ACS

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.”

Verdi Club looking to work with the town to assist with club events

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Verdi Club may have sold its building, but the club is still in operation.

And those operations may be based out of the Libro Centre.

Verdi Club board member Tino Riccio and treasurer Joe Capaldi appeared before town council Monday night seeking a partnership with the town that would see bocce courts installed on town property and the use of a room at the Libro Centre for the Verdi Club’s card games and social activities.

Riccio said the building on Texas Road, now known as the Fort Fun Centre, was sold after “60 glorious years” and now the Verdi Club is looking to go elsewhere for its activities. He suggested placing the bocce courts on land next to the Amherstburg Community Services building or at the Libro Centre, adding the club’s membership has the expertise to take care of the courts.

“We’d like to introduce the game to the population at large,” said Riccio.

Verdi Club signWEB

The club formerly had card games and activities six nights per week, he said, but would be willing to reduce that to three nights per week.

Councillor Joan Courtney said the Verdi Club “has been good for the town” over the past six decades and directed administration to come back with a report on the club’s requests.

“I hope we can do something to help,” said Courtney.

CAO John Miceli said he has had preliminary discussions with Riccio and waited to see what direction he received from town council before progressing any further.

“I think we will be able to bring a report back to council in short order,” Miceli said, believing it will either be before council April 24 or the first meeting in May.

Councillor Diane Pouget agreed that the Verdi Club has been an asset to the community and thanked them for the club’s involvement. She added the Fort Malden Golden Age Club has also been an asset to the town, and wanted to ensure there were not any conflicts between the two organizations at the Libro Centre.

Councillor Rick Fryer said he was glad to see the passion from the club and was pleased with the members sharing the sport of bocce with the community.

Riccio added they are currently renting a room in the Amherstburg Community Services office on Victoria St. S. for a month as they wait to see what they do in the future.

ACS one of the focuses of “Amherstburg Night” at Windsor Express game

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

There was a bit of an Amherstburg tone to the Windsor Express-St. John Riptide National Basketball League of Canada game Saturday night.

Part of the promotions for the game at the WFCU Centre in Windsor was that it was “Amherstburg Night” with it also being St. Clair College Night, the latter in recognition of the college’s 50th anniversary.

Kelsey Sutton from James H. Sutton Funeral Home and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo deliver the basketball to centre court just prior to the start of the Windsor Express-St. John Riptide game. Also pictured are Brian Addison of the Riptide (left) and Noel Moffatt of the Express.

Kelsey Sutton from James H. Sutton Funeral Home and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo deliver the basketball to centre court just prior to the start of the Windsor Express-St. John Riptide game. Also pictured are Brian Addison of the Riptide (left) and Noel Moffatt of the Express.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Kelsey Sutton from the James H. Sutton Funeral Home delivered the ball to centre court just prior to the opening tip-off of the game, won by the Riptide 111-107. A contingent of people from Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) were sitting near the court as the Express partnered with ACS on the night.

ACS received a portion of the proceeds of the tickets they sold, with community awareness/fundraising co-ordinator Austin Tyrrell estimating the proceeds to be at least $450. Amherstburg Community Services sold 30 tickets valued at $25 with another 18 tickets sold valued at $5 each. Tyrrell seemed pleased with that number, noting they had less than a week to sell the tickets.

“We’re proud we were the agency that came to mind when (the Express) thought of Amherstburg,” said Tyrrell.

Kathy DiBartolomeo, executive director of ACS, said they were glad to be part of a fun night and were honoured that the Express were recognizing Amherstburg.

“I was very pleased when (Express owner) Dartis Willis Sr. contacted me after our March for Meals campaign and wanted to have an Amherstburg Night with some of the proceeds coming to our agency,” said DiBartolomeo. “I was very thrilled.”

The Amherstburg Community Services logo was put on the scoreboard at the WFCU Centre.

The Amherstburg Community Services logo was put on the scoreboard at the WFCU Centre.

DiCarlo said like many of those type of events, it was to shine a spotlight on a local cause, such as ACS in this case.

“Hopefully we can help raise awareness of Amherstburg Community Services,” he said.

The mayor added he was happy to represent Amherstburg and enjoyed the game with his wife Laura.

“It’s just a fun night out,” he said.

He joked prior to the ball delivery that it was all he was doing, not actually taking a shot, and said he didn’t want to mess it up.

Windsor Express teams with ACS to celebrate Amherstburg

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

When the Windsor Express square up against the St. John Riptide April 8 at the WFCU Centre, they won’t be the only ones in the spotlight.

The local basketball team will be using the evening to celebrate Amherstburg and thank the fans from that area for their support. The Express has teamed up with local charity, Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) to spread the word about the game and to support services in the area.

Windsor Express owner Dartis Willis Sr. believes the municipalities of Windsor-Essex share a lot, and that the love of basketball can be one more thing that defines the region.

“Every time we take to the court, our team represents more than just the city of Windsor,” Willis Sr. said.  “We think it’s vital that we recognize the communities outside the city, and that’s what we hope to do on April 8th. The municipalities all share an identity; we’re all part of what makes Windsor-Essex a great place to be, and we want to make a point that we are the team for all of Essex County.”

The Windsor Express' April 8 game against the St. John Riptide will be "Amherstburg Day." The National Basketball League of Canada team is teaming with Amherstburg Community Services on the event.

