After 45 years Splendor Pools has closed its doors, but its community legacy will live on for a long time through two endowments, the Marilyn and Sandy Wilson Nursing Scholarships Endowment at the University of Windsor and the Big Brothers Big Sisters-Windsor Essex Sandy Wilson Spitfires Seats Endowment and through Sandy's gift in naming the Big Brothers Big Sisters - Windsor Essex Group Activity Room. It will also live on through the family fun from thousands of pools sold throughout the county, through its dozens of summer employees who earned their university tuition and starts to their independence at Splendor and through customers’ memories of the stories and jokes Sandy told them when they came in for supplies and a visit.
When Marilyn, Splendor founder Sandy Wilson’s wife, best friend and business partner and former Registered Nurse died in 2006, a Nursing Scholarship Endowment was established in her name at the University of Windsor. When Sandy died in 2013, his Will added substantially to his previous donations to it and it was renamed to include his name. Sandy’s Will also provided that the proceeds from the sale of any of his personal and household effects would be added to it. Some $10,000, through the ‘Memories of Sandy Sale’ and ‘in lieu of flowers’ and other contributions have been added to the endowment.
In January 2013, three months before his death, Sandy and his brother Dave helped BBBS-Windsor Essex to celebrate BBBS’s national centennial by contributing $10,000 each for the privilege of being naming donors for its Group Activity Room. Those in attendance at the ribbon cutting said they had not seen Sandy so happy since Marilyn died.
Sandy’s Will also left some $25,000 to launch an endowment that benefits both the ‘Little’s’ and ‘Bigs’ of Big Brothers and Sisters (BBBS) of Windsor Essex. The income it generates pays for the season tickets to the three excellent seats he had as a 50-year season ticket holder for the Windsor Spitfires (and predecessors). The ‘Littles’ not only get to enjoy a game but also, as ‘hosts’ to their ‘Bigs’ and a friend or sibling gain a sense of self esteem. Some $10,000, ‘in lieu of flowers’ and other contributions have been added to the Sandy’s BBBS-WE Spits Seats endowment, too. A donation by Sandy’s brother Dave matched the first $5,000 raised for it by the Memories of Sandy Sale.
“It’s fitting that the business is being wound up with Splendor’s name and logo not being sold on,” says Sandy’s son Scott. “Splendor was Sandy and Sandy was Splendor.