News

General Amherst students repainting fire hydrants for Canada 150

 

 

By Danica Skakavac

 

In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Grade 12 art class at General Amherst is taking part in the opportunity of re-painting the fire hydrants stationed throughout the town.

Twelve fire hydrants in total were painted in the past with a pre-War of 1812 theme, many portraying soldiers. The art class will be taking on ten of these hydrants, due to the farther location of some hydrants. It is actually part of their classwork curriculum to take part in community involvement having to do with the arts and the hydrants happened to be a perfect fit.

Maddi Couvillon works on a fire hydrant along Dalhousie St. There are 12 downtown fire hydrants being worked on by the local high school students.

Maddi Couvillon works on a fire hydrant along Dalhousie St. There are 12 downtown fire hydrants being worked on by the local high school students.

Art teacher Andrea Craig-Wammes was approached by Amherstburg’s visitor information centre manager Jennifer Ibrahim, with Ibrahim suggesting that the art class be the ones this year to redecorate the fire hydrants that were painted a few years ago.

“It allows a sense of community as well as have artwork on display and gives a taste of the different mediums that it takes to produce something that’s going to be outdoors and sustain the elements for a good amount of time,” said Craig-Wammes. “I expect that the town will be thrilled because it is such a talented group of young artists and the ideas and designs have definitely surpassed what I envisioned.”

So far, the hydrants are coming along great and students have started to trace out their designs before painting them on. It is a long process but they are expected to turn out amazing in the end.

Fire Hydrants2

“It’s more difficult than any other project we’ve done,” said Olivia D’Alimonte, one of the participating students. “We’re really weather-dependent but it’s also really fun and really exciting.”

Another student, Mitchel Leblanc, added that, “I feel honoured and excited because I get to show my artwork to the entire town and it’s going to be there for a couple years. I get to show off what our school can do and how proud I am to be part of a great town.”

So, next time you’re taking a stroll through the downtown area, keep an eye out for some wonderfully painted fire hydrants.

Local schools hold test drive events in conjunction with local dealerships

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Local schools stand to benefit after test drive events run in conjunction with Amherstburg car dealerships.

General Amherst High School was the latest to have a test drive event, holding a Buick Drive for your Students event May 13 at Amherstburg GM. Greg Scott, the fitness and leadership teacher, explained that it was the third such event run in conjunction with Amherstburg GM and that this one was put on by 15 of the students in that class.

“They are implementing the skills they learned on how to run an event,” said Scott.

Abby Gorgerat, Dakota Lucier and Avery Laliberty stand with one of the vehicles that was part of the recent “Drive One 4 UR School” test drive event held at Amherstburg Public School with the aid of Joe Meloche Ford.

Abby Gorgerat, Dakota Lucier and Avery Laliberty stand with one of the vehicles that was part of the recent “Drive One 4 UR School” test drive event held at Amherstburg Public School with the aid of Joe Meloche Ford.

Those who filled out a form and took a test drive got to donate to the club or team of their choice. The goal was $10,000.

“It’s been going pretty well,” he said. “People have been coming in and taking test drives.”

Students were out trying to raise awareness, and money, at local businesses including No Frills, Movati, Canadian Tire and Sobeys with people at those businesses encouraged to come out and take a test drive.

Scott said the other 15 students in the fitness and leadership class helped sign people out for the Run for Rocky, the result of that being that General Amherst won for having the most participation of any school. Their prize will be a June 2 pizza celebration.

“Kids in the class are getting a lot of practical experience running events and experience troubleshooting at something like this,” said Scott.

Students Alexis DeCarlo and Rachel Shiells said there was a lot of work done to prepare for last Saturday’s event. They promoted it through the school and by passing out flyers around the community. They also used social media to make people aware of it.

General Amherst’s fitness and leadership class helped organize a “Drive One for your Students” test drive event at Amherstburg GM. Students pictured include Danijela Dobrich, Alexis DeCarlo, Rachel Shiells, Jake Simone, Jackie Wismer and Emily Hamelin.

