Events

Rotary Club of Amherstburg’s annual Easter Seals dinner April 18

Special to the RTT

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg will hold its annual Easter Seals Dinner at the Columbus Community Hall April 18 from 5-7 p.m.

The dinner funds opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities. The Rotary Club has named the pasta dinner in honour of the late Martin Breshamer, who created it locally. The Columbus Community Hall is located at 190 Richmond St. in Amherstburg.

Martin was a quiet pillar of the community through his many activities, all the while being the busy former plant manager for the local Seagram (now Diageo) plant.

The Martin Breshamer Memorial Easter Seals pasta dinner is next Wednesday night. Breshamer (pictured) organized the dinner annually as well as a walkathon. (Submitted photo)

For those with disabilities, he was a board member of Easter Seals, organized the Easter Seals walkathon and pasta dinner, ensured playgrounds were handicap-accessible, and was a board member and former chairman of the Rotary Children’s Rehabilitation Centre (now John McGivney Centre).

For Amherstburg, he arranged the Seagram Concert Series for the Windsor Symphony Christmas Concert, installed the Rotary Clock at the foot of Richmond St., was a board member of the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association and the Park House Museum, a fund raiser for the St. John the Baptist Church Restoration Fund, manager of the annual haunted house, and of course, president and board member of the local Rotary Club.

For the area, he was a United Way chairman where he exceeded the goal by 20 per cent and assisted small business through the Essex Community Future Development Corporation.

Having been born in The Netherlands where he survived WWII as a boy, Martin used to say, “Canada has been good to me and in my retirement, I can give my time to help others.”

In view of his many accomplishments, it is understandable why Canada awarded him the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and Rotary presented him the Paul Harris Award.

General Amherst bringing “Run for Rocky” to Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The “Run for Rocky,” a fundraising event for local high school Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA’s), is coming to Amherstburg.

After five years of the event being in Windsor, where April 9 is Run for Rocky Day, General Amherst High School is hosting their own event April 26. Teacher Greg Scott, whose fitness and recreation leadership class is helping to organize the event, said the Campana family’s five-year commitment to run the event is over but they hope it will continue in school communities. The event is in memory of Rocky Campana.

“Their thought was that individual schools would do something on their own,” said Scott. “We decided to keep the run going and give it a try at our school.”

Linden Crain, student parliament prime minister, said it will involve not only General Amherst students, but students from Amherstburg Public School as well. The general public is also invited to drop by the school and donate or show up the day of the event and take part.

“It’s a minimum $5 pledge,” said Crain. “Any other donations are greatly appreciated.”

Rocky’s father Rob Campana is expected to attend the April 26 event. Rocky’s uncle Dan is a teacher at General Amherst High School.

Proceeds will go towards a project fund with GSA’s from any school able to tap into that fund to help pay for guest speakers, library materials and other projects. Trevor Klundert, a guidance counsellor at General Amherst and the GSA staff liaison, said the next national GSA conference will be in New Brunswick and funds could be used to help pay for travel to that event.

“Even though it’s taking place in Amherstburg, it helps other schools too,” Crain said of the local Run for Rocky.

Student parliament prime minister Linden Crain and Karlie Simon, a member of General Amherst’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) stand near a poster promoting the GSA and the Run for Rocky. General Amherst High School is teaming with Amherstburg Public School to hold a Run for Rocky 5K event April 26.

Karlie Simon, one of the five Grade 9 students in the General Amherst GSA, said the event will also showcase what GSA’s can do and promote what they are and how they help. She said people don’t have to be from the LGBTQ community to help out. Klundert added that the April 26 event will also show students who may not have come out yet that other students “have their back” and will make it more comfortable to let them be who they want to be at school.

The 5K run/walk will start next to the high school and proceed to Toddy Jones Park. It will then go down Dalhousie St. to Front Road South (near the Blue Haven Motel) before coming back. There will be food and music at the start/finish area.

“We’re keeping things to the sidewalks,” explained Scott, adding they don’t plan on asking for any road closures.

The event will run from 12:30-2 p.m. April 26.

