Annual Rotary pasta dinner nets over $2,000 for Easter Seals


By Joel Charron

It’s been a partnership that has flourished over the past 25 years and the tradition continued as the Amherstburg Rotary Club held it’s annual past dinner for the Easter Seals last Wednesday night.

Roughly 160 people attended the 25th Annual Pasta Dinner, which was held at the Knights of Columbus hall. The dinner raised just over $2,000 and according to Rotary Club’s Easter Seal chair, Martin Breshamer the dinner has raised over $45,000 for Easter Seal over its 25 years of operation.

“We started off in 1987 at the Anderdon Tavern. They did it for us for 17 years. They did the dinner and all we had to do was collect the money for the Easter Seals,” said Breshamer.

Breshamer said a lot of credit goes to the former owners of the Anderdon Tavern, the Tzimas family for their helping getting the pasta dinner started and for their continued support throughout the years.

Once the Anderdon Tavern was sold and eventually torn down, Breshamer said the dinner was moved to the Knights of Columbus hall.

“They’ve been very good to us,” said Breshamer.


Suzanne Cape, development officer with Easter Seals, and Rotarian Martin Breshamer stand with local Easter Seals children Emily Beauchamp and Sammy Up

The pasta dinner is one half of the Amherstburg Rotary Clubs Easter Seals campaign. Later in the spring the Rotary club will host a walkathon. Breshamer said the two events combined usually raise roughly $8,000.

Breshamer estimated there are roughly 10-12 children in Amherstburg who benefit from Easter Seals. Easter Seals is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and it was launched with help from Rotary.

Breshamer admits the dinner has changed over the years with some Rotary Clubs terminating their Easter Seals ties. However, Breshamer said the Amherstburg Rotary Club keeps their eyes on the big picture.

“The kids are still here. That’s my philosophy,” he said. “They need help. The kids don’t go away. It’s ongoing.”

Suzanne Cape, development officer with Easter Seals, said dinners such as this are “a major part of our fundraising” with proceeds going towards mobility devices for children and the ability to send children to camp. Many local children go to Camp Woodeden near London while others go to a camp near Perth.

“It’s great the Rotary Club still helps us out with the pasta dinner,” said Cape. “Without these dinners, we wouldn’t be able to send any kids to camp.”

Janice Beauchamp, whose daughter Emily suffers from spina bifida, attended the dinner. She said if it wasn’t for the assistance they’ve received from Easter Seals, life would be much more difficult for their entire family.

“They help with so much,” said Beauchamp. “Without them, it would be harder to gets things for Emily’s needs.”

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