By Myron Love
Reflecting its long history with the Filipino community in Winnipeg as well as Larry and Tova Vickar’s charitable efforts in the Philippines itself, the Vickar Auto Group has contributed $30,000 through the Red Cross to help ease the suffering of survivors of typhoon Haiyan that recently devastated the central Philippines.
Vickar Auto Group president Larry Vickar and his wife, Tova, have been friends of the local Filipino community (which numbers about 70,000 here) almost from the beginning of large scale Filipino immigration more than 47 years ago.
The company’s four dealerships (Vickar Chev, Vickar Nissan, Vickar Mitsubishi and Waverley Mitsubishi) have 35 Filipino employees between them and the Vickars have generously supported the local Filipino community for a long time.
In early 2008, the Vickars visited the Philippines and became familiar with the work of ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor), a Christian Charity active in the Philippines and elsewhere.
On their return to Winnipeg, Larry Vickar approached his Rotary Club and challenged the members to raise money to build a new village to provide homes for the poor on one of the Comiguan Islands in the Mindanao region in the southern Philippines in co-operation with ANCOP.
Vickar promised to match what the Rotary Club raised dollar for dollar.
“We raised $59,000 (including $25,000 more from the Vickars),” he says.
In 2012the Vickars returned to the Philippines for the official opening of the new village (called the Vickar Transcona Rotary Port View Village). The village currently consists of 40 homes and the Larry and Tova Vickar multipurpose hall.
We are currently building a chapel there,” says Larry Vickar. He reports that the Vickar-Transcona Rotary-sponsored village lays to the south of the storm track and wasn’t damaged.
The Vickars and the Rotary Club continue to provide ongoing support for the village.
“We just gave another $25,000,” he says.