By RAY BALOGH
On a hot, sunny afternoon Friday, June 4, Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce dedicated the eighth of 11 flower-laden red canoes to beautify the town in a project funded by SWCC Foundation.
The canoe rests in a landscaped base of stones located north of town at the intersection of Indiana Street and Huntington Avenue.
Renae Salyer, executive director of the chamber, and Syracuse resident Connie Anthony, who donated the 16-foot canoe that belonged to her late father, Bill Pfefferle, were on hand for the dedication. “I donated the canoe to memorialize my dad, who was a World War II veteran,” said Anthony. “It is actually dedicated to all World War II vets.” A golden plaque riveted to the canoe commemorates Anthony’s sentiments.
The canoe was actually christened No. 5, as it was the fifth to be installed, in the fall of 2020. Salyer said the first canoe was donated by Roxann Arnott in memory of one of her friends and was placed last spring at the welcome sign at the southern town limit on SR 13.
Two more canoes are expected to be placed by the end of June and the last should complete the project
The canoes are filled with petunias and diamond frost flowers designed to approximate the red, white and blue of the American flag. “The white diamond frosts are put in so they look like the stars on the flag,” said Salyer.
The town’s parks department is helping water the plants and “a lot of volunteers” are keeping an eye on the memorials “to help make Syracuse more inviting,” according to Salyer.