Amherstburg Community Services distributes 140 backpacks during “Family Fun Day”

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) held its annual Backpack Giveaway and Family Fun Day last Saturday with help from a $2,000 donation from the Rotary Club. From left: Rotary Club past president Bill Wark, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, ACS board chair David Smith, Rotary Club president Lena Lazanja and the Amherstburg Admirals mascot, who was on hand to enjoy the day.

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) held its annual Backpack Giveaway and Family Fun Day last Saturday with help from a $2,000 donation from the Rotary Club. From left: Rotary Club past president Bill Wark, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, ACS board chair David Smith, Rotary Club president Lena Lazanja and the Amherstburg Admirals mascot, who was on hand to enjoy the day.

Artist Jay Raven paints a mural as part of ACS's Backpack Giveaway and Family Fun Day.

Artist Jay Raven paints a mural as part of ACS’s Backpack Giveaway and Family Fun Day.

Ryan Couture and Kaitlyn Dillen help Kadance, Salena, Harmony (not pictured) and mom Krystle with container gardening.

Ryan Couture and Kaitlyn Dillen help Kadance, Salena, Harmony (not pictured) and mom Krystle with container gardening.

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) held its third annual “Backpack Giveaway and Family Fun Day” with new events and a new partnership.

ACS partnered with the Rotary Club of Amherstburg in presenting this year’s event, held last Saturday outside of ACS’s office at 179 Victoria St. S. ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo was satisfied with how the day proceeded.

“We added new events to it this year,” she said. “We anticipate giving away about 140 backpacks.”

The backpacks contained grade-appropriate school supplies for those students that registered.

“For us, it’s a community-building event,” said DiBartolomeo. “We’re glad it’s well received by the community.”
ACS plans on continuing the event in future years.

“Every year we want to do it,” said DiBartolomeo. “Every year we want to expand services and work with agencies and businesses and partner with them.”

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg donated $2,000 towards this year’s event. Rotary Club member Martin Breshamer said they have applied for grant funding through the Rotary Foundation for next year’s event. While the result of the club’s grant application won’t be known for about a month or so, Breshamer indicated they were willing to go ahead with a donation anyway even if the grant doesn’t come through.

Rotary Club past president Bill Wark said participating in the event helps fulfil a club mandate.

“Literacy is one of our focus areas,” said Wark. “We thought it would be an excellent idea to help out in this regard.”

Wark added that the Rotary Club wants to aid ACS in giving students a good start to the upcoming school year. He agreed with Breshamer that the club’s commitment to funding next year stands with or without successful approval of the club’s grant application.

“It’s such a good program. We’ll do whatever we can do to help,” said Wark.

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