ACS

Amherstburg Fire Department, Ribfest, ACS team up on CO safety

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Fire Department is teaming with the Amherstburg Rotary Club’s Ribfest committee and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) on a carbon monoxide (CO) safety program.

A total of $9,500 was used to purchase 623 carbon monoxide alarms that will be distributed free of charge to vulnerable residents in the community. The Ribfest committee kicked in $5,000 of the $9,500 total with an additional $2,500 coming from a Rotary International grant. The remaining $2,000 was funded by the fire department.

The Amherstburg Fire Department is teaming with the Amherstburg Rotary Club’s Ribefest committee and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) to launch a program that will help over 600 vulnerable residents obtain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. From left: Chief Bruce Montone, Ribfest committee chair Carl Gibb, Ribfest committee members Shirley Bondy, Tony Ross and Ann Marie Favot, Rotary Club president Laura George, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, Ribfest committee member Lena Lazanja and Deputy Chief Lee Tome.

The Amherstburg Fire Department is teaming with the Amherstburg Rotary Club’s Ribefest committee and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) to launch a program that will help over 600 vulnerable residents obtain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. From left: Chief Bruce Montone, Ribfest committee chair Carl Gibb, Ribfest committee members Shirley Bondy, Tony Ross and Ann Marie Favot, Rotary Club president Laura George, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, Ribfest committee member Lena Lazanja and Deputy Chief Lee Tome.

Deputy Fire Chief Lee Tome said it is “an excellent partnership” and said it was initiated when Rotary Club president Laura George and Rotary Ribfest committee chair Carl Gibb approached him about it. Tome said Chief Bruce Montone worked with First Alert and their parent company Jarden Canada on acquiring them.

Tome said during last Wednesday morning’s announcement that it was just the beginning of their partnership, as they now have to distribute the CO alarms to those most in need.

“We’re really excited to partner with the Rotary Club and ACS,” said Tome. “This is a partnership that is going to be lasting for some time.”

Montone agreed that this is “just the beginning” for the partnership.

Deputy Fire Chief Lee Tome speaks to the crowd during the launch of the CO detector program, being run in conjunction with the Rotary Club Ribfest committee and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

Deputy Fire Chief Lee Tome speaks to the crowd during the launch of the CO detector program, being run in conjunction with the Rotary Club Ribfest committee and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer,” said Montone. “It’s tasteless and odorless and very much deadly.”

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion of many types of common hydrocarbon fuels. A new law amended the Ontario Fire Code in October 2014 to ensure that every home and residential building with a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or an attached garage must have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

Montone said people impacted by carbon monoxide often show flu-like symptoms. The alarms sound differently from smoke alarms and if it goes off, people need to remove themselves from their homes and call 911 immediately.

Montone offered his thanks to Jarden Canada and First Alert, noting the fire department was able to achieve a 63 per cent price reduction on the CO alarms.

George said the Rotary and the Ribfest committee is pleased to partner with the Amherstburg Fire Department and ACS to donate the carbon monoxide alarms to vulnerable residents. She said the success of the Ribfest led to them turning the money back into the community.

“We are here today as a result of the hard work, dedication and long hours that have been given by an extraordinary group of volunteers,” said George.

George thanked Montone and Tome for their support and efforts to make the project a success as well as ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo for also becoming a partner.

Fire Chief Bruce Montone installs a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm at the home of Nelly Main May 31.

Fire Chief Bruce Montone installs a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm at the home of Nelly Main May 31.

DiBartolomeo said ACS immediately agreed when the idea of partnering with Rotary and the Amherstburg Fire Department was brought to them.

“At ACS, we have many clients in the vulnerable sector,” she said. “We know the dangerous and tragic result of carbon monoxide poisoning. We look forward to working with the Amherstburg Fire Department to have these carbon monoxide alarms installed in many of the homes of the residents we assist.”

Tome said the distribution of CO alarms would just be part of the service the Amherstburg Fire Department would offer. He said firefighters are also asking to check smoke detectors, go over home escape plans and look for things such as extension cords under carpets and other potential fire hazards.

“Our goal is to protect the residents of Amherstburg, not just through the carbon monoxide alarm program, but for anything else we see,” said Tome. “We want to make sure every resident is safe.”

For more information on how to qualify for a free CO detector, call the fire department at 519-736-6500.

Sold out crowd for Amherstburg Community Services’ “Wine ‘n Hop”

 

By Jonathan Martin

Once again, a sold-out ACS (Amherstburg Community Services) Wine n’ Hop set local restaurants abustle.

More than 100 people from around Windsor-Essex pleased their palates with fare from the Beacon Ale House, the Dalhousie Bistro, the Artisan Grill, Rosa’s Italian Restaurant and the Fort Malden Legion.

The proceeds from ticket sales, which ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo said she hoped would amount to around $6,000, will go towards a new ACS bus. By press time, no exact number was available.

But, given the success of the past few Wine-n’-Hops, DiBartolomeo said she hopes to expand the event.

“We’d like to start involving the (local) art galleries and retail stores in the next (Wine n’ Hop),” she said. “We’re hoping to have art on display and maybe some stores can model some of their fashions.”

