Libro Centre

More players participate in this year’s ball hockey league



By Ron Giofu


The ball hockey league presented by St. Peter’s ACHS College School has wrapped up for another season.

The final night was last Tuesday night on the main pad of the Libro Centre. St. Peter’s headmaster and league organizer Peter Thyrring said this year’s league went well. He stated there were roughly 70 kids that played this year, up 30 per cent from last year.

“We’re growing again, which is a good thing,” said Thyrring.

Players in the bantam divisions gather for group photos at the Libro Centre July 10.

Thyrring said they always had a bantam division, but were able to re-establish an atom division this year. The coaches and volunteers that helped at the atom level are willing to move up to bantam next year, which he said helps in the running of the league. He credited parents for stepping up and taking a lot of the weight off his shoulders in terms of organizing and running the ball hockey league this season.

The players came mainly from Amherstburg and LaSalle, with some players also coming in from the Harrow area.

“We need other communities to work with us,” said Thyrring. “They need to be part of it.”

The ball hockey league is “definitely on the upswing,” he added, noting they are close to being able to form a travel team and compete with teams in the Ontario Ball Hockey Association (OBHA) from as far as the Greater Toronto Area and Kingston. Thyrring doesn’t see any reason why the league couldn’t grow to have as many as 100-150 male and female players in future years.

“It is growing in this area,” he said. “It’s really cheap. People can afford it. It’s for anyone. Anyone who can hold a stick and run has an opportunity to play.”

Atom players have their photo taken after their ball hockey season concluded. (Submitted photo)

Referees used by the local league were trained at a OBHA clinic in Chatham, Thyrring said, and that allowed them to get a paying job. Some of the players were students from St. Peter’s and that included those in residency.

Players came from all levels of hockey and there were also a group that had never played before. The leading scorer in the atom division was Cameron Tweedall with 23 goals while Aiden Bastien dominated the bantam division with 77 goals.

The league tried to give back to the local economy, Thyrring added, noting that the jerseys were made locally this year.

Woofa-Roo Pet Festival on tap for this weekend



By Ron Giofu


The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival returns this weekend to the Libro Centre.

Festival director and founder Lorene Clayton said there are a number of new events to join some of the popular returning attractions.

“We have several new things coming to our festival to round out our crazy fun weekend,” she said. “We are always trying to answer the call for more interactive things our visitors can do so we developed Woofa-Roo’s new Sterling Canine Citizen Award. This is a test in canine manners requiring a dog and owner to successfully complete 12 steps to earn our prestigious award. Using the same criteria, and evaluator as the CKC test – the Sterling Canine Citizen Award benefits our charities and rescues and is considered a real achievement for your dog’s training and social skills.”

Clayton noted there will be a “fetching field” where dogs with good recall can play fetch with a custom built robot designed by A-Team Robotics, the local robotics team with many of its members coming from General Amherst High School. All proceeds from this event benefit charities and rescues, Clayton pointed out.

“We are building on Woofa-Roo’s unique social environment,” Clayton added. “This year our new Shaggy Chic Cafe is a pet and family friendly place to meet, greet and eat. We’ll have live entertainment arranged by Lee Watson Academy of Music to enhance this great social space.”

There are a number of returning attractions as well at this year’s Woofa-Roo Pet Festival.

“Dock diving has to be one of the most watched events which return year after year. Dog agility, lure coursing and our very popular ‘Pet-Ucation Centre’ featuring experts on everything from dog training to the war on ticks and fleas are all returning,” said Clayton. “Some of these events have a large charitable component and will encourage our visitors to have fun for a great cause.”

Clayton added: “For non stop chuckles we have the hilarious Woofa-Roo Challenge – a game that tests a dog’s distraction with treats and toys. Following this we are off to the races with the wiener dogs and then an all breed race. All proceeds benefit the St. John Ambulance therapy dogs.”

The most anticipated event, Clayton said, is the presentation made by the Elite Windsor Police K9’s.

“This is such a fantastic opportunity to see the best of the best illustrate the force’s expertise from their many hours of training,” she stated.

The festival used to be held in August but is now in July. Clayton said she doesn’t know yet what, if any, impact that will have on the festival.

