Lessifs make legacy gift for Lake Lisgar water quality

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John and Liz Lessif are giving back to the community in the form of a Lake Lisgar Water Quality Legacy Gift.

Tillsonburg town council acknowledged the gift at its Jan. 25 meeting, and suggested a plaque be installed in recognition of the donation.

The couple’s donation will be used toward the future care and improvement of Lake Lisgar.

John Lessif had approached Chris Baird, Director of Recreation, Culture and Parks, last fall with a proposal of $50,000 for Lake Lisgar. The plan would be to donate $5,000 each year over 10 years.

“Certainly a wonderful contribution from Mr. and Mrs. Lessif, John and Liz,” said Mayor Stephen Molnar, “and ultimately their family.

“They are very proud members of the community and have historically helped build Tillsonburg, and this is another indication where they’ve identified the jewel of our community in Lake Lisgar. And we hope to be able to celebrate with them the contribution that this is going to make to the protection and enhancement of Lake Lisgar moving forward.”


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In recent years, the Lake Lisgar Revitalization Committee has been safeguarding and guiding the care and improvement of the lake.

Baird noted that an information report on Lake Lisgar will be developed later in 2021 for council’s consideration in the 2022 Budget, identifying how Town staff will be helping “put wheels under this program” working with the existing committee.

The Lake Lisgar Trust Fund, as of January, had just over $29,300 as a reserve fund.

“This generous offer from the Lessifs will augment that over the next 10 years,” said Baird.

“I just want to make note that this is not a tangible product like a fountain or a walkway or a gazebo,” said Deputy Mayor Dave Beres. “It’s something that’s much needed and it’s not something that you see with your eye. I believe, that with the permission of the Lessif family, it might be a good idea to perhaps put a plaque or some sort of recognition somewhere around Lake Lisgar at the town’s expense stating what they’ve done here and what work they are supporting.”

In his letter to Baird, Lessif noted the legacy gift would be named in their estate beneficiary list.

“Lake Lisgar is a unique asset for our community and visitors to enjoy year round,” Lessif wrote. “Tillsonburg is fortunate to have so many volunteer members of the community join with town staff, to ensure it is enjoyed by so many well into the future. Liz and I are delighted to have the opportunity to contribute this way.”

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