Events

Amherstburg Police Service hosting open forum on opioids

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Police Service is hosting an open forum this Thursday to help spread awareness and advice regarding opioids.

The free community forum, entitled “Not My Kid”, runs Nov. 9 at the Libro Centre from 6-8 p.m. Const. Kim Rathbone said their vision is to have information available in the foyer of the Libro Centre featuring youth diversion, New Beginnings, the Teen Health Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association among others.

“These places are typically in Windsor but they are going to be at your fingertips,” said Rathbone.

Once the program starts, Rathbone said they will have a real life story from someone who battled addiction and received treatment. The Windsor police drugs and guns unit will also be on hand to make a presentation.

“They are going to talk to parents about typical signs to look for in your child and what to look for in your child’s room,” she said.

Rathbone added that local Shoppers Drug Mart owner Josie Piruzza is scheduled to speak on keeping prescription drugs safe and proper disposal of drugs. There will be school nurses from around Windsor-Essex County on hand, Rathbone continued, with Sharmaine Tanario-Battagello from Withdrawal Management also scheduled to speak.

Tanario-Battagello has 27 years of program development and clinical experience and holds a master’s degree in organizational psychology and clinical social work. She has worked in the fields of mental health and addictions throughout her career and has been part of the medical systems in both Canada and the United States.

Crime Stoppers Windsor-Essex County is also scheduled to attend with free naloxone training also being provided. Naloxone is used on someone who has overdosed and buys time for the person to be treated by medical professionals.

Rathbone pointed out that there have already been open forums on opioids in Kingsville and LaSalle and organizers have learned from those events on what information people are seeking. Amherstburg police hope to prevent opioid addiction and limit it from becoming a major issue locally.

“The whole point of this is to get ahead of it,” said Rathbone. “It’s not a giant issue in Amherstburg. There’s no epidemic here.”

Another open forum is scheduled to be in Windsor in early 2018, she added.

The “Not My Kid” community forum will run from 6-8 p.m. The Libro Centre is located at 3295 Meloche Road in Amherstburg.

For more information, contact Rathbone at 519-736-8559.

Super Santas running Nov. 18 in support of local conservation

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

Bells will be ringing in downtown Amherstburg as hundreds of jolly participants run and walk in support of the local environment at Essex Region Conservation’s annual Super Santa Run Nov. 18 starting at 5 p.m.

A sea of Santas will flood the streets along the five-kilometre route, which winds its way through downtown Amherstburg and highlights a number of historic sites, including Fort Malden and Navy Yard Park. The event also kicks off the spectacular Amherstburg River Lights Festival, which runs until Dec. 30.

Santas cross the finish line on Richmond St. at the end of a snowy 2016 race. (Submitted photo)

“This is event is fun for the whole family. In addition to promoting healthy and active living, it is a great way to kick off the holiday season,” said Essex Region Conservation Foundation President Susan Stockwell Andrews. “Last year, it was amazing to watch nearly five-hundred Santas fill the streets in support of conservation efforts.”

Registration fees are $40 per adult and $30 for children under 16. All participants will receive a free Santa suit to wear for the run, including a jacket, pants, belt, beard, and hat. Teams of ten ore more will receive $5 off per participant, so grab your friends, cousins, and co-workers to join in the jolly fun – and save!

Santas run northbound on Dalhousie St. during the 2016 Super Santa Run in Amherstburg. (Submitted photo)

If you are not able to participate, consider being one of Santa’s helpers as a volunteer marshal along the route. The event is a great opportunity for high school students to fulfill their required community hours.

All funds raised support the efforts of the Essex Region Conservation Foundation in enriching the Place for Life. Recent successes include opening the Cypher Systems Group Greenway, and creating the Rotary (1918) Centennial Hub, to bring the community’s vision of a region connected by trails to reality. So join in the jolly fun and register your entire family today at erca.org/active.

For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.

 

Ticket sales for Mealtime Express’ annual Secret Santa Benefit Dinner underway

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

An event that began as a way to simply give back to the community that gave so much to them, has grown into a well-known fundraiser and partnership within the Amherstburg community.

