ACS to get new accessible vehicle thanks to local family

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) will be re-adding an accessible vehicle to its fleet thanks to a local family and an area company.

The Goggin family of Amherstburg donated $32,000 to ACS’ accessible vehicle fundraising campaign. That money, on top of the $18,000 raised by ACS, brought the total to $50,000 and by reaching that amount, it triggered the Concours Mold Challenge.

Concours Mold Inc. pledged to donate $25,000 if the community could raise the first $50,000 towards a new $75,000 accessible vehicle.

Kenny Goggin, deputy chief financial officer (CFO) with Concours Mold Inc., stated that when the company heard that ACS had to take a vehicle off the road due to maintenance issues, they issued the challenge to bring the community together and fundraise for a new accessible vehicle. A second vehicle had to be removed from the road earlier this summer.

“(ACS executive director) Kathy (DiBartolomeo) and the team do a great job,” said Kenny. “Amherstburg really came together.”

Kenny said that his family wanted to make the large donation to trigger the challenge after learning of news reports that pointed out that the St. Clair College student shuttle wouldn’t be offered for the fall semester by ACS due to a shortage of vehicles. The service will be able to be restored thanks to the new vehicle.

Goggin credited his mother Joanne for the family’s donation. In a statement, Joanne Goggin said the family – which also consists of Mark, Dennis and Jmar as well as Kenny and herself – hope to see their donation inspire others in the community to support the services ACS provides.

“When we saw that ACS was having difficulty raising funds for the new van and heard the story about (another vehicle) breaking down, we knew we wanted to commit personally to completing this purchase,” Joanne stated. “This is a fantastic organization which has benefitted the senior community but many other groups in Amherstburg as well; we want these programs to flourish. Hopefully, our gift will inspire others to donate personally to continue the services ACS operates in this beautiful community we call home.”

Kenny said a number of employees at their Lakeshore plant come from Amherstburg, adding he was raised on Texas Road.

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) will be able to purchase a new accessible vehicle thanks to the Goggin family and Concours Mold Inc. The Goggin family donated $32,000, which brought the fundraising total to $50,000. By reaching $50,000, Concours Mold Inc. donated the remaining $25,000 necessary to purchase the new vehicle. ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo accepts the $25,000 cheque from Concours’ deputy chief finanical officer Kenny Goggin (left) and marketing director Jmar Eduarte (right).

“We have employees whose children use the service,” he added.

Agreeing with his mother, Kenny stated that ACS has a lot of excellent services to help the communities they operate in and they hope to shine a light on them.

“I think more importantly is the work Kathy and her team do that goes unnoticed,” he said. “My family made sure these types of programs are highlighted.”

DiBartolomeo called the donations by both the Goggin family and Concours Mold Inc. “unbelievable” and said ACS is very grateful for them.

“I’m not sure words can describe just how important this is to us and to the rest of the community,” DiBartolomeo said. “So many people rely on our services to stay mobile, and those are the people this fundraising campaign has been for. On behalf of them and everyone else this donation will affect, thank you so much.”

ACS will be able to not only restore programming, but expand it as well, DiBartolomeo indicated. She said ACS will soon start recruiting volunteers to help those they help transport with getting on and off the bus and to help with such things as grocery shopping or helping out at medical appointments.

The new accessible vehicle will be able to transport ten walk-on travellers or two wheelchairs and six walk-on travellers. They are in the process of ordering the vehicle and hope to have it within three to six months.

Further announcements are expected in the coming weeks regarding the restoration of programming, such as the student shuttle.

“A very big thank you to Concours Mold Inc. and the Goggin family,” she emphasized.

People are still welcome to donate towards vehicle maintenance or any other program ACS offers, DiBartolomeo added.

“Although the challenge has been met, and we’re grateful for that, vehicle repairs and maintenance are always an issue for us,” she said. “It’s a priority we don’t let this (vehicle shortage) happen again.”

Amherstburg Community Services has provided accessible transportation services to seniors and other adults who qualify since 1989.  They began fundraising for this vehicle that the order went in for in February this year after one of their vehicles was deemed unsafe and removed from their fleet, with the second accessible vehicle being taken off the road in July.

For more information on ACS or to donate, visit their office at 179 Victoria St. S. or call 519-736-5471. Their website is www.amhertburg-cs.com. To “like” them on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/AmherstburgCS and to follow them on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/ACSAmherstburg.

 

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