According to the Run for Rocky website (www.runforrocky.com), “Run for Rocky was a charity run/walk that took place in Windsor, Ontario for five years which was inspired by Rocky Campana who passed away in 2012 after attempting to take his own life. The Campana Family, along with the Windsor Pride Community, Education and Resource Centre, wanted to share Rocky’s story. Through their collaboration, they have been able to fund GSAs in the local high school and post-secondary school systems, ensuring that parents, educators and youth have the knowledge and funding needed to help create Safe Schools, and creating a support system for youth in times of crisis. Rocky paved the path to make a difference while living, and the Run for Rocky Legacy Fund will continue to make a significant difference in his absence for years to come.”

Tourism department highlights trio of events for the coming season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town’s tourism department has highlighted a trio of upcoming events it is planning, including two new ones that have joined the schedule.

Tourism co-ordinators Sarah Van Grinsven and Anna Cabrera met with business owners at the Libro Centre last Tuesday and went over what is in the works. Roughly ten people attended the afternoon session with slightly more reported to have attended the morning session.

The first of the new events will be the Rhododendron Garden Tea Party, with Cabrera explaining that they want to showcase the town using one of the more popular assets, which is the rhododendron gardens in King’s Navy Yard Park.

The Rhododendron Garden Tea Party is planned for May 27 with the event having a “Downton Abbey”-type feel, Cabrera added. There will be two sittings – one at 11:30 a.m. and the other at 3 p.m. – in Navy Yard Park.

Van Grinsven said a similar event was held in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and that went well, with people asking for more of those type of events in the future.

“It’s giving people what they want,” said Van Grinsven.

That event is being held in conjunction with the Belle Vue Conservancy.

There will be a Downton Abbey inspired costume contest for women, men and children as well.

“The rhododendron gardens are one of the focal points of the King’s Navy Yard Park each spring,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “We will be honoured to welcome visitors with the added garden tea program. When the gardens are in full bloom, it’s an amazing spectacle for the region.”

The second new event will be the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival, planned for Aug. 3-5. The event, which is proposed as an annual festival, will combine Harry Potter with steampunk, the latter being described by Cabrera as “Victorian-era science fiction.”

“Think of what the past might have looked like if we had today’s technology,” she said.

Cabrera stated that millennials “spend money on experiences rather than material goods” and that there is a hope that photos and videos of the event will “live forever” if put online.

“We didn’t pick this at random,” she said of the theme for Amherstburg Uncommon. “There is a rhyme and reason.”

Sarah Van Grinsven, one of the town’s tourism co-ordinators, goes over a map of the downtown core detailing proposed road closures for the Aug. 3-5 Amherstburg Uncommon Festival.

The bulk of the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival will be free with roads in the downtown core closed off. Van Grinsven indicated the only ticketed event will be a magic show under the “big top” tent that will be set up in Toddy Jones Park. Also proposed for the three-day festival will be aerial demonstrations from the Canadian Historical Aircraft Museum, rickshaws, live entertainment, craftsmen, a “quidditch” ball throwing activity, children’s games and entertainment and other attractions.

Many of the activities will focus on science, technology, engineering and math, Van Grinsven stated.

“We want the town to be transformed,” she said. “It’s all about the look. It’s all about the feel.”

Vendors will be screened to ensure they fit the theme, added Cabrera, and organizers hope to work with restaurants for themed menus and food items re-named to fit the steampunk or Harry Potter eras.

The Park House Museum will also be partnering with the tourism department for the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival.

Van Grinsven told business owners that “we want to bring business to you” and that Amherstburg Uncommon will be a family-friendly event.

“There is definitely no alcohol,” she said.

Restaurants and businesses may be able to expand patios but that has to be done in conjunction with the town’s licensing department.

“We want to facilitate the success of the businesses,” she said.

Some business owners voiced concerns with road closures and the ability to get back and forth to their businesses while others didn’t want to bring in products that organizers or vendors will be selling.

“We’re creating fun,” said Van Grinsven. “We’re creating a fabulous atmosphere for people.”

The third event highlighted at the meetings was the Canada Day event. That is scheduled to return to the grounds of Fort Malden National Historic Site July 1. Events like the Canada D’Eh run, which is presented by Running Flat, and the Ice Cream Festival for Toddy Jones Park are also planned for Canada’s 151st birthday.

For more information, call 519-730-1309.

Belle Vue Conservancy planning two fundraising events, new roof coming

 

 

By Julianna Bonnett

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy is planning a pair of music-themed fundraisers to help fund the building’s restoration, with actual construction work possible in the near future as well.

