffering," he says.

Several other benefits are being planned in the coming weeks in and around LaSalle in support of the Legion, as well as a GoFundMe page.

CJAD 800's Matt Gilmour contributed to this report.