Ingrid Heugh

Amherstburg Public School taking a vow of silence

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School will be going silent April 26 even though it will be a regular school day.

The school will be holding its third annual “Vow of Silence” next Wednesday and held a kickoff assembly to promote the event last Thursday morning. The “Vow of Silence” event is being organized by the Grade 7 classes taught by Melisa Mulcaster and Joanie Cotter.

Amherstburg Public School students will try to “Be the Change” as they will hold their third annual vow of silence April 26. The students are going silent so that less fortunate children and those who are bullied can have a voice of their own. A kickoff assembly was held April 13.

Amherstburg Public School students will try to “Be the Change” as they will hold their third annual vow of silence April 26. The students are going silent so that less fortunate children and those who are bullied can have a voice of their own. A kickoff assembly was held April 13.

“We’re going to be silent for the day,” explained student Erica Ayres. “We’re going to be silent for those less fortunate and those who don’t have access to basic human rights or clean water.”

“We are falling silent to give others a voice,” added classmate Breanna Lee. “Sometimes we take our human rights for granted.”

Lee noted that children in third world countries don’t have the same privileges they do with Ayres adding that some children in poor countries have to walk kilometres to get water that might not even be clean.

“People think that because you’re one person, it won’t make a difference, but it will,” said Ayres.

The Grade 7 classes showed the rest of the school a video showing those who are bullied and those in poorer countries need to have a voice.

“First world problems aren’t problems,” said Lee.

Ingrid Heugh speaks to Amherstburg Public School students on behalf of Save African Child Uganda (SACU). Heugh is a retired Amherstburg Public School teacher.

Ingrid Heugh speaks to Amherstburg Public School students on behalf of Save African Child Uganda (SACU). Heugh is a retired Amherstburg Public School teacher.

The classes are also trying to raise money to support two children they sponsor in Uganda through the Save African Child Uganda (SACU) program. Through the sale of T-shirts, they hope to allow the children – named Ronald and Hadijah – to stay in their Ugandan village and get an education.

Ingrid Heugh, a retired Amherstburg Public School teacher who now volunteers with SACU, said SACU now educates 145 students in Uganda. The students are fed breakfast and lunch each day.

Heugh said the children in Uganda want to be educated and that SACU is trying to help them.

“We all have rights because we are human,” said Heugh.

Acrobat with local roots performs on “America’s Got Talent”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

James Heugh returned from a backpack trip around the world and headed to Los Angeles.

That relocation ended up with him making an appearance on an NBC broadcast of “America’s Got Talent.”

Heugh, 26, was born and raised in Amherstburg but now lives in Los Angeles and is part of the Acro Army group which performed on “America’s Got Talent.” Heugh and the rest of his acrobat colleagues were seen on the show that was broadcast Dec. 19.

James Heugh is part of the Acro Army acrobat group that appeared on the Dec. 19 episode of the NBC show “America’s Got Talent.” Heugh is originally from Amherstburg but now resides in Los Angeles. (Photo contributed by James Heugh)

James Heugh is part of the Acro Army acrobat group that appeared on the Dec. 19 episode of the NBC show “America’s Got Talent.” Heugh is originally from Amherstburg but now resides in Los Angeles. (Photo contributed by James Heugh)

“They hired Acro Army for the Christmas show,” said Heugh, explaining the group had already been on the show and was brought back for the Christmas episode.

“The production of the show is absolutely incredible,” said Heugh. “It was really a special experience.”

Heugh moved to L.A. after returning from the backpack trip. He was living in a van before getting an opportunity with Acro Army, an opportunity that arose after the partner he was training with let him know about it.

“The choreographer of the group decided he liked me and hired me on full-time,” said Heugh.

Acro Army trains in Redlands, California, which Heugh states is roughly 80 miles east of Los Angeles. While he has 160 miles of round-trip driving to do every training day, he said the move to California is “the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.

“I couldn’t think of a better situation,” he said. “I need to live around palm trees. I’m not a big fan of snow.”

