Libro Centre

Preparations continuing for Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships


By Ron Giofu


Preparations are continuing to host the top male and female gymnasts at the Libro Centre this April.

The Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships start April 5 and run for four days with Rose City Gymnastics being the host club. Athletes ranging in age from 9-20 are anticipated with some of the nation’s highest calibre gymnastics to be presented in the main ice pad and in the indoor soccer facility. Meet director Diana Giorgi said the women’s competitions will run Thursday-Sunday that weekend and the men’s competitions will go Friday through Sunday.

Approximately 1,200 athletes are expected as well as about 5,000 spectators.

Rose City Gymnastics is hosting the Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Libro Centre April 5-8. Hopefuls gather for a group picture last Friday night.

Women’s events will include vault, bars, beam and floor while men’s events will include vault, horizontal bar, rings, pommel hours, floor and parallel bars.

“This is the best of the best in Ontario,” added Lisa Deklerk, meet co-director.

The levels range from beginners to advanced, which is determined by either Gymnastics Ontario or Gymnastics Canada and is based on age and skill. Athletes will train from 16 to 25 plus hours per week. Some levels will be able to attempt to place in the top of their respective category and qualify to represent Ontario as part of Team Ontario at the Eastern Canadian Championships in the beginning of May or the Canadian National Championships in the end of May. The national championships are also being held in Ontario as they are to be held in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Lindsay Chia and Sophia Spadafora recently represented Rose City Gymnastics and did well at the Elite Canada meet.

The Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships will also need to be staffed with about 200-300 volunteers for the weekend. Giorgi said a police clearance is needed to volunteer.

Should the public have any questions regarding volunteering, please contact Rose City Gymnastics by e-mail at or phone 519-999-2802. Forms are also available at the Libro Centre.

Canadian Blood Services has strong turnout at Amherstburg clinic



By Ron Giofu


Despite not reaching their goal, Canadian Blood Services is still reporting a busy turnout at a recent blood donor clinic in Amherstburg.

The clinic, held in late December at the Libro Centre, saw 79 units of blood collected though local officials had a target of 96. Still, it was reported that a steady flow of people passed through the community room at the Libro Centre donate.

One of those people who attended was Nancy Dupuis of Amherstburg.

“I have O-negative blood. I know there is always a need,” said Dupuis. “I want to do my part.”

Amy Vreman and Nancy Dupuis attended a recent blood donor clinic at the Libro Centre.

Dupuis said she used to donate years ago but got out of the habit. She returned with a few friends in the last few years and continues to do so.

Amy Vreman accompanied Dupuis to the blood donor clinic and Vreman said she began donating regularly thanks to a friend. Vreman said paramedic Mary Lou Beneteau encouraged 50 friends to donate 50 units of blood and has been returning to blood clinics since, often with Dupuis.

“We started doing this as a date thing,” she said.

For those who missed the clinic in December, Canadian Blood Services has more scheduled for the Libro Centre in the coming weeks. According to their website, there is a Jan. 13 clinic from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. A Feb. 21 clinic is also planned at the Libro Centre from 2-7 p.m. while there is also a March 10 clinic planned at the same place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Seniors get introduction to golf



By Ron Giofu


Thanks to a golf professional, several people within the community got a chance to try the game for the first time.

Matt Bodde met with a group of golfing beginners in the Libro Centre’s indoor sports field. It was mainly seniors who turned out the first time but he is offering paid courses in January and April.

“This was a free clinic for a new program we’re bringing to the Libro Centre,” explained Bodde. “We’re doing it in here with softer balls.”

Local golf pro Matt Bodde demonstrates a swing during a recent workshop at the Libro Centre. Courses will be offered in January and April.

Bodde, who is the golf pro at Seven Lakes Golf Course in LaSalle, said he approached Libro Centre staff about starting a new golf program with the aim, in part, to get seniors interested in golfing. However, the course is designed for beginners and for those who need to “brush up on their golfing skills.”

