Kathy DiBartolomeo

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.”

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.