Winston McAllister

Garage Gym makes donation to mission after “Check in for Charity” event

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

For everyone who attended a class at the Garage Gym during the month of October and who checked in on Facebook, money was donated to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

“We were able to raise $142.25 with the check ins,” explained Tony Smith, co-owner of The Garage Gym with his wife Dani. “We were so proud of the effort put in by our membership that we decided to double the donation to $0.50 per check-in. We also had an anonymous $20 donation raising our total to $304.50”

A total of 569 people checked in during the course of the event. Smith said the event was started to raise money for local charities so that they funds stay in that town. They chose the Mission because of “all the great services they offer.”

Winston McAllister, whose father Tim is the president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, was on hand last week to receive the check. He is also a member of The Garage Gym.

Winston McAllister accepts a cheque on behalf of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission from Garage Gym co-owner Dani Smith. The local gym raised over $300 during a recent charity initiative.

“The mission appreciates any help from the community because everything they do is 100 per cent charity,” explained McAllister. “Nobody is paid, everyone is volunteer and all the money goes back to helping the community. Any time someone makes a gesture to help out, and help their community, the mission welcomes it with open arms. When they approached me to ask, I thought it was awesome.”

Smith explained the independently owned strength and conditioning facility provides small group training, focusing on improving member’s health both physically and mentally. They aim to push their clients beyond what they believe to be their limits, which “teaches them to better deal with the stress and obstacles life will throw at them.” Smith is an 18-year veteran of the Windsor Police Service, having spent 10 years on the SWAT team. His wife Dani worked 14 years as a police officer in Windsor as well.

“It was really nice and uplifting knowing that every time you were here, money was going towards a good cause helping the community,” said McAllister. “There is just a bunch of great people here working towards a great cause. It almost mirrors the slogan for the mission, people helping people. It’s as simple as that, and everyone here just chipped into that mission’s statement.”

Mission raises $6,000 at annual golf tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission held its annual golf tournament Saturday with nearly 100 golfers joining them again this year.

The 2017 tournament, held at Dominion Golf Club in LaSalle, drew a similar number of golfers as compared to the 2016 tournament.

“We had 97 golfers this year, almost 25 full teams,” said Winston McAllister, one of the main organizers of the tournament.

McAllister, whose father Tim is the board president of the mission, said the July 8 tournament raised about $6,000. That brought the overall total to $56,100 since the tournament was first founded ten years ago.

“We’re happy with any number,” said McAllister.

The proceeds raised go into the general fund at the mission and is used for whatever is required.

The winners of Saturday’s Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission golf tournament were (from left): Chad Mayrand, Bruce Bratt, Mark Bondy and Jesse Carter.

The winners of Saturday’s Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission golf tournament were (from left): Chad Mayrand, Bruce Bratt, Mark Bondy and Jesse Carter.

“It pays the bills and whatever expenses they have,” he said. “The mission is 100 per cent volunteers. That money goes a long way.”

McAllister said a group of about 12 people helped him plan the tournament and they “do whatever it takes” to make it successful. He thanked the golfers, sponsors, the golf course and everyone who supported the mission and the tournament.

“Our slogan is ‘people helping people’ and that is at the heart of what the mission is,” said McAllister.

Shirley Hitchcock, vice president of the board, said McAllister, his wife Trish and the other organizers deserve a lot of credit.

“This couldn’t happen without Winston and Trish and their entire team of people,” said Hitchcock.

Mission president honoured by the Barbados Association of Windsor & Essex County

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Not only did the Barbados Association of Windsor & Essex County (BAWEC) celebrate 50 years of their country’s independence from England, they also took time to celebrate some of their members.

One of those members – Tim McAllister – is an Amherstburg resident and was honoured for his long-time work in the community.

McAllister was one of four recipients of a community leader award presented by the BAWEC Saturday night. McAllister recalled celebrating Barbados’ independence when he was 12-years-old and was now receiving an award at a dinner marking the 50th anniversary of that independence 50 years later.

The oldest son of 11 children immigrated to Canada and quickly secured an education, graduating from St. Clair College. He then got certificates in industrial orientation, blueprint reading and welding to allow him to gain employment to support his two sons in Barbados and his wife Violet and two sons in Canada.

“When he first came to Canada, he believed it was important to receive a quality education,” said son Winston, who presented his father with the award. “He strongly believes the success of his family comes from a quality education.”

After a car accident ended his career at an early age, he began to feel sorry for himself.

“I did not plan for this accident to occur as I am certain the drunk driver did not plan this either,” he said, “One wrong decision changed so many things. I stopped looking back at what I missed from the past and started to look at the future where I renewed my relationship with God. God had a different plan for me.”

Tim McAllister (right), president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission’s board of directors, receives a leadership award from the Barbados Association of Windsor-Essex County Saturday night. Making the presentation is his son Winston McAllister (left).

Tim McAllister (right), president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission’s board of directors, receives a leadership award from the Barbados Association of Windsor-Essex County Saturday night. Making the presentation is his son Winston McAllister (left).

McAllister started volunteering at the Scout Hall, where the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission originated. Working under founders Andy and Pat Gervais, they formed a committee to build their own mission and realized that when the current building at 298 Victoria St. S. was opened in 2001. McAllister has spent the last 16 years as the mission’s president.

In addition to volunteering with the mission, McAllister is also on the board of directors at Matthew House in Windsor. He has been in that role for 12 years. Matthew House provides comfort and security for newly arriving refugees in Windsor by providing transitional housing and settlement assistance.

