650 people attend Mardi Gras Party

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce sure knows how to throw a party.

Masks, laughter, smiles and fun were all part of the recipe as roughly 650 people attended the 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Extravaganza Saturday night on Bob-lo Island.

“The Caesars” invade the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Party.

“We couldn’t be happier with the turnout. The food was great and people are enjoying themselves,” said Chamber of Commerce president Scott Deslippe.

According to Deslippe, the Mardi Gras party serves as a two-fold event. On one hand it’s a “great” fundraiser, with this year’s proceeds from the party going to Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and on the other hand it gives the business community and residents an opportunity to “let loose” a bit and have some fun with each other.

“It’s all about helping an important entity in Amherstburg, as well as, socializing and having a good time,” said Deslippe. “

Deslippe said the Chamber of Commerce chose Amherstburg Community Services as their fundraising recipient because he said the Chamber was looking for a “deserving organization in town” and someone who could supply volunteers to help work the event.

He also added that the Chamber hopes to choose a different organization each year to give a portion of the proceeds to. Last year the Miracle League was the recipient of the funds.

“We are very delighted that they asked us to participate,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

DiBartolomeo said the funds would go towards trying to amalgamate all of their services under one building.

“We’re very glad to be working with the Chamber,” she added.

After dinner, Deslippe announced that the Chamber raised $5,000 for ACS, which was matched by Canadian Tire Store owner Jeff Levy, however Levy had a surprise for ACS.

“The Chamber has decided to donate $5,000 to Amherstburg Community Services,” said Levy. “What Canadian Tire has decided to do, through our Jump

Karen Girard is all smiles as she’s decked out in her feather hat and boa.

Start Program, we’ve decided not only to match that $5,000 but to double match it.”

A total of $15,000 was raised for ACS.

The news of the donation shocked DiBartolomeo.

“I’m absolutely speechless,” she said. “This money is going to go a long way. We are very grateful for everything that the Chamber and Canadian Tire has done for us.”

After the announcements were made, the band “Supernatural” took the stage and the party began.

“This is such a good time,” said Stacy Brooks. “I came last year and had a great time and this year is even better. I think it’s a great thing that the Chamber of Commence host a Mardi Gras party…it’s just good old fashioned fun.”

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