The next Wine n’ Hop is scheduled for September.

Amherstburg Community Services Wine n' Hop patrons sit down for drinks and fingerfoods at The Beacon Ale House in Amherstburg last Wednesday evening.  Other restaurants involved with the event were Rosa's Italian Restaurant, The Dalhousie Bistro, The Artisan Grill and the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Amherstburg Community Services Wine n’ Hop patrons sit down for drinks and fingerfoods at The Beacon Ale House in Amherstburg last Wednesday evening. Other restaurants involved with the event were Rosa’s Italian Restaurant, The Dalhousie Bistro, The Artisan Grill and the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Sara Palmer, owner of the Beacon Ale House, said the event is a boon to both businesses and the community as a whole.

“It’s give-and-take,” she said. “We like to get involved and help out with Amherstburg Community services, but it also introduces the people coming out on this tour to our establishment. They’re potential future customers.”

Rosa’s Italian Restaurant was a last-minute addition to the Wine n’ Hop roster after The Cellar backed out due to a family emergency.

DiBartolomeo said she appreciates the way Rosa’s staff stepped up.

“I know it’s hard on the restaurant,” she said. “They only had a short while to put together their menu item.”

Palmer said the preparation involved is substantial, but well worth it.

“We like to put our best foot forward,” she said. “We really want to show what we have to offer. (The Wine n’ Hop patrons) are only here for a few minutes before they’re off to the next restaurant, so we want to give them a reason to keep coming back.”

DiBartolomeo said Amherstburg Wine n’ Hop, itself, will definitely be coming back. She said patrons “spoke very highly” of all the restaurants they visited.

“I can’t wait for September!” she said. “I’m very excited!”

Spring “Wine ‘n Hop” sold out, ACS plans next one for Sept. 27

 

Special to the RTT

On April 10th, tickets for the Amherstburg Wine ‘n Hop, a bi-annual fundraiser put on by Amherstburg Community Services, went up for sale.  By April 14th, all 100 tickets had sold out and a waiting list was created to keep track of those still calling for tickets.

The seemingly endless demand for tickets to this small, locally focused event has turned it into a key attraction within the town of Amherstburg, and Kathy DiBartolomeo, ACS executive director, says they still have room to grow.

“When we first hosted the Wine ‘n Hop in 2015, we knew it had massive potential,” DiBartolomeo said.  “This is the sort of event that people look forward to for months, and the restaurants do such an excellent job in consistently meeting their expectations.  It really does make a strong case for Amherstburg and the businesses here, and we’re so proud to be a part of that.”

The May 10 Wine 'n Hop being presented by ACS has sold out but the fall event is planned for Sept. 27. (Adam D'Andrea photo)

The May 10 Wine ‘n Hop being presented by ACS has sold out but the fall event is planned for Sept. 27. (Adam D’Andrea photo)

After attending the event twice previously, and purchasing tickets for the upcoming iteration, Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce President, Carolyn Davies, adds that she believes the event provides a boost to small businesses in the area.

“I think it’s a really important event for this town,” Davies said. “Not only is it a lot of fun, it supports the small businesses in the area by providing an attraction right downtown where people can peer into the windows of shops and get excited for what Amherstburg has to offer.

The 2017 Spring Wine ‘n Hop will take place May 10, and is being sponsored by John D’Alimonte and Kim Wheeler RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd., Dollars & Cents Investments Inc., Bornais Insurance and Financial Services and Tech-IT-Easy.  It will include food and drink samples from Dalhousie Bistro, The Cellar Resto-Lounge, Beacon Ale House, the Artisan Grill and the Fort Malden Legion.  Tickets have sold out, however interested persons can call 519-736-5471 to be put on a waiting list in case extra tickets become available.  The event will start at 6 pm, with all attendees meeting at the Legion before breaking off into groups.

The 2017 Fall Wine ‘n Hop is scheduled to take place Sept. 27, 2017.

ACS thanks its “stars” at volunteer appreciation dinner

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) rolled out the red carpet to thank its volunteers.

ACS held its annual volunteer appreciation dinner last Wednesday night at the K of C Hall with this year’s event being dubbed “A Night of a Hundred Stars.” It’s 124, actually, as that’s how many volunteers ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo said the agency has.

Those volunteers put in over 7,000 hours of service during 2016, she added.

The Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) volunteer appreciation dinner had a Hollywood theme this year with people able to pose next to cutouts of famous entertainers. Getting in on the fun last Wednesday night were ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and ACS board of directors president Terri Barrette.

The Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) volunteer appreciation dinner had a Hollywood theme this year with people able to pose next to cutouts of famous entertainers. Getting in on the fun last Wednesday night were ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and ACS board of directors president Terri Barrette.

“Just as Hollywood recognizes its stars, we wanted to recognize (the volunteers) the same way,” said DiBartolomeo.

The 124 volunteers was a figure that impressed DiBartolomeo.

“That is amazing,” she said. “That is our highest amount ever. We continue to grow every day.”

DiBartolomeo outlined the lengthy history of volunteerism and told the ACS volunteers that “you carry on a centuries old tradition and we see you as stars in our community.”

