Perched high above the Port of Benoni, overlooking the Bohol Sea sits the newly constructed Larry & Tova Vickar Multipurpose Hall and 30 new homes. The multipurpose hall is a small two level, 2,000sqft community centre built around the Vickar Rotary Transcona Winnipeg ANCOP Portview Village on Camiguin Island in Northern Mindanao. The newly constructed village is composed of 30 homes which have been gifted to families on the island.
Camiguin Island, located just south of the Visayas, is a 2-hour ferry ride from Cagayan de Oro City which is a 1-hour flight from Manila is where where you can find Larry & Tova Vickar’s most recent philanthropic efforts and continued partnership with ANCOP Canada. ANCOP International has been providing housing to the homeless and marginalized Filipinos thru its various projects all across the Philippines.
In a long term commitment to ANCOP Canada, formerly ANCOP/GK, Mr. Vickar’s charitable donations continue to fund and support this worthwhile project. Through ANCOP fundraising efforts in partnership with the Vickar Automotive Group, the new Vickar Rotary Transcona Winnipeg ANCOP Portview Village on Camiguin Island have constructed over 30 homes, a new multipurpose hall and facilitated scholarship and educational programs for children on the island.
The 10-day long mission to the Philippines was focused on visiting the ANCOP village, meeting with the children and the families that now have homes to live in, and thanking all parties involved in ensuring the success of the project.
Flood Ravaged Cagayan de Oro
Flying into Cagayan de Oro, the schedule included the opportunity to visit the affected areas around Cagayan de Oro that saw a tropical storm hit last December, which triggered flash floods that killed more than 1000 people and have left many more missing. Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities were the hardest hit.
Witnessing the devastation and the emergency operations in Cagayan de Oro was gut wrenching. In the short time we were there, our group heard first hand stories of loss from two brothers that lost family in the flood. In touring the TIBASAK Evacuation Coordinating Centre and Command Post, a small donation was made towards on-going humanitarian efforts to resettle affected and displaced families.
Larry and Tova Vickar, along with the mission team arrived in the port of Benoni after a 2-hour ferry ride from the Port of Cagayan de Oro to a throng of hosts from ANCOP, Couples for Christ, Rotary International Camiguin club and local government officials. The proverbial red carpet was rolled out for our visit and we were treated to a feast at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant. After lunch, a short informal visit to the village was planned as formal ceremonies to bless the multipurpose hall and village were scheduled for the following day.
The Camiguin hospitality continued later that evening as Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus Modina Romualdo, invited our group to his residence for dinner and live entertainment. Winnipeg mission leader, Randy Viray along with Larry Vickar and Councillor Mike Pagtakhan used this opportunity to thank the governor for his cooperation in this project. The night was not complete without dancing and karaoke which featured the trio of Randy Viray, Mike Pagtakhan and Steven Minken.
Greeted by an entire village, the mission team arrived to children and adults cheering and waving Philippine and Canadian flags. The ceremony of officially blessing the multipurpose hall and village was an opportunity for everyone to say thank you to Larry and Tova Vickar for their philanthropic efforts. Speeches by all stakeholders praised Larry and Tova Vickar for visiting Camiguin and donating to a worthy cause. In response, Larry Vickar proclaimed that he will continue to support the project and that this was only the foundation and that he intends to return to Camiguin.
Building the village would not have been possible without the generous donation of local government officials as they donated the land to ANCOP. As well, coordination and planning of the trip was facilitated by the Randy Viray, ANCOP Philippines, the office of the Governor of Camiguin and officials from the Guinsiliban and Mahinog municipalities and the local Camiguin Rotary International chapter.