House of Shalom

The House planning reunion for members, staff from the 1970’s

 

 

By Danica Skakavac

The House has become a place of bonding and making memories over the long years it’s been around.

To celebrate, this year The House will host a reunion Sept. 23 for those who were a part of it in the 1970’s. This event will include a barbecue and picnic, as well as attractions that will remind the visitors of life back in the 70’s. These attractions consist of music that was popular during the time and old photos, which co-op students working at The House are digitizing so they can be properly displayed.

The House has been around since 1971, so the reunion is the first of many to come, even though smaller groups themselves had held their own reunions over the years. Should this very first reunion work out, more reunions will be held annually for the next five years and in 2021, it will have it’s 50th anniversary reunion. The point of it all is to focus on memories made during that time and recreating new ones.

70's Reunion

“Everyone is very excited and we have a lot of people interested and planning on attending,” said Rebecca Vandervaart, who is currently in charge of The House.

There has been a lot of involvement and positive responses since the announcement of the reunion.

“We’ve already gotten 40-50 RSVP’s,” said Vandervaart. “Lots of people who have moved far away since then are very interested.” Anyone who had any kind of involvement, such as volunteering or staff work and had connections are welcome to come.

The program itself hasn’t changed much since then, as it is still incredibly similar. Even the name, now changed to just ‘The House’, reflects its atmosphere, being a heart-warming, open place to everyone and now ready to welcome back those who first stepped through it’s doors.

The House is located at 247 Brock St. and their phone number is 519-736-6811. For more information, visit http://houseofshalom.ca/events/.

House of Shalom gets $10,000 from Libro’s “Prosperity Fund” for window replacement

 

By Ron Giofu and Aaron Wharram

 

Libro Credit Union donated over $500,000 through its “Prosperity Fund” last Wednesday with the House of Shalom Youth Centre getting $10,000 of it.

The fund is shared through 31 organizations in all of the communities that Libro operates in with the House using its $10,000 for upgrades to the building.

Program director Holly Kirk McLean said the House is looking to expand its programming and the age of the building is preventing them from doing that. Old windows on the second floor means that level either experiences temperature extremes depending on season.

“The heat can be too hot on the second floor during the summer, and too frigid during the winter,” said McLean.

Libro Credit Union gave a $10,000 to the House youth centre Oct. 21 as part of its "Prosperity Fund" donations. From left: Libro committee chair Kelly Mayzik, House activities director Rebecca Vander Vaart, Libro branch manager Cathy Thomas, House program director Holly Kirk McLean, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Libro's Cathy Menard and Wassim Sarweh.

Libro Credit Union gave a $10,000 to the House youth centre Oct. 21 as part of its “Prosperity Fund” donations. From left: Libro committee chair Kelly Mayzik, House activities director Rebecca Vander Vaart, Libro branch manager Cathy Thomas, House program director Holly Kirk McLean, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Libro’s Cathy Menard and Wassim Sarweh.

Replacement of the windows won’t take place likely until April or May next year but once it is completed, McLean stressed that it will allow them to be able to use the building fully.

Activities director Rebecca Vander Vaart said the condition of the second floor windows also prevents the House from working with outside agencies to the capacity they can.

“The upstairs features our game room and computer lab,” said Vander Vaart. “Those are pretty big assets we can’t use in our winter months.”

Both McLean and Vander Vaart were thankful that Libro for the grant and for the fact there was another outlet for funding.

“We are very grateful to Libro for doing this,” said McLean.

Libro Credit Union president and CEO Steve Bolton said they are aiming to increase prosperity in the area.

“Libro exists to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking, and the Prosperity Fund is just one of the ways we support that,” Bolton said in a press release. “We are very excited by the diverse number of projects who received grants this year. Growing prosperity is a collective effort, and we can accomplish so much more through collaboration and partnership.”

The Prosperity Fund invested in community groups and organziatons whose initiatives support entrepreneurship, financial knowledge and career skill development for young people.

“Local decision making is very important to Libro and our unique governance structure allows for that, reflecting the priorities of each community we passionately serve,” Bolton said. “Each branch has a council made up of owner representatives who are closely involved in the grant evaluation process and have a voice in the award selection.”

Rotary welcome new member, thank Rib Fest volunteers

Rotary Club of Amherstburg President Lena Lazanja and President-Elect Laura Jurilj welcome Dr. Allan Halowski as the newest member of the Rotary Club on Oct. 7. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

Rotary Club of Amherstburg President Lena Lazanja and President-Elect Laura Jurilj welcome Dr. Allan Halowski as the newest member of the Rotary Club on Oct. 7. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

 

 

By Adam D’Andrea

 

It was a busy night for the Rotary Club of Amherstburg last Wednesday, as the organization met to thank volunteers for the 2015 Rib Fest and induct a brand new member.