Before his move west, Heugh worked at Maximum Training Centre in Windsor. He had been training in mixed martial arts (MMA) for six days a week but an injury forced him down a different career path. The Sky Society, an aerial dance and acrobatic group, rented space at the centre and Heugh got involved after they asked if he was interested.

It became a passion and he pointed out that “it’s not a hobby,” as he now trains 20-25 hours per week. It is something he has quickly grown to love.

“It makes you feel like you’ve never worked a day in your life,” he said.

Heugh added that he moved to Los Angeles without many plans.

“I just go with the flow,” he said. “Opportunity finds you when you work hard.”

Heugh added the group has “lots of plans for 2017, I’m told” and is appreciative of the support he has received from his hometown of Amherstburg and the area in general. He organized a Christmas party in Windsor where hundreds of items were raised for area food banks, including the Amherstburg Food Bank.

James Heugh (bottom) recently appeared on the NBC television show “America’s Got Talent.” The Christmas episode aired Dec. 19.

James Heugh (bottom) recently appeared on the NBC television show “America’s Got Talent.” The Christmas episode aired Dec. 19. (Photo contributed by James Heugh)

“The amount of support I’ve gotten from my hometown is pretty crazy,” he said.

His mother Ingrid said the episode of “America’s Got Talent” turned into a special occasion at their Amherstburg home.

“It’s been awesome. We had the whole family here (Dec. 19) cheering him on,” she said.

Ingrid, a retired Amherstburg Public School teacher, said several of the school’s students also went to the Christmas party.

While he is now back in California, Ingrid said they miss him but still greatly support his efforts.

“All a parent wants is for their child to be happy,” she said. “I truly know he is happy there. What more could you ask for?”

 

Retired teacher returns from Uganda, plans fundraiser

 

 

Retired teachers Ingrid Heugh (pictured) and Geri Sutts are planning a Jan. 24 luncheon fundraiser at the Verdi Club. Proceeds benefit Save African Child Uganda (SACU).

Retired teachers Ingrid Heugh (pictured) and Geri Sutts are planning a Jan. 24 luncheon fundraiser at the Verdi Club. Proceeds benefit Save African Child Uganda (SACU).

Special to the RTT

 

A retired Amherstburg Public School teacher has returned from Uganda and is now planning a fundraiser for the children being helped there.

Ingrid Heugh, a member of Save African Child Uganda (SACU), is helping to plan a luncheon with SACU founder Geri Sutts with that event to be held at the Verdi Club Jan. 24.

“Last month I returned home after three weeks in Uganda. One of my goals after retirement was to go and see for myself the remote village of Buwundo that we have helped for many years,” explained Heugh. “I wanted to meet the people of the village and those who are involved with caring for the children of SACU.”

Heugh noted that Save African Child Uganda was established in 2010 by Sutts, also a retired teacher, with a local Ugandan man Ivan Nsera.

“It all began with Ivan’s vision knowing that he had to do something about the children in the village. He has rescued abused children from terrible situations and has provided for many abandoned young children,” said Heugh. “Ivan has since moved away into the city of Kampala but has never forgotten where he grew up. SACU has saved many children from hunger and has provided an education and medical treatments for over 100 children. It was a pleasure to meet the dedicated staff and noticed how the teachers go beyond their call of duty.”

Uganda fundraiser2

Heugh added: “I wanted to show my appreciation by providing gifts and extra pay in their salary for all the individuals who truly care and look after the children of SACU. Through donations from many of my friends and family, I was able to provide extra for the children too. My mission was to give each child a pencil case filled with writing tools, treats and toys. I also bought bananas from the local market, juice and snacks to provide a nutritional treat during their recesses.”

There was also a donation of ten suitcases full of items such as clothes and soccer balls, with the items being donated by the community, said Heugh.

SACU continues helping these children through fundraising and sponsorships, Heugh added.

The Jan. 24 fundraiser starts at 1 p.m. with Heugh and Sutts sharing their stories about their journey in Africa. Tickets are now on sale until Jan. 17 at a cost of $25. The meal will consist of chicken parmesan, pasta, salad, dessert and coffee.

Please call Ingrid Silvaggio Heugh to purchase your ticket at 519-736-3512. Thank you for your consideration.