Even if you didn’t know Vincent Yowell’s name, you likely knew his face and his ever-present smile at special events, concerts, pow wows, and benefits for the homeless and hungry.
In 2014, I was watching the number of pedestrian deaths rise in our area throughout the year. I was out of town during the holidays and saw the story of another death. A few days later, we all found out it was Vincent. I was heartbroken. I always thought of Vincent as MY personal friend from our brief, but sweet interactions over the years. As I soon learned from the outpouring of grief on Facebook and other social media, I was hardly alone. He was a personal friend to many.
Vincent’s death, on a dangerous stretch of North Virginia Street, was the final straw in a longtime effort to get something done to protect pedestrians in the area. With the backing of Gov. Brian Sandoval, Bonanza General Manager Ryan Sheltra, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, the City Council, and the Reno Gazette-Journal, improvements are being made.
Friends of Vincent would also like to honor his memory in a permanent way with the creation of a memorial bench. We’ve met with Mayor Schieve, who said it can be placed in a prominent area, such as Wingfield Park, City Plaza or Idlewild Park.
The Vincent Yowell Memorial Bench will be engraved in granite. The estimated cost is $2500. Any funds raised beyond that amount will go to St. Vincent’s or one of the charities that Vincent supported with his kindness and ever-present smile.