Brian Van Acker says the doors of the legion are open. The legion is looking to expand its membership and allowing other community members to join.

Brian Van Acker says the doors of the legion are open. The legion is looking to expand its membership and allowing other community members to join.

Ladysmith legion broadens horizons

The Ladysmith Legion Branch #171 has opened its doors to the community.Brian Van Acker, past sergeant at arms, said the legion was formed for people with military service, but is now trying to inject some new life into the ranks.“We’d like to see it evolve into more of a social club,” said Van Acker.The legion serves as a place where people can gather, socialize, watch the game — generally have a good time.The legion has been trying to reach out to a younger audience and tap that enthusiasm.“It’s time for change. Some legions aren’t surviving simply because they’ve continued on with some of their older traditions. They haven’t evolved.”Van Acker said Ladysmith should take pride in its legion building and hopes some younger members can help revitalize it.The local branch has between 300 and 400 members annually.The legion’s new website and newsletter are chalk full of information on activities  going on at the branch, including their Texas Hold’em tournaments on Tuesday nights.“There’s a lot of activities here. It’s just a matter of enticing the town folk that it’s not a closed community anymore.”The legion, said Van Acker, is a clean, friendly atmosphere.“It’s not smoky when you walk in here.  The people that are running it really care about what they are doing.”Membership is $42 per year and $37 for seniors.Van Acker said people are welcome to come in look around before signing up for a membership.Forms are available at the Legion bar or the administrative office. For more information, visit www.rcl171.com.