George and Carolyn Propstra have ensured financial backing of the city’s proposed downtown convention center, a key component of the downtown special-events complex being planned.

The $78 million project has not yet been OK’d by the city council, but a $2.5 million pledge by the Propstras secured a commitment for the convention center’s naming rights, which is seen as an essential step.

George Propstra is the 86-year-old founder and retired president of the Vancouver-based Holland/Burgerville USA empire. In recent years, the Propstras have given more than $8.5 million to Vancouver School District projects and $2.5 toward developing a public square in Esther Short Park.

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