“I think it’s a real testament to our community that three Amherstburg organizations are able to work together to help residents who are less fortunate,” said Austin Tyrrell, community awareness, fundraising coordinator for Amherstburg Community Services. “I think all of us have seen a neighbour or friend struggle, and I think I speak for everyone at ACS, Amherstburg Police, and Mealtime Express, when I say that we are immensely proud to provide not just a gift, but an experience that these families and their children won’t soon forget.”

The Secret Santa Benefit Dinner returns Nov. 12. This photo was taken at the 2016 event.

Norm Mickle, who’s wife Janet has owned Mealtime Express restaurant in Amherstburg for more than 29 years, explained the Secret Santa event began as an extension of an Essex Mission Program, which gathered specific gifts for kids in the Essex area.

“The staff at Mealtime would take kids names from the mission along with what they wanted for Christmas and go out and buy those gifts,” said Mickle. “We then loaded them up and took them out to some of the most wonderful people we ever met, Ilene and Ed Clifford. Their home looked like Santa’s workshop.”

Mickle explained, Janet decided they could turn this into something more for the kids in the Amherstburg and surrounding communities. This is where the idea for the first annual Secret Santa Benefit Dinner was born. In that first year, Mickle said they raised about $4,000, which went directly to local kids Christmas lists. In eight years, they have been able to help more than 200 families, and more than 500 children.

Last year alone, they raised $10,000.

“I do not have to knock on doors for raffle prizes. Local businesses call us to see what they can do to help,” said Mickle. “You see, it’s a win, win, win, win situation for all involved. The folks that buy tickets for the dinner get to help local kids win. The local businesses who sponsor us get to give back to the community that supports them win. The volunteers, from our family, the Mealtime Express Staff, Amherstburg Community Services and the Amherstburg Police services all get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing how much help they are, win. And of course, the kids getting Christmas gifts right from their Christmas wish list win. You wrap this all together and everyone’s contribution adds up to helping change a child’s life and they are given the gift of hope for their future. Over the years we have received anonymous donations from families that were once visited by Secret Santa.”

ACS is taking care of getting in touch with families in need of these gifts, while the Amherstburg Police Services will be collecting donations, and on November 12, Mealtime Express will host their Secret Santa Benefit dinner. For tickets, please visit Mealtime Express. They are $20 each, and are only sold in advance, with a takeout option available.

The ticket includes a three-piece chicken dinner, with fries, coleslaw, a beverage and cake for dessert. There will also be a raffle, gifts for everyone who attends as well as an appearance from Santa and Ms. Claus. For more information, please contact Mickle at (519) 816-7189.

“Each year has truly been a blessing and once again the Secret Santa program has started to grow again,” said Mickle. “Santa represents the smile on your face whether you are giving or receiving during this celebration. I’m not asking anyone to believe what I believe in. Jan and I chose this way. Through Santa Claus we can give the gift of Christmas to those in need and to us this is the greatest gift of all. Without the support of so many people we could not do this, so, for some unknown reason we are blessed to do this and hopefully for years to come.”

Fundraiser for Brock Hasson planned for Nov. 4

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local seven-year-old’s fight against a form of cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) will be the subject of an upcoming fundraiser.

The “Bravery for Brock” fundraiser will be this Saturday at the Columbus Community Hall (formerly known as the K of C Hall) with Brock Hasson and his family being the recipients of the proceeds. His mother Natalie Brundage Hasson said they won’t be there due to Brock needing surgery Nov. 1, but they are appreciative of all of the support the community has given thus far.

“He’s doing pretty good,” she said last week. “It’s one day at a time.”

Brock has already had to undergo three months of chemotherapy and now faces three more months, but Natalie said they have received a lot of support from the community.

“It’s hard to put into words,” she said. “It’s surprising so many people are willing to help. It’s so overwhelmingly wonderful. There are so many people who keep reaching out for me who don’t even know him. That’s the nice thing.”

Once Brock’s treatments have concluded, there is a 90 per cent chance the cancer won’t return.

“It gives us hope that it won’t come back,” added Natalie.