A cheque for $750 was presented to the House of Shalom Youth Centre during the meeting for their volunteer efforts at the Rib Fest, which consisted of selling raffle tickets and performing other tasks throughout the weekend. The Rotary Club committed to donating the funds from liquor returns to the House as a show of gratitude for their help.

“They did help a tremendous amount throughout the whole weekend,” said Rotary President Lena Lazanja. “Anybody in the community who’s been to other events knows that the House is always a presence at events and helps out as much as they can.”

Lazanja went on to thank the remainder of the volunteers who helped make this year’s Rib Fest possible, saying that if it wasn’t for the committed and dedicated group of people she works with her job would be much more difficult.

“Everyone here’s been involved in Rib Fest, some of you since its inception. So you all realize how much work goes into not just the planning but the actual days of implementing it and then the follow up afterward,” said Lazanja.

Following the cheque presentation Rotary proceeded to welcome their newest member, Dr. Allan Halowski. Along with his wife Donna, Halowski has lived in Amherstburg for around one year and has served with a number of chiropractic associations and societies. Since moving to town Halowski said he has been impressed by Amherstburg’s beauty and the number of events that are held here.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Lena Lazanja (right) presents a cheque for $750 to House of Shalom Youth Centre member Rebecca Vander Vaart on Oct. 7. The Rotary Club donated the funds from the liquor returns from this year’s Rib Fest to the House as a show of appreciation for their volunteer efforts throughout the weekend. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Lena Lazanja (right) presents a cheque for $750 to House of Shalom Youth Centre member Rebecca Vander Vaart on Oct. 7. The Rotary Club donated the funds from the liquor returns from this year’s Rib Fest to the House as a show of appreciation for their volunteer efforts throughout the weekend. Photo by: Adam D’Andrea

“These things don’t just magically happen. They happen because hundreds of people tithe their time to give back to this community,” Halowski said. “By these individuals doing that, things happen and it’s these things that happen that make this a great community to live in.”

In addition to the Rotary Club, Halowski has also joined the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society and the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce to give back to the community and ensure it can continue to be a beautiful, safe and fun place to call home.

“Amherstburg will be our home for a long time and I would like it to continue to be a special place, so I hope that by supporting it and encouraging others to do likewise that it will be.”

For more information about the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, visit www.amherstburgrotary.com.

Fundraiser planned to assist 20-month-old Cystic Fibrosis patient

 

Merisa LePage is holding a “Stuff for Strides” yard and bake sale Saturday at the House of Shalom with daughter Sasha (pictured) being the inspiration. Proceeds go towards the “Sasha’s Smile” team that participates in the annual Great Strides walk that raises money in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. (Twitter photo)

Merisa LePage is holding a “Stuff for Strides” yard and bake sale Saturday at the House of Shalom with daughter Sasha (pictured) being the inspiration. Proceeds go towards the “Sasha’s Smile” team that participates in the annual Great Strides walk that raises money in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. (Twitter photo)

 

(UPDATE: Due to Sasha being hospitalized in London, the Sept. 12 event at the House of Shalom has been postponed.)

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A 20-month-old Amherstburg girl is the inspiration for a fundraising yard sale and bake sale this Saturday at the House of Shalom Youth Centre.

Merisa LePage and her family are organizing the “Stuff for Strides” yard sale with the inspiration being their daughter Sasha. The toddler is battling Cystic Fibrosis with that including a recent hospital stay. Proceeds will go to the “Sasha’s Smile” team that participates in the annual Great Strides walk in Windsor. The walk is in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

“Not everyone knows what Cystic Fibrosis is,” said LePage, adding the event is also trying to raise awareness as well as money for a cure.

LePage said they hold various events throughout the year in hopes of raising funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis as Sasha was diagnosed at just one-month-old. Cystic Fibrosis is the most common fatal, genetic disease affecting young Canadians, she said, as it primarily affects the digestive system and lungs.

Sasha takes ten medications per day, four to five times a day, LePage said.

“It’s a full-time job to do everything relating to her medication,” she said.

“Stuff for Strides” will be held outdoors at the House of Shalom, with LePage stating that venue was picked because of her husband’s brother and his wife’s involvement with the House. Others have helped by donating items and making items for the bake sale.

“People have been very generous in donating items and offering to make things for our bake sale,” said LePage.

LePage added they likely won’t put prices on a lot of the items, but ask for donations instead.

There is a Facebook page dedicated to Sasha’s condition and can be found by searching “Sasha’s Smile” or by searching www.facebook.com/fightingforsasha. There is also a link to a blog LePage keeps on Sasha and motherhood in general.

To make a donation to “Stuff for Strides,” contact LePage at 226-246-1749 or e-mail merisalepage@gmail.com. The event runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 12. The House of Shalom is located at 247 Brock St., at the corner of Gore St.