Conservancy vice president Carolyn Davies said they looking to begin putting a new roof on the historic 200-year-old home as the Belle Vue Conservancy is hoping to restore the building as soon as they can. Roof restoration is expected to begin this spring.

Following the restoration of the roof, the next project the conservancy is looking to undertake is the restoration of the windows.

“The Belle Vue is one of the top ten endangered historical buildings in Canada and that’s why it’s so important to us,” said Davies.

The Town of Amherstburg owns the building with the Belle Vue Conservancy charged with the duty of raising the funds to pay for the restoration. CAO John Miceli said there has been a bidder’s meeting for the roof replacement on Belle Vue.

“The Belle Vue Conservancy has raised funds and would like to replace the roof. We are moving in that direction,” Miceli told the RTT in an e-mail.

The first fundraiser will allow people to rock the night away with Rick Rock and his music at “Rocking for Belle Vue.”

The Belle Vue Conservancy, in partnership with Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, is having a fundraising dinner, silent auction and music by the well-known entertainer, Rick Rock.

“It’s a time to rock the night away with great music from Rick Rock. I suggest everyone build up their appetites and put on your dancing shoes,” said Carolyn Davies, vice president of the conservancy.

The Rick Rock night will be April 13 starting at 6 p.m. at the Legion Br. 157 and the menu will include chicken, vegetables, scalloped potatoes, salad and dessert all for $25. Tickets are available at the Gordon House, Legion Br. 157 or by contacting Davies at 519-736-9433.

A display of the History of World War I veterans who healed in the Belle Vue after the Great War when the home was a respite care residence will be available.

The second fundraiser will be “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” and will take place May 1.

Back by popular demand, people are invited to join the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Belle Vue Conservancy as they celebrate spring to raise funds for Belle Vue at the event at Christ Anglican Church.

“We started this event a year ago and it was a tremendous success. It was sold out and we did not have enough seats, so we are eager to see how this year goes,” said Davies.

Joining the WSO will be Windsor’s own Adam Iannetta, who, according to Eventbrite.com, has wowed audience with his rich baritone voice.

“Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” will run from 7-9 p.m. Tickets for this event are also $25.

For more information go to www.bellevueconservancy.com or www.windsorsymphony.com and search under “Education & Community – Community Outreach.” People may also call event chair Linda Jackson at 226-345-0628.

The public is also invited to “Like” the Belle Vue Conservancy’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter by searching “@BellevueMatters.”

—With files from Ron Giofu

ACS teaming with town’s recreation department on “Seniors’ Expo”

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) is teaming with the town’s recreation services department to bring a “Seniors’ Expo” to town this spring.

The Seniors Expo will be at the Libro Centre June 11-12 and ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo said they are presenting the event due to Amherstburg’s population getting older. Currently, 18.1 per cent of Amherstburg residents are 65-and-over. When those 55-and-over are factored in, the senior population could increase to 25 per cent in five years, she noted.

“This is our first year doing it,” explained DiBartolomeo. “We’re partnering with the Town of Amherstburg. We’re hoping to showcase services that are in Amherstburg and Essex County. There’s many different services. We’re looking to promote Amherstburg and Essex County.”

According to a letter sent out by DiBartolomeo and manager of recreation services Rick Daly, the expo is inviting vendors who may have products or services geared towards the over-55 population. Those could include retirement or assisted living facilities, barristers and solicitors, doctors, optometrists, wineries, sports clubs, barber shops or hair salons, education institutions, service organizations, insurance and financial services, hearing centres, pharmacies, dance and fitness facilities, clothing stores, beauty and nail salons, financial institutions, dental offices, medical therapy, museums and galleries, golf courses, health food stores and pet stores.

“People can visit the booths and talk to vendors one-on-one,” said DiBartolomeo.

They also aim to have pickleball demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and food sampling and guest speakers and presentations.

“We want seniors to see what is out there and know what is available to them,” said DiBartolomeo. “We’ve been approached by seniors looking for different services in the area.”

DiBartolomeo said they want seniors to “stay active, healthy and informed.”

For more information on the Seniors Expo, contact DiBartolomeo at 519-736-5471 or execdirector@amherstburg-cs.com. People can also contact Daly at 519-736-5712 ext. 2122 or rdaly@amherstburg.ca.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said DiBartolomeo.