General Amherst’s fitness and leadership class helped organize a “Drive One for your Students” test drive event at Amherstburg GM. Students pictured include Danijela Dobrich, Alexis DeCarlo, Rachel Shiells, Jake Simone, Jackie Wismer and Emily Hamelin.

Amherstburg Public School was hoping to raise $6,000 at a Drive One for UR School test drive fundraiser two days earlier. That was run in partnership with Joe Meloche Ford.

“This is for the entire school,” said organizer and JK/SK teacher Aubrey Charlton. “Joe Meloche Ford assisted us.”

Charlton said they sent forms home with every student and hoped they would be returned. She explained that different programs and departments around Amherstburg Public School could benefit. That would include new gym equipment, technology and other supplies.

“We’re not asking for money from families. We’re just asking them to fill out forms,” said Charlton.

Charlton added that Ford of Canada has donated $4 million to Canadian schools.

Winners of “Student Pix” photography exhibit crowned

 

The Gibson Gallery has announced the winners for the Greater Essex County 12th Annual “Student Pix” Contest during its closing exhibit.

In the primary division for ‘Black and White’, Charlie Winney (Lakeshore) won first place. Ava Soucie from (Anderdon) won second and Sebastian Allison from (DM Eagle) came in third. For ‘Colour’, Charlie Winney once again got first place, Lydia Meresak (Anderdon) was in second and Sebastien Allison also received third place. In the ‘Enhanced’ category, Kate Winney (Lakeshore) won the first place. There were no second or third place winners.

The winners of the Gibson Gallery's "Student Pix" exhibit gather for a group photo. It was run in conjunction with the Greater Essex County District School Board.

The winners of the Gibson Gallery’s “Student Pix” exhibit gather for a group photo. It was run in conjunction with the Greater Essex County District School Board.

In the junior division for ‘Black and White’, Claire Bolton (LaSalle Public) came in first place. In second place was Andrew Dufour (Queen Victoria) and Addison Slater (Kingsville Public) came in third place. For ‘Colour’, Grace Allison from (DM Eagle) won first place, Claire McCormick (Kingsville Public) got in second and lastly, Zoe Papaofthimiou (LaSalle Public) won third place. For ‘Enhanced’, first place went to Addison Slater. Second place went to Emma Lauzon (LaSalle Public) and the third-place winner was Natalie Ristoska (WG Davis).

In the intermediate division for ‘Black and White’, Celina Dion (Maryvale) came in first place. In second place was Remy Allison (AV Graham) and in third place came Milica Jaksic (WG Davis). In the ‘Colour’ category, William Telasco (LaSalle Public) won first place, Rene Kelich (LaSalle Public) won second place and Emma Renaud (Malden Public) won third place. Finally, in the ‘Enhanced’ category, William Telasco came in first with Adam Anderson (Kingsville) in second and Remy Allison in third.

In the senior division for ‘Black and White’, Emma Berg (Belle River) won first place. Alex Pierzak (Sandwich) won second and Denver Hensel (Belle River) got third place. For the ‘Colour’ category, Emma Berg once again placed first. Jordyn Brigley (Belle River) placed second and Colson Kotyk (Belle River) won third place. In the ‘Enhanced’ category, Charie Canuto (Sandwich) placed first and Adrian Resendes (Leamington) came in second. Sydney Lavin (Belle River) placed in third.

Finally, for ‘Best In Show’, Colson Kotyk won for his ‘Black And White’ entry. Adrian Resendes won the ‘Colour’ category and Dorotea Bajic (Belle River) placed overall in the ‘Enhanced’ category.

The Gibson Gallery’s current exhibit is “Fibre Content,” which runs through June 11. It is a travelling exhibit from the Art Gallery of Burlington.

For more information on the Gibson Gallery, they can be reached at 519-736-2826 or at www.gibsonartgallery.com.

