United Way

LCBO inviting the public to “Pick Your Poison” in the name of charity

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg LCBO is holding a fundraiser this Friday in an effort to help the United Way Windsor-Essex County.

“We are going to have on Aug. 4 what we are calling ‘Pick Your Poison’,” explained Marylyn Bartlett, manager of the Amherstburg LCBO store. “Because the LCBO gives a lot to the community, we’d like to get the community involved.”

Bartlett said they want to get local residents involved in the fun, adding she has found Amherstburg residents like to give back to local causes within the town. Staff will either come in before their shift, stay after their shift or come in on their day off to participate. People will have a choice on how they can “punish” them, as they will stand under “prison cell” decorations. Choices include five water balloons to throw at the staff member for $5, $2 to shoot silly string at a staff member, $5 for a staff member to eat a jalapeno or $10 for a pie in the face.

Marylyn Bartlett and Elaine Marton from the Amherstburg LCBO store hold up posters and promotional materal inviting the public to help them raise money for United Way. A fundraiser is coming to the local LCBO store this Friday.

Marylyn Bartlett and Elaine Marton from the Amherstburg LCBO store hold up posters and promotional materal inviting the public to help them raise money for United Way. A fundraiser is coming to the local LCBO store this Friday.

All proceeds go to United Way Windsor-Essex County.

The fundraiser runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with some special guests coming in as well, with the LCBO district manager due in at 11 a.m. and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo around 4:30 p.m.

“We’re asking people to bring the family out, have some fun with us and help out United Way,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett said they learned proceeds from events held last year at the Amherstburg store helped give boxed lunches to youth in need. This year, money will help other programs, including after-school programs for at risk youth and those needing extra counseling.

“This year, we decided to step it up a notch and have some fun with it,” she said.

The LCBO’s Amherstburg location is at 495 Sandwich St. S.

United Way presents first-ever “Battle of the Growers”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Teams comprised of wineries, growers and chefs from all around Essex County gathered at Pelee Island Winery Friday night to have fun and to raise a few bucks in the process.

“Battle of the Growers” was presented by United Way and several sponsors, including presenting sponsor Libro Credit Union, with six teams competing. Proceeds from the evening will go towards the “On Track” program that United Way sponsors in Leamington.

Local growers, wineries, chefs as well as students in the On Track program will compete in teams to create a delicious small plate appetizer-sized dish for 250 guests. The evening was designed to bring together members of the Ontario greenhouse industry and vegetable growers in a friendly competition. The hook was that the team has to use a vegetable or fruit supplied by the participating grower.

Bill Deslippe from Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering in Amherstburg shows the appetizer he and his team prepared for Battle of the Growers. It ended up being the winning entry. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and Highline Growers were also part of the team.

Bill Deslippe from Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering in Amherstburg shows the appetizer he and his team prepared for Battle of the Growers. It ended up being the winning entry. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and Highline Growers were also part of the team.

“We put together a group of women from the county and said ‘what can we do that would be different’,” explained Danielle Moldovan, relationship manager, major gifts and planned giving with United Way.

Moldovan noted the “bounty of the county” includes many great restaurants, farms and wineries so they worked to create an event for all of them.

“We decided to pair them together,” said Moldovan.

Judges included Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos and Councillor Tony Gaffan, Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, and Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) vice president Lynnette Bain.

The On Track program has Grade 9 and 10 cohorts in Leamington and assists students who have challenges in their lives and may not be able to succeed as well in high school without the program. Students gain support through the program in both their education and their lives with the program helping to place them on the path to prosperity and a better life. Students can also obtain tuition support for post-secondary education.

Jody Goslin of Oxley Estate Winery pours a glass of wine at Battle of the Growers Friday night. There were six teams of chefs, wineries and growers competing.

Jody Goslin of Oxley Estate Winery pours a glass of wine at Battle of the Growers Friday night. There were six teams of chefs, wineries and growers competing.

Karen Brady, interim vice president of marketing and communications with United Way, said students are identified in Grade 8 for possible enrollment into the On Track program. About 15-20 students per year go through the On Track program in Leamington, with an additional program offered in west Windsor. There is a success coach that helps the students along the way, she noted.

The cost to put a student through the program is $6,500 per year.

Lorraine Goddard, CEO at United Way Windsor-Essex County, said those who grow up in economically disadvantaged families face numerous challenges but the program helps students with self-esteem and puts them on a path to success.

