A’burg Heroes celebrate in style


By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Heroes Athletic Club honoured one of its current members while remembering one of its past members.

The Annual Robert Pillon Memorial Fundraising Dinner was held at the Knights of Columbus hall Saturday night.

Roughly 200 people packed the hall to help raise money for the Heroes, a group of special needs athletes who participate in basketball and other sports.

“This is our only fundraiser,” said co-founder of the Athletic Club, Michelle Jones-Rousseau. “The money we raise tonight will keep us afloat for the entire year.”

Jones-Rousseau said because of the money raised the club will be able to purchase new uniforms and equipment for the athletes.


The Amherstburg Heroes held their annual Robert Pillon Memorial fundraising dinner Saturday, March 17 and that included the presentation of the Robert Pillon Memorial Award. In photo L to R: Mike Cox, Ron Pillon, award winner Kyle Jones, Tim Berthiaume and Richard Pillon.

The dinner is also a platform to announce the winner of the 2012 Robert Pillon Memorial Award. This year’s recipient is Kyle Jones.

“Kyle is a very special person and long deserving of this award,” said Amherstburg Police chief Tim Berthiaume. “Every week he comes out, participates and doesn’t matter what team he is on. If we ask him to push someone in a wheelchair, he has no hesitation.”

On hand to present the award were Robert Pillon’s brothers Ron and Richard Pillon.

Pillon was a well-known community figure who died September 5, 2008. Pillon was supported through community Living Essex County, specifically Channel Resource Centre, but nothing held him back from leading a full life and one that was active in the community. He made his own contacts in the town that included friends in the Amherstburg Fire Department, the Knights of Columbus, St. John the Baptist Church, the Amherstburg Police Services (including the Amherstburg Heroes athletic program,) the Amherstburg Arena and many more.

“Robert touched a lot of people in this community,” said Jones-Rousseau. ‘This is just a fitting way to honor a man who gave so much of himself.”

Jones-Rousseau credited the Knight of Columbus for their continued support.

“They are such a huge supporter of ours,” said Jones-Rousseau. “

Jones-Rousseau and co-founder Sgt. Mike Cox said they are “very proud” of what the dinner has become, stating that the dinner “gets better every year.”

“This is a great turnout,” said Cox. “Everyone is more than generous. The whole community, everyone just pulls in to help make this night very special for our athletes.”

Cox said the response they get from the community is “truly amazing.”

“With the economy the way it is today and people still donate all this stuff, it’s a feat it its self,” said Cox.

Jones-Rousseau mentioned that the first dinner had only 17 attendees and admits she never thought it would grow the way it has.

“It has become something that all the athletes look forward to all year round,” she said.

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