Bob Probert ride slated for June 25, features two stops in Amherstburg

 

By Ron Giofu

The seventh annual Bob Probert Ride is scheduled for June 25 and two of the stops on the ride will be in Amherstburg.

The Fort Fun Centre and Wolfhead Distillery will be two of the stops on the ride with it launching at 11 a.m. that day from Thunder Road Harley Davidson in Windsor. Other stops include the Colchester Bar & Grill and the Caboto Club, with the latter being the final stop.

Bill Marra, vice president of external affairs with Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, said they are thankful to the new ownership at the Fort, formerly the Verdi Club, for allowing the ride to keep stopping there and also acknowledged that Wolfhead is a new stop this year.

Proceeds benefit cardiac programs at HDGH. To date, over $647,000 has been raised with those funds contributing to a a new rehabilitation and wellness centre at the Prince Road campus. Talks have started to expand cardiac rehabilitation services to Essex County residents with a development of a satellite location.

Organizers, sponsors and members of the Probert family helped launch this year’s Bob Probert Ride last Wednesday morning. On the motorcycle are ride captain Dave Hutchison and Probert’s wife Dani.

Organizers, sponsors and members of the Probert family helped launch this year’s Bob Probert Ride last Wednesday morning. On the motorcycle are ride captain Dave Hutchison and Probert’s wife Dani.

Dani Probert, wife of the late Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks forward, said there is a lot of hard work that goes into planning the ride every year. She noted Bob died July 5, 2010 of a massive heart attack.

“For us to raise money for cardiac care, and we’ve had loved ones in the past couple of years who are going through the same thing, it’s so tragic. We wanted to turn this around and find something positive and for my kids it’s something positive for us to focus on and be a part of,” she said.

Probert added there are people that have been part of the ride since Day 1. Last year’s ride attracted over 1,200 motorcycles. The money raised speaks volumes of everyone involved with the ride, she added.

“It is a real community effort,” said Probert.

This year’s ride captain is Dave Hutchison, a former NHL defenseman and a friend of Bob Probert. Hutchison stated there is “a tight hockey family” and noted he was honored to be the ride captain.

“I haven’t missed a Probert ride yet,” he said. “In fact, Bob and I rode together in Ride for Dad in London a couple of times. Our friendship was based on doing fundraising events through the NHL and the riding community. So whether it was ball hockey with the troops or riding our bikes, Bob had a big heart and always wanted to give back.”
At a kickoff event last Wednesday, Hutchison relayed stories of being with Bob Probert while visiting soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Hutchison played 584 NHL games and accumulated 119 points and 1,550 penalty minutes. He played with the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs.

For more information on this year’s Bob Probert Ride, visit www.facebook.com/probertride or www.probertride.com.

Local author part of anthology published by Sarnia-based writer

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A new “invitational anthology” published by a Sarnia author has involved other area authors, including one from Amherstburg.

Margaret Bird – a long-time author, poet, editor, reviewer and publisher – has launched the anthology “From This Day Forward” with 27 authors from across southwestern Ontario. One of those authors is Amherstburg’s John Schlarbaum.

“About a year ago, I was contacted by Margaret Bird, a publisher from Sarnia, about submitting a prose poem for a book to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday,” explained Schlarbaum. “Her idea was to approach 27 writers, authors and poets in southwestern Ontario from specific regions. She first spoke with Christine Reichert at the library, who suggested me to represent Amherstburg.”

The unique aspect of this project is each entry highlights a historical event in Canada and uses a word that is no longer used today

“My entry, titled, ‘A Thirst for Adventure 1917–1921’ covers prohibition in British Columbia,” said Schlarbaum. “My forgotten word was ‘Ecstasiate v 1823-1857’; to go into ecstasy; to cause to become ecstatic.”

Delving into a new style of writing was of interest to Schlarbaum.

