Wingham BIA to honour Leland and Thora Vance for generosity

·2 min read

WINGHAM – The Wingham Business Improvement Area (BIA) board members discussed how to properly honour the late Leland and Thora Vance for the generous $7 million fund they set up at the Waterloo Region Community Foundation.

“There’s been a lot of talk and questions about, should we do something to recognize the Vance’s for what they did,” said Dave Tiffin, chair of the BIA.

Tiffin opened the floor for suggestions, ideas, and comments about how something like this could be accomplished.

North Huron Coun. Mitch Wright asked about possibly creating memorial plaques at each site that the Vance Funds have helped.

Others weren’t sure that would work in all scenarios, such as education or medical grants.

BIA board member Joey Havers asked about placing one of the new benches coming to downtown Wingham in front of the old pharmacy location. The group was told the benches are already allocated to certain areas, and the logistics like snow removal and an existing fire hydrant at the Josephine Street location would hinder putting a bench there safely.

Another suggestion was to include the town’s residents in the discussion by having a survey to see what the townsfolk think.

“You never know,” Tiffin said. “You might get a diamond in the rough suggestion that we’re not thinking of.”

Several other possible locations were discussed, including naming one of the town’s many parks after them.

“We have a lot of parks in town that don’t have a name, like Riverside Park … and it’s like Riverside Park and the other Riverside Park,” said Wright.

Tiffin tabled the idea for discussion at a future meeting but wants people to start thinking about how this idea could become a reality.

“I certainly think it’s worth recognizing the Vances,” said Tiffin. “That is the type of gift that very few communities are going to get.”

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times