Brock Hasson sits in a fire truck during a recent tour of Amherstburg fire station #1. (Special to the RTT)

The cancer was found in one of his testicles but didn’t go anywhere else.

“It was all localized,” said Natalie. “It didn’t spread anywhere else.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has contacted the family but Natalie said they will participate once Brock has concluded his treatments.

Natalie said the family is extremely thankful the Amherstburg Fire Department had Brock come to the station, get his fire gear and was given a tour. Chief Bruce Montone said at the Oct. 23 town council that donations are welcome for the family at Libro Credit Union with the fire department also making a donation.

Natalie also thanked Amherstburg Public School and Brock’s teacher Laura Braithwaite, Little Hands for the selling of shirts and all of the supporters.

The Nov. 4 fundraiser gets underway when doors open at 6:45 p.m. and it runs until 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 with that including Bull’s Eye Pizza and dessert. Music is by The Del Vito’s 60’s Dance Party and there will also be a cash bar, raffle prizes, a 50/50 draw and silent auction.

To purchase tickets or to donate prizes, contact Gianna Brundage Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 519-967-1389 or e-mail gbrundage1970@gmail.com.

Park House gets into the spirit of fall, Halloween with weekend events

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

With a festive ham dinner, which aimed to raise money for Amherstburg’s Park House Museum, and their fourth annual All Hallow’s Eve Festival, the organization was very busy over the weekend.

As a not-for-profit organization, The Park House relies on the support of donations, fundraisers and grants to keep their doors open.

During The Park House Museum’s All Hallows Eve festival, an assortment of foods and treats were being hand-made on the open fireplace all day long. Melissa Vuk speaks to some visitors in the kitchen.

“Each year we hold a fundraiser dinner to help offset programming costs, so that we can maintain quality programming at an affordable price for our visitors,” explained Stephanie Pouget-Papak, curator and administrator the Park House Museum. “Some programs, like the Victorian Christmas, have no set admission fee. In addition, our holiday themed JK – 3 curriculum based field trip season is just a few weeks away, so our fundraising efforts will support the materials and exhibits.”

Pouget-Papak said in the past, heir fundraisers have gone towards specific projects such as conservation and preservation, and not to mention the 200-year plus building never runs short of maintenance. The planning for this year’s annual fundraiser began in July. Saturday evening’s ham dinner also included a 50/50 draw, door prices and light entertainment.

“The Park House Museum fosters the idea of community partnerships and supporting local business,” said Pouget-Papak. “Holding this event at the Legion, whose mission is to serve veterans and their families, as always proved successful and we enjoy working with them.”

While this event took place just down the road, The Park House Museum itself was set up for their All Hallow’s Eve Festival, which took place Sunday. Pouget-Papak said autumn is her favourite time of year and she wanted to host an event that would highlight the season. The event was also created to bridge the gap between the end of summer tourism and the beginning of the holiday events.

Nicholas Robinson explains how to make a hand-made candle to Tea Fields during the All Hallows Eve Festival Sunday.

“The main idea behind this event is to provide a setting for people of all ages to enjoy the traditional Halloween season without all the ‘gore,’ and it is appropriate for young families as well,” said Pouget-Papak. “We have the site, both buildings, fully operational with the help of dedicated volunteers. Each visitor has the opportunity to participate in the questionnaire scavenger hunt, where they have the option to engage with the staff to ask questions or to read the information boards on their own.”

New to this year’s event was the recital of eerie story telling in the afternoon on Sunday by Olwyn Coughlin. They also had members of the Kings 8th regiment come in from Michigan to set up and Revolutionary War Surgeon display. Pouget-Papak explained each year they try to add a new component to enhance the visitor’s experience.

“We have maintained the visitor favourites like the 1920’s Halloween Party, the Victorian Funeral, and of course the cooking demonstration,” said Pouget-Papak. “Events such as this are important because it allows people the opportunity to connect with our past in an enjoyable manner; public history takes the subject outside of the realm of academia, and facilitates the opportunity to experience it through touch, sight and sound. Individuals may not remember every detail or fact, but they will remember that it was an enjoyable experience.”