“I was very intrigued by the idea of composing a prose poem, as I am known mainly for mystery and thriller novels. This, however, was one of the project’s main objectives – to have creative authors from all backgrounds write something out of their comfort zone. I was also very honoured to have been selected to represent Amherstburg – a community specifically picked by the publisher due to its important role in this country’s 150 year history.”

John Schlarbaum holds a copy of “From This Day Forward,” an anthology put together by Margaret Bird of Sarnia. Schlarbaum is one of 27 authors from southwestern Ontario that contributed to the project and attended the recent book launch. (Submitted photo)

John Schlarbaum holds a copy of “From This Day Forward,” an anthology put together by Margaret Bird of Sarnia. Schlarbaum is one of 27 authors from southwestern Ontario that contributed to the project and attended the recent book launch. (Submitted photo)

Schlarbaum traveled to Sarnia for the launch earlier this month. For his entry, he said he was offered historic events that took place in three different provinces.

“I chose to write about prohibition in British Columbia from 1917-1921, as the themes and actions of rumrunners and entrepreneurs mirror much of Amherstburg’s colourful past,” he said. “After researching the period, learning about the important places and people involved, as well as the political climate at the time, it took about a month to write the poem. Thankfully, I have a very good friend who edits poetry books and she was able to assist me in making the poem look and feel authentic.”

Schlarbaum said he had never worked on a project like that before but “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope readers are taken back in time with my retelling of an era that is part of Canada’s rich history.”

As it is a milestone year for Canada, Bird said she wanted to be involved.

“I knew that I wanted to publish a very special anthology in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday and, because I am always involved with anything that presents an opportunity of ‘building community bridges’,” she said. “I decided that an invitational anthology would be just what I needed for this special occasion. Also, three of my contributing authors are First Nations authors, so through my ideas and connections, the plan was borne to have my big launch event at the beautiful First Nations Aamjiwnaang Community Centre in Sarnia.”

Bird said all of the contributing authors were just as excited as she was about this publication. She said many of the authors travelled a long distance to be at the launch and some of them stayed overnight.

“I knew many of the authors, already, but also contacted major libraries in Ontario, to enquire about any authors living in their areas. There were a few humourous grumbles in the beginning as I challenged all the authors’ normal writing genres, and gave them their topics and province or territory. However, the results were all amazing and I’m so excited to have made all these new connections in the literary world,” she said. “I researched every place very carefully and decided we needed a poem and a short story about each province and territory. Some of the topics I chose were perhaps lesser known, to bring a curiosity to all the readers, and a whetting of their appetites that will encourage them all to want to know more! “

Bird said she has always been intrigued by old words no longer used and has always wondered, “why did people let them go?” She asked the 27 authors to incorporate some of these words into their poem or short story.

“Three of the main languages of Canada – Ojibwe, French and English – are acknowledged, by the words of the national anthem, on the pages of this anthology,” she added.

When readers arrive at the final page of this anthology, “I hope you are all feeling thoroughly exhausted from all the travelling you have experienced, within these pages, taking you across this great land but, at the same time, feeling full of optimism, motivation and inspiration for a future that will fulfill all our dreams of one nation working together, inclusive of all our cultures and traditions.”

Bird added she is very proud of the anthology and all the authors who so willingly contributed to this challenging publication.

“This celebratory year will be remembered by us all and the legacy of which will be passed on to our future generations,” said Bird. “We cannot change history but all those who are now Canadians, whether born here, or immigrants, can contribute to building ‘community bridges’ to help connect all people, no matter where they live or from whence they came.”

The anthology is $20 and is available through Bird either by e-mailing her at margaret@margaretbird.ca or messaging her on Facebook with the shipping details. Total cost, including packaging and mailing is $26 within Canada and $31 to the United States.

Schlarbaum is continuing to write as well, as his next book is currently in the works. His next novel “Abandoned – A Jennifer Malone Mystery” is scheduled to be released later this year.