In 1929 The Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League made the decision to make the care and treatment of tuberculosis free of charge for our residents. The cure at that time, rest and fresh air in a sanatorium, was long and tedious and few could afford to remain until they were healed. That decision opened the door to fundraising opportunities, volunteerism, and community partnerships.
One such community partnership began in 1934 when the Associated Canadian Travellers clubs in Saskatchewan answered the call and adopted the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League as their primary charity. Their fundraising events not only raised much needed funds to operate Saskatchewan’s three sanatoria for TB treatment but also raised awareness about TB prevention. They funded the large vans that were used to house mobile x-ray labs so that communities all across the province could be screened for TB. They also assisted in mobilizing community participation in the TB surveys. From 1938 to 1958 volunteers from the ACT Clubs staged the ACT Amateur Hour on radio stations in several cities and by 1960 the ACT clubs had contributed $1 million to the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League.
When TB declined, the sanatoria began closing; however the ACT continued to support projects in lung health. From 1988 to 2007 the ACT funded and volunteered at the ACT Wilf Churchman Discovery Asthma Camp. They underwent an organizational change in 1996 when they merged with the United Commercial Travelers (UCT) to become the ACT/UCT. They continue to have a very strong affinity for The Lung Association, Saskatchewan and have continued to provide their support to the present day. It has been 83 years since the Travellers have been involved with improving lung health one breath at a time in Saskatchewan and their monetary generosity alone has exceeded $2.7 million in contributions.
During their zenith, seven ACT Clubs were scattered across Saskatchewan in Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, and Yorkton. In recent years, due to declining membership the Regina, Yorkton, and Prince Albert clubs have closed. Please consider investing in your community by joining your local ACT/UCT club and become part of this tremendous giving legacy.
The Lung Association joins the residents of Saskatchewan in a lung-felt thank-you to the ACT and ACT/UCT members past and present for serving our residents so well.