“Hopefully it will be a less congested weekend for festival goers. Our weekend in August was becoming very competitive with five major events in Essex County,” she said.

Clayton said the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is “weather proof” and that if it is hot or if it is raining “come indoors for a spell.”

The public is encouraged to read the festival’s pet policy before bringing their dogs. For more information on that or the events happening at the festival, visit

“Our volunteers have to be the most enthusiastic people around. They contribute to the spirit of our festival with their great attitudes and willingness to make our event a ‘funtastic’ festival for pets and their people.”

Admission is $5 per person with children five and under free.

General Amherst High School celebrates its 96th annual graduation



By Ron Giofu


A total of 162 students have now concluded their high school careers at General Amherst High School.

General Amherst held its 96th annual graduation ceremony last Thursday evening at the Libro Centre and while some students will return to high school for a fifth year, most are saying farewell as they start college, university or a new career.

Ron LeClair, Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) trustee for Amherstburg and LaSalle, congratulated the graduates as well as their families.

“You have an incredible support network,” LeClair told the graduates. “You didn’t get here alone.”

General Amherst valedictorian Aiden Bradwell delivers his address during the school’s 96th annual graduation June 28 at the Libro Centre.

LeClair, who is also vice chair of the GECDSB, encouraged the students to thank their parents, grandparents, family members and teachers for their support in getting them this far. He urged students to stay involved and “take advantage of the opportunities before you.” The opportunities are limitless, he said, restricted only by the graduates’ imaginations.

“Be a lifelong learner,” he added. “Be passionate about your future.”

Dr. Clara Howitt, superintendent of education, congratulated the Class of 2018 on their hard work, perseverance and commitment to learning. She said “our board has the most talented teachers in the province of Ontario” and that applies to General Amherst as well.


General Amherst graduates proceed into the commencement ceremony during the 96th annual commencement ceremony June 28.

Howitt thanked the teachers for their work in educating the graduates and also thanked the parents for their efforts. She even quoted actor Henry Winkler who said, “if you will it, it will be.”

Julie Wingerden, parent council chair at General Amherst, offered various words of wisdom for the graduates.

“I hope you guys take a few minutes and realize you worked hard to get here,” said Wingerden. “You need to take a few minutes and appreciate it.”

Wingerden challenged the graduates to map out their futures and make a plan on how they will achieve their goals. Among the words of encouragement Wingerden had were to “be grateful for the things you have, both good and bad” and that people are never too old to ask for advice from those around them.

Principal Melissa DeBruyne also offered her best wishes to the Class of 2018.

Superintendent of education Dr. Clara Howitt takes a picture as Amherstburg/LaSalle trustee Ron LeClair delivers his remarks to the graduates at General Amherst’s commencement ceremony.

“Thank you to the teachers who guided the graduates these last four years,” said DeBruyne.

DeBruyne indicated there is more learning ahead and hoped the skills and knowledge obtained while the students were at General Amherst will serve them well.

“Your future is what you make of it,” said DeBruyne. “You never know where life will take you.”

Valedictorian Aiden Bradwell recalled the four-year experience at General Amherst and said “I’d like to congratulate all of us.”

“I have no doubt everyone at this school will be the best in everything that they try to do,” he said.

Bradwell believed they will always carry a piece of their high school experience and memories with them.

“I am going to miss these days at General Amherst High School,” he said.

For more photos, please visit our Facebook album.

Amherstburg Community Services partnering with town to deliver two-day Seniors Expo



Special to the RTT


Dozens of organizations, businesses and individuals will be making their way out to Amherstburg June 11-12 to help seniors in the region discover services, resources and activities specifically designed for them.

The 2018 Active & Aging Well Expo, hosted and organized by Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Town of Amherstburg, is described as “a one-stop shop for everything from home health care to yoga demonstrations curated specifically for seniors, older adults and caregivers.”

“We really wanted to appeal to as many people as we could,” Kathy DiBartolomeo, executive director at ACS said. “We all age differently and find ourselves with a variety of different needs.  Some of us are looking for activities and hobbies to keep us busy, others will be looking for services that provide support for a specific need.  We’re excited that this event will cover all of that and more!”