The Windsor Express’ April 8 game against the St. John Riptide will be “Amherstburg Day.” The National Basketball League of Canada team is teaming with Amherstburg Community Services on the event.

Kathy DiBartolomeo, executive director at Amherstburg Community Services, says this presents an excellent opportunity for everyone involved.

“We strongly believe in the benefits of collaboration, and are so excited to partner with such an exciting local sports franchise,” DiBartolomeo said. “Sports have a unique way of instilling passion and pride in each other, and we think this is a great chance to put the spotlight on Amherstburg and to help build up that community pride.”

Tip off for the game is at 7 p.m. at the WFCU Centre April 8.  To create awareness and celebrate Amherstburg, the Express will provide special advertisements during the game, include representatives from the town of Amherstburg during the half-time show, provide special advertising pricing for Amherstburg businesses and provide special ticket pricing.

Tickets will be sold in Amherstburg and will be $5 each for general admission.  There will also be $25 court-side tickets available, with $15 from each of those ticket sales being donated back to Amherstburg Community Services.  Tickets can be purchased at Amherstburg Community Services’ main office at 179 Victoria St. S.

ACS will also be providing a $17 round-trip shuttle service from their office to the game for county residents interested in attending.  Those interested can call ACS at 519-736-5471 or contact Windsor Express through their website, www.windsorexpress.ca for more information.

“March for Meals” initiative promotes Meals on Wheels

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The “March for Meals” campaign to promote Meals on Wheels received assistance again this year thanks to local politicians and officials.

Meals on Wheels is operated locally through Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, police chief Tim Berthiaume and deputy fire chief Lee Tome delivering meals to Amherstburg residents.

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya and the respective police and fire chiefs of his community – John Leontowicz and Dave Sutton – delivered meals in their town as well as part of the “March for Meals” initiative.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and deputy fire chief Lee Tome helped promote Meals on Wheels last Wednesday morning.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and deputy fire chief Lee Tome helped promote Meals on Wheels last Wednesday morning.

“We are very pleased to have local leaders from Amherstburg and LaSalle help to spread the word about seniors and their needs,” said DiBartolomeo.

DiBartolomeo said Meals on Wheels assists in many ways, including allowing seniors to stay in their homes longer.

Having local dignitaries endorse the program by delivering meals helps assure people who may have questions about Meals on Wheels, she added.

“We hear lots of misconceptions about who Meals on Wheels are for and what its benefits are,” DiBartolomeo said.  “Having such respected individuals come out to support us will hopefully bring more attention to the program and spur people to take a closer look at how Meals on Wheels can change their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”

Tome said it is a good partnership the Amherstburg Fire Department has with ACS, noting the Meals on Wheels event is also a chance for fire officials to get into homes and help ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

“(The initiative) allows the fire department to get into homes we don’t normally get into,” he said.

Tome said they know that many seniors may have difficulty maintaining their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, so by him being allowed into the home to deliver the meals, it allows him to help the homeowner and check the alarms for them.

Donato DiBartolomeo (centre) received a meal last Wednesday from police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Meals on Wheels volunteer Graeme Hutchinson and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

Donato DiBartolomeo (centre) received a meal last Wednesday from police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Meals on Wheels volunteer Graeme Hutchinson and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

The Amherstburg Fire Department is proud to be part of the program and to assist the residents that ACS serves, Tome added.

Berthiaume said he was happy to help bring awareness “to this valuable community program.

“I think we all know of someone who has received benefits of the Meals on Wheels program,” Berthiaume continued. “It really is an invaluable service.”

Berthiaume’s mother used to receive Meals on Wheels and had strong praise for the program.

“They are just wonderful. The people are all volunteers,” said Berthiaume. “This community is made up of terrific people.”

The mayor said it was an opportunity to meet people in the community he might not normally meet, as some have mobility issues that don’t allow them to get out as much.

“This is one time a year I get the opportunity to do what people do day in and day out,” said DiCarlo. “It is a privilege and an honour they invited me.”

DiCarlo called Meals on Wheels “an essential service” and hopes all communities have such a service or something similar. People who need something to volunteer for, including retirees, can get involved with the program.

“There’s always something to volunteer for,” said DiCarlo. “This is a great cause.”

“I dare say, that the Meals on Wheels program is the most thoughtful, caring, humane service we provide to the community,” Antaya said.

Antaya used to deliver meals, and still does when his schedule allows it.

“It is providing a service to those who need it. It empowers those who are delivering the service,” he added. “If you can brighten somebody`s day with a hot meal, plus a short visit of a few minutes, it restores our faith in human nature, if only for a moment. I love doing it.”

Ursula Eldracher, a long-time community volunteer, now is serviced by volunteers as she started receiving Meals on Wheels two months ago.

“It’s the best thing that has happened to me because I hadn’t been eating well,” she said. “All the meals are good. This gave me a chance to get more nutritious meals into my body.”

Eldracher received her meal Wednesday not only from volunteer Graeme Hutchinson, but DiBartolomeo, DiCarlo and Berthiaume as well with Tome being on another route. The amount of dignitaries, and media, that attended her home was something that made her “feel like a real VIP,” she remarked.

Donato DiBartolomeo received a meal at his home as well. He said he enjoys the food and that it allows him to eat healthier as well.