United Way held its “Battle of the Growers” Friday night at Pelee Island Winery. Judges fro the event included (from left): Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos, Kingsville councillor Tony Gaffan and TWEPI vice president Lynnette Bain.

United Way held its “Battle of the Growers” Friday night at Pelee Island Winery. Judges fro the event included (from left): Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos, Kingsville councillor Tony Gaffan and TWEPI vice president Lynnette Bain.

“This event is going to help kids in our community change the odds,” she said, adding they will be able to return to the community after getting an education, get jobs and help build the communities they live in.

The winning team included two Amherstburg businesses – Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering and Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. They teamed with Highline Mushrooms from Kingsville.

Bill Deslippe, chef at Smashed Apple, said they were very busy on the night but was happy to be there.

“It’s all for a good cause,” he said.

Jody Goslin, master taster at Oxley Estate Winery, said they were approached by Pelee Island Winery about helping out United Way and its On Track program.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Goslin. “We’re all in this together.”

Battle of the Growers to showcase county gems

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

The county is coming together to put on the first annual Battle of the Growers event, geared towards showcasing local chefs, foods and wines in an effort to raise money for Leamington’s On Track for Success Program.

“We’ve had a relationship with the local wineries for a number of years, they support us in a variety of ways, so when our committee reached out it really wasn’t a difficult request and they were really happy to support us,” explained United Way CEO Lorraine Goddard. “Then we went to local restaurants and asked if they would be willing to donate their time to make a dish utilizing local wine and food, and honestly we have such a generous community … Everything that we are going to be presenting is all local. The local produce, the local wines, the local chefs, local talent … We’re really proud of that, that we can really highlight the county. And as a county resident, I live in Kingsville, I know how fabulous and how blessed we are to have access to all of those great things.”

The money raised at the June 16th event to will go towards the On Track for Success program, which is focused on increasing high school graduation rates and attendance at post-secondary, whether it’s college or university, or the trades, for young people who have fallen behind in school and are at risk of not graduating. The program is beginning it’s third year, and some of the students that are in the program will be attending and helping serve the food at the event.

“We have a number students who actually moved to the academic track from the general track, which means they are in line to actually be able to go to university, and these are young people who just never thought it was even possible for them to even consider going to college or university,” said Goddard. “Many of them will be the first people in their family to actually ever attend a post-secondary institution and they’re going to come back to the community and they’re going to contribute back to their neighborhoods and help build a stronger, thriving community for everyone.”

Battle of the GrowersWEB

United Way has brought together a number of local chefs, wineries and growers to support the event, and paired them together to create something uniquely special. Smashed Apple owner and chef, Bill Deslippe is excited not only to battle against county chefs, but also to spend some time with students from the On Track for Success program.

“I’ve competed the last three years in a row against the Windsor chefs and won all three events. I’m not really sure what I’m up against, but you never really know,” said Deslippe. “I’m excited for a good time, to mentor some students and to share whatever knowledge I can with young minds who are looking to become chefs. I’m also excited to be able to showcase something that grows locally here and give it some justice, and also to work with Sprucewood, a winery that I work closely with a lot. It’s fun, it’s for charity, it’s a good cause and it’s always good to get out there and meet potentially new customers and friends alike.”

Goddard explained their committee, which is affiliated with local growers, wineries and restaurants, has been working on the event for over a year. She said these kinds of events, particularly new ones, are incredibly involved. Coming up with a concept, bringing partners on board, and getting vendors organized, all while making sure it’s done right to ensure success is important. She said Pelee Island Winery, who is hosting the event, and Cooper’s Hawk Vineyard have been “instrumental” in helping United Way plan the event.

“We not only get to showcase our wines and amazing foods but also Pure Flavor Vegetables and the best part is helping out the United Way,” said Mike O’Brien, Outside Sales at Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards. “The main goal is to help the United Way in their fundraisings. But also to show people the amazing wines, food and local produce that is right in our backyard. Not only are we providing the wine we are also showcasing our Chef and The Vine’s Restaurant. So we are paired with Pure Flavor Growers, in which we will prepare a dish with local vegetables paired with our award winning wines.”

The event is nearly sold out. Goddard said Pelee Island Winery’s new event room can hold up to 250 people. For their first event, she said they are incredibly excited about how successful it’s been so far and she’s looking forward to it.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit weareunited.com

Villanova students experience poverty with aid of United Way simulation

 

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School students swarm one of the stations used as part of an anti-poverty simulation last Friday morning. The simulation was presented in conjunction with United Way and Libro Credit Union and allowed students to experience what it is like living on a low income.