“My father has given his time to benefit the lives of others,” said Winston.

The BAWEC dinner saw greetings brought by the Rt. Hon. Hainsley Benn, consulate general of Barbados. Patti Hayes, representing both Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, also brought greetings as did Windsor city councillor John Elliott.

Mission golf tournament attracts nearly 100 golfers, raises over $6,000

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Nearly 100 golfers hit the links on Saturday all in support of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

The mission’s annual golf tournament was held at Dominion Golf & Country Club with the tournament being branded a success, according to its organizer.

“We had 98 for golf and we had 135 for dinner,” said Winston McAllister, tournament organizer and son of board of directors president Tim McAllister.

Winston McAllister said they raised over $6,000 at Saturday’s golf tournament.

“It was a good day. It wasn’t very hot. Everyone came out and supported us. We always have a ton of supporters and helpers,” he said.

Erin Lambros, Leanne Lambros, Torey Gault and Erin Murphy were the winning team at the July 9 golf tournament at Dominion Golf Course that benefited the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Erin Lambros, Leanne Lambros, Torey Gault and Erin Murphy were the winning team at the July 9 golf tournament at Dominion Golf Course that benefited the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

All proceeds go back into the operations of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, McAllister added, and is earmarked towards whatever programs or projects they need funding for that particular year. In its first nine years, the golf tournament has raised over $50,000.

“I’m always humbled by the support of the people. It’s nice to see everyone come out year after year,” said McAllister.

McAllister stressed that there are no paid staff at the mission and that everyone there gives freely of their time.

“They are operating fully on volunteers,” he said. “No one gets paid.”

The tournament celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2017 but McAllister said he hopes it lasts a lot longer than that.

“Hopefully we’ll be doing this for 50 years to come,” he said.

Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission stays “on course” despite donations being down

 

The Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission honoured two of its volunteers with awards of recognition at the mission’s recent annual general meeting. Mission president Tim McAllister (left) honoured vice president Shirley Hitchcock for her volunteer work while Winston McAllister (right) was recognized for the eight years he and wife Trish organized the mission’s golf tournament.

The Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission honoured two of its volunteers with awards of recognition at the mission’s recent annual general meeting. Mission president Tim McAllister (left) honoured vice president Shirley Hitchcock for her volunteer work while Winston McAllister (right) was recognized for the eight years he and wife Trish organized the mission’s golf tournament.

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission held its annual general meeting where its president stated the organization is coming off “a challenging year.”

Tim McAllister thanked the board members, staff, friends and outgoing members for their commitment to the mission and noted it wasn’t the mission’s easiest year.

“We have had a year where we managed to stay on course despite our donations being down,” he said. “It was a challenging year.”

McAllister offered his thanks to the community “who have made a difference by leaving donations and tangible items to support our efforts.”

Changes will always be occurring at the mission, he continued, and said he has a positive outlook towards the coming year.

The Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission is entering its 21st year with McAllister having over 12 years as its board president. McAllister pointed out the board is run by volunteers.

While donations were down over the 2014-15 fiscal year, there were some highlights with the mission being able to purchase a used van thanks to an anonymous donor. An anonymous donor also helped the mission build new cupboards.

“As there is an apparent need in our community for the mission’s work, we will continue to work diligently to build and pursue new partnerships and maintain our current ones,” said McAllister. “We continue to modify programs to meet the needs of the community with the resources available.”

McAllister acknowledged that “life can be very challenging most of the time. As we live our lives, we need a lot of help along the way. We face so many challenges at every turn and it is important for us to have people in our lives that will get behind us to tell us to have people in our lives that will get behind us to tell us how we can get unstuck.”

The mission encourages people through its Wednesday breakfast, hot meal and baby programs as well as its emergency food bank, McAllister stated. There are also computer programs available.

“We can only do this through your generous monetary donations, your untiring dedication and efforts to others,” McAllister told the crowd.

There is other programming offered at the mission as well, he noted.

“As we continue to partner with the Essex County court system, the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission provides a placement for young offenders,” he added. “We also support school students who, in order to graduate, need to perform 40 hours of volunteer work.”

McAllister said the mission continues to modify its system with the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association and have implemented procedures and requirements that satisfy their founders.

“Our reporting is transparent and assures that we are accountable and are utilizing public funds appropriately that are entrusted to our management,” he said.

The needs of the community are increasing and changing, McAllister continued, and said while they will tailor their services to meet the needs of the town, efforts will remain on meeting the greatest needs within the community.

“People in Amherstburg and the surrounding communities are still finding it difficult to make ends meet and the number of people accessing our services for hot meals to both adults and children is continuing to increase,” he said. “The number and effectiveness of the increase number of volunteers is stable and, as a result, our programs and events continue to run smoothly.”

Over the past year, the mission held a Sunday brunch at Fox Glen Golf Club, barbecues at Walmart and Sobeys, a Tambola, a World Hunger Day fundraiser at No Frills and the golf tournament. The latter saw the golf portion rained out this year but the dinner still proceeded.

The mission also recognized three people for their work on behalf of the mission. Winston McAllister, Tim’s son, and Winston’s wife Trish were recognized for their eight years of organizing the golf tournament. Over the last eight years, it has raised almost $50,000.

Vice president Shirley Hitchcock, who heads the mission’s fundraising committee, was also recognized for her tireless service to the mission.