ANCOP Champions Donate $25K Anew

Monday, September 11, 2017

CANADIAN philanthropists Larry and Tova Vickar of Winnipeg, Manitoba have established themselves as ANCOP Canada’s leading single donor. The couple has consistently supported ANCOP year after year.

Having been taught at an early age that sharing one’s time and resources is the right thing to do, Larry has led a life that has been that of giving and service to people.  He and his wife Tova have always been involved in various initiatives, big and small, aimed at helping people in need.

A highly successful businessman in the automotive dealership industry employing over 300 Winnipeggers, Larry still finds time to serve the community.  Currently he is at the helm of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, the Jewish National Fund, St. Boniface Foundation, and the Manitoba 

Hydro Electric board among others. He and Tova have been involved in a water project in Israel. They have also conceived and sustained L’Arche Tova Café, a place showcasing the talents of people with disabilities in Transcona, Winnipeg.

Larry and Tova’s involvement with ANCOP started as early as 2006 when they contributed to the building of houses in Sunshine Village in the Philippines.  When Larry organized a tour of Israel on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg that same year, a group of Canadian Filipinos joined. While in Israel, the Filipinos invited the couple to also visit the Philippines.  It was not until 2008 however that this materialized.

In the Philippines, Larry and Tova visited Sunshine Village and saw first-hand the joy of the residents at having new homes. Larry remembers that “We also saw the extreme contrast to the other homes that were nothing more than shelters from the elements, with dirt floors, metal slabs for roofs, no sanitary facilities. A family of six or more dwells in this room, an area smaller than most of our bedrooms.”

What left an imprint on the couple while talking to the residents was that inspite of their miserable conditions, they remained hopeful. They had complete faith that they, too would have a new home – a decent dwelling to be proud of like that of other ANCOP villagers.  This moving experience plus the thankfulness of the family beneficiaries left Larry and Tova wanting to do more for the poor. “We made a pledge to each other that we would do more to partner with ANCOP and to perhaps build a village of our own,” Larry shared.

2010 marked the beginning of the partnership between the Vickar couple and ANCOP Winnipeg.  Together with Transcona Rotary, Larry and Tova donated $15 thousand for the building of the first ever ANCOP Winnipeg Village in the Philippines. The village named Vickar Transcona Rotary Portview Village is located in Camiguin, an island in Mindanao.

In 2012, Larry spearheaded a fundraising event called “ANCOP Vickar Evening in the Philippines” and raised about $50 thousand.  The amount was directed towards the construction of the Larry Tova Vickar multi-purpose hall and chapel in the Vickar Rotary Portview village. The village consists of 40 houses and is home to around 200 people.

In 2013 ANCOP Winnipeg received from the couple another $25 thousand through the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba during the ANCOP Walk.  The fund was channeled to the community development programs of ANCOP. In 2014, Larry and Tova, through the Vickar Automotive Group, donated $25 thousand to sponsor the education of the children in their village and personally witnessed a few interviews of prospective scholars.  

“The hopeful faces of children and their parents moved us and inspired us to help the children go to school. We recognized that educating the children would have a great impact on their families’ economic and social future,” Larry said.

During the July 9th ANCOP summit at the North Centennial Centre in Winnipeg, Larry reiterated his commitment to support ANCOP. 

On July 12th, the Vickars were guests at the CFC Canada national conference hosted by CFC Winnipeg at the RBC Convention Centre.  Larry addressed over 500 delegates and professed his and Tova’s continuing desire to help the poor through ANCOP.  

Larry encouraged those present to share this advocacy with their neighbors, co-workers, relatives and others within their sphere of influence.  “By expanding your horizon of scope as to potential new sources of financial and moral support, you will find more willing partners to help in your important missions,” he urged the assembly.

Larry and Tova presented to Eli Minglana of ANCOP Winnipeg a $25 thousand check for ANCOP’s Child Sponsorship Program.  (Edna Garrucho, ANCOP Canada)

 Editor’s Note:  This article has been edited from its previous version.

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