Amherstburg Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale brought greetings from the town. DiPasquale, a former ACS board member, said the people with ACS were those he was close to.

“I enjoy working in Amherstburg. I enjoy the people,” DiPasquale said. “I feel the people are part of my family.”

ACS also serves LaSalle and Harrow with LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya also being a Meals on Wheels driver when his schedule permits.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (left) receives a gift from ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo for attending the ACS volunteer appreciation dinner.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (left) receives a gift from ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo for attending the ACS volunteer appreciation dinner.

“The service you provide to the community is immeasurable,” Antaya told the volunteers. “You can’t put a price on it.”

Antaya said it was more than just delivering a meal, but it is also spending time with seniors and those who may need just someone to visit them.

“Never underestimate your importance,” he said. “Continue giving. There’s nothing better than giving to your community.”

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey praised the commitment of the volunteers, adding the government can only do so much. Ramsey said those who serve their community make major impacts and that is what makes Essex County so unique.

“Thank you for your continuing service,” Ramsey told the crowd.

Bryan Dzombak (left) receives one of the door prizes offered at the ACS volunteer appreciation dinner last Wednesday night. Making the  presentation is ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

Bryan Dzombak (left) receives one of the door prizes offered at the ACS volunteer appreciation dinner last Wednesday night. Making the
presentation is ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

Terri Barrette, president of ACS’ board of directors, recalled learning about giving back from her grandmother and told the volunteers they were special and stars.

“What all of you provide to the community is invaluable,” said Barrette.

In many cases, Barrette said volunteers are allowing people to have choices and freedoms through such factors as the ability to stay in their own homes.

“You are not only their saving grace, you are inspiring the next generation to be leaders,” said Barrette. “In more ways than one, the community is stronger and richer because of you.”

Art project shows literally and figuratively that “A’burg Rocks”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town’s tourism department, in co-operation with several local community groups, is trying to demonstrate both figuratively and literally that Amherstburg “rocks.”

Jen Ibrahim, the visitor centre manager, said the town undertook the project in conjunction with local resident Bruce Patterson with Patterson having brought it to the town’s attention.

“I just loved the idea and the time was right with the Canada 150 festival coming up,” said Ibrahim.

Amherstburg Community Services' (ACS) seniors group recently helped paint rocks for the "#AburgRocks" project.

Amherstburg Community Services’ (ACS) seniors group recently helped paint rocks for the “#AburgRocks” project. (Submitted photo)

The Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) senior group, Amherstburg Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and The House Youth Centre are just a few of the groups involved in this project, Ibrahim said. Over 100 colourfully painted rocks have been turned into the Gordon House with more being hoped for as the spring and summer seasons go on.

“It was truly inspiring to see people coming in with their rocks and how beautiful they are,” she said.

The public can look for the rocks and if they find them, they can re-hide them or even keep them. Rocks will be hidden in Navy Yard Park and other parks within Amherstburg.

Many of the rocks are painted with a Canada 150 theme but others got artistic in other ways. Ibrahim said the project has been undertaken within the last two months or so and people she has approached to help have just run with it.

“People who paint the rocks are giving for the sake of giving,” said Ibrahim. “The whole idea is that it is inspiring creativity and energizing people to explore our beautiful town.”

Over 100 painted rocks were turned into the Gordon House with the hope that even more residents will paint rocks and hide them in local parks. (Submitted photo)

Over 100 painted rocks were turned into the Gordon House with the hope that even more residents will paint rocks and hide them in local parks. (Submitted photo)

Ibrahim said the hope is that more people will paint rocks and hide them in order that the program becomes sustainable. People are also being encouraged to photograph the rocks they find and post them on social media with the hashtag #AburgROCKS.

“It is an opportunity to brighten someone’s day,” Ibrahim said of the #AburgROCKS program.

The initiative is for both residents and visitors alike, with it being “added value” for those who visit Amherstburg.

“I hope finding a rock is part of their unique experience of visiting Amherstburg,” said Ibrahim.

Patterson said he discovered the idea when visiting his sister-in-law in New Port Richie in Florida. He said a rock was spotted near a tree and later learned the initiative was started by a group of mothers. When he and his wife went to visit their son near Tampa, they discovered the initiative was started by people there as well.

Those at the House Youth Centre also participated in the "#AburgRocks" program. (Submitted photo)

Those at the House Youth Centre also participated in the “#AburgRocks” program. (Submitted photo)

“When I came home, I said ‘that would be a neat idea for Amherstburg,’” said Patterson.

Patterson believes families will enjoy looking for the rocks, with the hope being that if people choose to keep them, they will replace the painted rocks with some of their own.

“I think it would be fun seeing it in Amherstburg,” he said. “It’s a wonderful idea.”

Noting he has volunteered for other events like the River Lights Winter Festival and the Amherstburg Farmers Market, the retired teacher said he enjoys living in town and likes to give back. He believes Amherstburg has done a good job promoting itself in the last 15-20 years.

“Amherstburg is a fabulous town,” said Patterson. “I love it here and want to promote it.”