Martin Breshamer

Rotary Club honours former member during Easter Seals fundraiser

 

By Adam D’Andrea

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg raised approximately $2,000 on April 5 during their annual Easter Seals fundraising dinner.

The dinner was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall and attended by roughly 200 guests. While the Rotary Club has been holding the fundraiser for many years, the event was recently renamed the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner.

“Our former secretary who passed away, his name was Martin Breshamer; we lost him at the beginning of last year. Easter Seals was very near and dear to Martin’s heart. He did the telethons, the walkathons, all for Easter Seals,” said Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Laura George. “This is something that we can do to honour his service, not only to the Easter Seals but definitely to the Rotary Club too.”

Rotary Club of Amherstburg members take a break for a photo during the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner last Wednesday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The dinner raised approximately $2,000 for Easter Seals. (RTT Photo by Adam D'Andrea)

Rotary Club of Amherstburg members take a break for a photo during the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner last Wednesday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The dinner raised approximately $2,000 for Easter Seals. (RTT Photo by Adam D’Andrea)

All proceeds from the dinner will be going toward the Easter Seals’ efforts to provide programs and services to children with physical disabilities. These include a summer camp, post-secondary scholarships and financial assistance for wheelchairs, walkers, ramps and lifts.

“It’s always very successful. People really come out and support us,” said fundraising chair Carl Gibb.

George thanked the members of the Knights of Columbus for providing them with some much-needed added manpower to run the event and the Rotary members who went out into the community to get door prizes for the fundraiser.

“We couldn’t do a lot of what we do without our door prizes,” she said. “Local businesses are really great. We go knocking door-to-door a couple of times a year and we hardly ever get turned away.”

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg’s next major event will be their eighth annual Ribfest, which runs from July 7-9 this year.

Rotarians raise $1,500 at annual Easter Seals pasta dinner

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg raised $1,500 at its annual Easter Seals pasta dinner but this year’s dinner was important for who it is now named after.

The dinner is now the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner, named for the long-time Rotarian who organized Easter Seals fundraising on behalf of the local club. It was held last Wednesday night at the Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall.

Rotary Club president Lena Lazanja said the club decided to name the dinner after Breshamer, who died in January. Breshamer also served as club secretary for years.

Lazanja pointed out that a large contingent of the Breshamer family turned out in support of the event.

“We’re hoping to do just as well as past years,” said Lazanja.

Luke Marchant, a 2016 Easter Seals ambassador, enjoys his pasta dinner at the K of C Hall in Amherstburg April 6.

Luke Marchant, a 2016 Easter Seals ambassador, enjoys his pasta dinner at the K of C Hall in Amherstburg April 6.

The Rotary Club formerly did a spring walkathon in conjunction with the pasta dinner as another fundraiser for Easter Seals but Lazanja said it could be moved to the fall so it can be done in conjunction with the Interact Club that Rotary sponsors at General Amherst.

“They’ve been very active and we’re thinking of doing it with them,” said Lazanja.

Wendy Nicholson from the Easter Seals said the pasta dinner is a very welcome fundraiser for Easter Seals and praised Breshamer for starting it 29 years ago.

“They help tons,” she said of the Rotary Club. “Any amount of money raised helps send kids to camp.”

In addition to sending Easter Seals children to accessible camps, the Easter Seals organization assists in families attaining mobility devices for those who require them.

Luke Marchant is one of the Easter Seals ambassadors this year and came in from Windsor for the dinner. He said he is enjoying his role as ambassador and that he is excited and proud to be one.

Tom Breshamer said the family was very pleased to have the dinner named after Martin.

“When the Rotary Club approached the family about using his name, it was an easy decision,” said Breshamer. “He was part of the Rotary Club for 40 years.”

Breshamer said his father ran it for the first 28 of the 29 years and “we really appreciate the Rotary Club naming the event after him.”

Breshamer added he is proud of his father as is the family and that he accomplished a lot. Helping children was one of Martin’s many accomplishments.

“He had a passion for the children,” he said. “He had a soft spot in his heart for the children.”

Sponsors for the Easter Seals pasta dinner included Topnotch Plastics, Delisle Signs, Precision Jewellers, Home Hardware, Re-Lighting, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sue Pietracupa, Shirley Bondy, TD Canada Trust, Armando’s and Accucaps.

Raffle winners included Ricka Lavigne, June Gignac, Kris Martin, Sue Byron, Sue Pietracupa, Freddie Beekhuis, Jana Miller, Leo St. Louis, Janet Annison, Bill Wark, and Jill Gibb.