Dwindling patronage has Uclueletâ€™s Army, Navy, Air Force clubhouse up for sale.
The Peninsula Road property is listed at $250,000 and itâ€™s RE/MAX listing suggests the clubhouse may not pass code requirements for a change in use so the property has been priced as if the land was bare.
ANAF volunteer Andy Horne told the Westerly that membership has declined significantly over the past decade and, while the ANAFâ€™s live shows still draw solid crowds, day-to-day operations are not keeping up with costs.
â€œRecently, itâ€™s come to light that the ANAF is pretty much dying, itâ€™s a sinking ship,â€ he said.
â€œThereâ€™s maybe one or two people that show up now, itâ€™s nowhere near what it used to be like, and if we donâ€™t see a change then weâ€™re going to have to shut our doors.â€
Andy said he and his mother Leslie are the only volunteers tending to the ANAFâ€™s operations and more volunteers are needed to host events and churn up interest.
â€œWe need more volunteers, we need more interest, we need people coming in every day playing darts, playing shuffle board, playing pool, thatâ€™s all free (and) itâ€™s the cheapest drinks in town.â€
Membership to Uclueletâ€™s ANAF clubhouse is open to anyone for a cost of $40 and each member can bring in as many as 10 guests.
While memberships are helpful, Andy said patronage is whatâ€™s really important.
â€œI would say 90 per cent of the membership fees goes directly to the (Ottawa-based) head office and our building itself doesnâ€™t see any of that,â€ he said.
Andyâ€™s mother Leslie said she was overwhelmed to see locals â€œshow concern and be upset,â€ when the for-sale sign went up and she suggested the cascade of local interest has prompted a possible change of direction.
â€œIt was overwhelming to see, it was very nice…We were kind of waiting for the gloom and doom of having to shut the doors,â€ she said.
â€œAfter all the uproar after the (for-sale) sign went up, Iâ€™ve talked to the executive president and asked him if he can call a meeting of the executive to see if we can reevaluate and go over the issue of actually shutting down.â€
The Ucluelet ANAFâ€™s six-member executive committee plans to meet in the near future to discuss options.
If the property were sold, the executive would distribute the proceeds to various local organizations, according to Leslie.
Andy hopes this reality never comes to fruition and suggested about $6,000 would be enough to score a yearâ€™s worth of insurance and keep the clubhouse doors open.
â€œThat will get us hopefully enough time to raise enough funds to correct the ship,â€ he said.
He noted the historic building was once located at Uclueletâ€™s Sea Plane Base Hall and was used as a mess hall during World War II.
â€œThis is one of the last (and) best places for live music on the Coast,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s got a huge historic significance and itâ€™s been here for ages; itâ€™s a huge town icon.â€
Locals unwilling to lose their local ANAF have taken to social media to brainstorm fundraising options and Carla Anderson, who owns Ocean Pet Supplies across the street from the ANAF, is confident locals will shelter the ANAF from its financial storm.
She suggested holding a fundraiser with local bands donating their services and local businesses donating auction items.
â€œI think it would be relatively easy for us as a community to come up with the $6,000 thatâ€™s needed to keep it running, and from being sold, simply by ticket sales, auction items, and the bands donating their time,â€ she told the Westerly.
â€œThis is a pretty great community, weâ€™ve come together on some pretty great issues before and I think this could just be one of those things that we all pull together and help keep our community what it is.â€
While fundraising opportunities are being discussed, the need to party has never been so imperative so locals are encouraged to hit up the ANAF this weekend.
â€œWeâ€™ve got two shows this weekend, come out and show us that you care,â€ Andy said.
â€œWe had a bad couple of days when the (for-sale) sign was put up, but the uproar has reinvigorated us. We really want to do this, we want the volunteers to come, we want the people to come and to drink, we want to be busy and we want to keep this place open for live music.â€