Rick Daly, the manager of recreation Services with the Town of Amherstburg, says he is excited by the responses seen by businesses that have been invited to take part in the event.

“Amherstburg’s population is getting older. It only makes sense that we offer programming, activities and events that cater to our older adult population,” Daly said. “With the response that Amherstburg Community Services is getting, the Expo looks to become an annual event that will educate and entertain our seniors on the many activities and services offered in our town.”

The 2018 Active & Aging Well Expo will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both June 11-12 at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg.

Over 35 different vendors will be at the event, with demonstrations and presentations taking place throughout the day.  Admission will be $5 at the door and will include a boxed lunch and access to various raffle prizes.

For more information, please contact Amherstburg Community Services at 519-736-5471.


AMHA hands out awards at travel hockey banquet



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) recognized and honoured some of its top performances and players from the 2017-18 season last week.

The travel hockey banquet was held at the Libro Centre last Tuesday night with teams from all age groups recognized. That included the OMHA champion juvenile team and the Bluewater league champion novice major team.

Julie Renaud (left) accepts the Adult Volunteer of the Year Award from AMHA travel convenor Jon Camilleri. For more photos from AMHA’s award banquet, check out our Facebook site.

“We are here to celebrate the season, have some fun, tell some stories and re-live some moments from the year,” said Greg Crain, vice president of travel with AMHA. “We are also here to acknowledge the volunteers for their hard work and dedication that made for a successful season.”

Crain said without the volunteers that coached, managed and acted as trainers, the season could not have happened.

“We need to stay focused on two items – we need to have mutual respect for all volunteers,” said Crain. “The second item is that it’s all about the players.”

Other highlights from 2017-18 included eight tournament wins across the association, seven tournament finals, three semi-final appearances as well as the OMHA and Bluewater titles.

Colleen Hawthorne, regional director with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), said that “we, as volunteers, give a lot of ourselves to the game,” but noted players look up to the adults so she encouraged the adults to set the example and develop the love of the game in the players.

“Show them this is just a game,” she said.

Novice Major coach Jean Marc Mongeau presents the Bruno Casanova Award to Charlie Souchereau. AMHA held its travel hockey banquet last Tuesday night at the Libro Centre.

The AMHA held a moment of silence before the banquet and sold green ribbons in honour of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, who lost 16 individuals and had others injured, as a result of an April 6 bus accident involving a semi-truck. Town council had also paid tribute to the Broncos with a moment of silence before the April 9 meeting.

Award winners were:

NOVICE AE (Bruno Casanova Award – Outstanding effort throughout playing season) – Lucas D’Alimonte

NOVICE MAJOR  (Bruno Casanova Award – Outstanding effort throughout playing season) – Charlie Souchereau


ATOM MINOR (Kevin McDonough Award – Outstanding effort throughout playing season) – Jeremy Grimaldi

ATOM MAJOR (Kevin McDonough Award – Outstanding effort throughout playing season) – Payne Oltrop


PEE WEE MINOR (Mark Whitehead Award – Outstanding effort throughout playing season) – Logan Price

PEE WEE MAJOR (Mark Whitehead Award – Outstanding effort throughout playing season) – Jackson Cole


BANTAM MINOR (Danny Pietrangelo Award – Outstanding effort throughout playing season) – Colin Cote

BANTAM MAJOR (Bill Jones Award – Positive attitude and gives 100% effort in practices and games) – Gavin Soulliere


MIDGET MINOR (Jimmy Brooks Award – Outstanding Defensive Play throughout the playing season) – Luca Tonin

MIDGET MAJOR (Jimmy Brooks Award – Outstanding Defensive Play throughout the playing season) – Kyran Kelly


MIDGET MINOR (Michael Bastien Award – Outstanding Dedication to hockey throughout the playing season) – Justin Skov

MIDGET MAJOR (Randy Oakes Award – Outstanding Dedication to hockey throughout the playing season) – Dean DeLuca

AMHA vice president of travel Greg Crain (left) presents the travel coach of the year award to Dennis Emerson.

JUVENILE (Outstanding Dedication to hockey throughout playing season) – Colton McGregor