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School students swarm one of the stations used as part of an anti-poverty simulation last Friday morning. The simulation was presented in conjunction with United Way and Libro Credit Union and allowed students to experience what it is like living on a low income.

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Students at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School got a chance to feel poverty thanks to the school’s social justice club and United Way.

United Way brought its “Living on the Edge” poverty simulation to Villanova Friday morning with students being able to participate. Eighty students were able to sign up and take part in the simulation, with the object being to give students a “glimpse into the realities and complexities of living on a low income.”

Leslie Frattaroli, United Way’s manager of training and consulting, said United Way purchased a poverty simulation and the exercise at Villanova was the first time it had been brought into a school. While the simulation was to educate students on what people on low incomes experience, it was also to make them more sensitive to their struggles.

“It was the social justice club who spearheaded wanting to bring it to their school,” said Frattaroli. “The social justice club focused on issues relating to poverty.”

Students went through four 18-minute “weeks” in which they had to deal with paying bills, paying rent, buying food, finding work, dealing with unforeseen issues and other simulated scenarios.

Frattaroli said United Way’s “Cost of Poverty” study shows that over 66,000 people in Windsor-Essex County live in poverty, which translates into one in five people and one in four children.

The presenting sponsor of the simulation was Libro Credit Union, with regional manager Jennifer Dawson explaining they are trying to partner with community groups as part of their prosperity project.

“Living on the Edge provides a simulation experience to better understand some of the realities and complexities low income individuals and families face,” said Dawson. “It helps shed light on bigger issues our community faces and starts a dialogue on how we may work together to create positive change. By sharing ideas and brainstorming solutions, we can certainly inspire each other to help make a difference.”

Maddie Diab (left), president of St. Thomas of Villanova's social justice club, gives an interview to fellow students about the poverty simulation the school was doing in conjunction with United Way Windsor-Essex County.

Maddie Diab (left), president of St. Thomas of Villanova’s social justice club, gives an interview to fellow students about the poverty simulation the school was doing in conjunction with United Way Windsor-Essex County.

United Way volunteer Lisa Raffoul pointed out the energy the students had during the simulation. She believed the exercise will also help United Way in its learning on the issues and noted “we are continuing to learn.”
Maddie Diab, president of Villanova’s social justice club, noted the school has participated with United Way in the past and wanted to keep doing so. She said there was an 80-student limit for the simulation with the school’s student council and Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) also represented.

Diab believes it is very important to learn about poverty, as fellow students may have issues with poverty and it is important to understand their issues so they can be helped.

“It’s not so easy to solve them,” she said of issues relating to poverty.

The students learned a lot, Diab added, and that they have a better appreciation for the frustrations those with low incomes experience.

Diageo and its unionized workforce recognized by United Way Windsor-Essex

 

Diageo and its workforce, represented by Unifor Local 200, were recognized earlier this month with a Lead United Team Award. The award was presented at the United Way's “I Believe in my Community” awards held at Caesars Windsor. (Submitted photo)

Diageo and its workforce, represented by Unifor Local 200, were recognized earlier this month with a Lead United Team Award. The award was presented at the United Way’s “I Believe in my Community” awards held at Caesars Windsor.
(Submitted photo)

Special to the RTT

 

Members of the Unifor Local 200 Diageo Unit, along with Diageo management from the Amherstburg facility, were recently selected as recipients of the Lead United Team Award, which was awarded at the United Way’s 2015 “I Believe in my Community Awards” celebration held at Caesars Windsor March 4.

The Lead United Team Award recognizes the workplace team which promotes united leadership by implementing best practices in a “Leadership Giving” campaign, a campaign which encourages contributions at the leadership level.

The Amherstburg facility reached a combined total of $48,916, which includes a matching donation from the employer, is a clear indication of the joint efforts by the Unifor members and management. The campaign helps ensure we are heading in the right direction to building a stronger community.

The importance of giving back to people who are less fortunate has always been part of the culture around the workplace whether in good times or bad.

The United Way joint canvasser team at the workplace is trying very hard to making sure we have a successful campaign.

Many other local unions, along with local businesses, were recognized with other awards that night. There was a total of 10 categories with one recipient for each.