Aspects of the course will include fitness, learning the basics of golf from the grip to the swing and video analysis as well.

“I worked in the United States for 30 years as a club pro,” added Bodde.

Bodde believes there will be a good turnout for the classes, which will be capped at ten people per class. People are asked to bring their own clubs, with required clubs for the first class being a wood, a seven-iron, a pitching wedge and a putter.

Winter classes are Jan. 17, 19, 24 and 26 from 10-11 a.m. Spring classes are April 11, 13, 18 and 20 from 10-11 a.m. The fees are $70.

People can register at the Libro Centre. Bodde asks that registration be done no later than 48 hours in advance to the session start date.

ACS teams with town for seniors roundtable



By Ron Giofu


A group of nearly a dozen service providers for seniors gathered at the Libro Centre last Wednesday morning to explain what they do.

Representatives from church groups, service clubs, senior-centric businesses and medical professionals gathered for the roundtable as part of a process to start networking and to have the town and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) get a handle on what is out there.

“We know that in the future that the number of seniors will grow,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “We have to start planning now.”

Rick Daly, the town’s manager of recreation services, said the senior population is rapidly growing and that as of 2016, 16.4 per cent of Ontario’s population is 65-and-over. In Amherstburg, 18.1 per cent of the population is in that age group.

“Seniors now are more active than ever,” he said. “The question we want to answer is how do we support our senior population?”

DiBartolomeo said seniors want to be active and they were also trying to find out what barriers may exist that prevent some seniors from being active. She said they are trying to network with others, compile a database of senior services and continue to work together.

“Amherstburg is a jewel,” she said, though many groups continue to “work in silos.”

Service providers outlined concerns about transportation, educating people about what is out there, and accessible housing. There are those seniors who don’t want to be a burden and others that simply don’t know what is out there, it was explained.

ACS and the town held a roundtable with senior service providers. ACS community awareness/fundraising co-ordinator Austin Tyrrell, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo and town manager of recreation services Rick Daly gather input from Heather Vandenham from Seasons Amherstburg.

Daly said grant opportunities are being explored and that the town is pursuing a master aging plan. There is hope of possibly developing the former St. Bernard School into a “hub” for seniors activities.

“There are a lot of opportunities coming Amherstburg’s way,” said Daly. “It’s an exciting time to be a senior because of the opportunities.”

In the short-term, additional racks could be put up around the Libro Centre to house pamphlets with seniors activities.

Service providers and groups that were not able to attend last Wednesday morning’s roundtable can stop by Amherstburg Community Services’ office at 179 Victoria St. S. and let them know what they offer and what they do for seniors.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services, call 519-736-5471 or visit DiBartolomeo can be contacted directly at


ACS hosting seniors roundtable next Wednesday morning



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) will be meeting with community service providers next Wednesday with seniors the focal point of discussion.

ACS is teaming with the town to host a roundtable discussion Dec. 6 in the Libro Centre’s community room from 10 a.m.-12 noon. The roundtable is geared towards seniors and the service providers and groups that service the senior population.

“We know that in the future that the number of seniors will grow,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “We have to start planning now.”

ACS and the town want to find out what services are available now so they can work to bring in what is needed. Service and church groups will also be invited to the roundtable to find out what they offer for the senior population.

Businesses, such as those offering in-home services and financial services among others, have been invited.

“We’re opening it up to everyone. We want to find out what is out there,” said DiBartolomeo. “We know seniors of all ages want to be active in the community.”

DiBartolomeo added they will compile the data and see what areas they are lacking. There is the possibility of meeting directly with seniors themselves to find out what they want at a future meeting, she added.

There is also the thought of collaborating, she said, as DiBartolomeo said other not-for-profit agencies may offer similar services and multiple groups could enhance what is out there.

Service providers and groups not able to attend Wednesday morning’s roundtable can stop by Amherstburg Community Services’ office at 179 Victoria St. S. and let them know what they offer and what they do for seniors.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services, call 519-736-5471 or visit DiBartolomeo can be contacted directly at