Amherstburg residents win two of three vehicles in Brentwood Lottery



By Ron Giofu


While it was a Windsor resident who won the house, two of the three vehicles offered in this year’s Brentwood Lottery were won by Amherstburg residents.

The draw, held Saturday afternoon at the Brentwood Recovery Home in Windsor, saw Mary Pare win the 2018 Ford Mustang that was offered in partnership with Amherstburg dealership Joe Meloche Ford. Helen McWhinney’s ticket was drawn as the winner of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

Both have the option of taking the vehicle or cash with Pare’s Mustang valued at $34,191 and McWhinney’s Jeep Wrangler valued at $49,942. The cash options are $28,000 and $40,000 respectively.

“I was quite surprised,” said Pare. “Actually, very surprised.”

The call from Brentwood’s director of development Mark Lennox came out of nowhere, she added.

“It came out of the blue,” said Pare. “I wasn’t expecting it.”

Pare said she hadn’t purchased Brentwood Lottery tickets for several years but decided to buy again this year and ordered them by phone.

“This was something I just decided to do,” said Pare.

Glad that she did start purchasing tickets again, Pare added it won’t be the last time she buys them.

“I’ll be buying tickets every year,” she said.

Brentwood’s director of development Mark Lennox (left) and Joe Meloche from Joe Meloche Ford Sales chat with Mary Pare of Amherstburg after Pare’s name was drawn as the winner of the 2018 Ford Mustang. The Brentwood Lottery draw was Jan. 13.

For McWhinney, she was a happy winner but her son might be even happier as she gave the winning ticket to him as a Christmas present.

“I buy tickets every year,” said McWhinney. “My son is the one that had the number that won. I don’t know what he wants to do. He’s pretty excited.”

McWhinney said her husband Earl used to purchase the tickets annually and she kept that tradition going after he passed away.

“Lucky enough, my son won it,” she said. “How many times in your life does this happen? It’s wonderful. It’s a dream come true.”

While wishing Earl was still alive so he could be part of it, McWhinney said it was still a great moment.

“It’s a very exciting day,” she said. “We’re just delighted.”

McWhinney admitted she thought someone was pulling her leg at first, but realized quickly that the call was legitimate.

“It’s the real thing,” she said.

Brian Zampa of Windsor won the house, valued at just shy of $400,000, and was contacted at his job at Tepperman’s with the news. The home is located in Kingsville. The third vehicle, a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, was won by Frank Boschin of Windsor. Boschin said his 14-year-old daughter received tarot cards for Christmas and predicted Friday night big things were on the horizon.

Lennox said 31,861 tickets were sold for the Brentwood Lottery this year, up approximately 4,000 from last year. While they have to purchase the vehicles and fund the cash prizes, the rest of their costs are very low.

“It’s volunteer-run,” said Lennox. “Labour costs are almost non-existent.”

The fact people can take cash instead of the big prizes were seen as a reason for the increase in sales, said Lennox. Instead of taking the home, the winner could opt for $320,000 in cash.

“We noticed we got a lot of out-of-town buyers,” said Lennox. “People love options.”

Christ Church parishioner heading to Malawi, Africa



By Ron Giofu


A local resident is heading to Malawi, Africa next month as part of a delegation going on a food security mission trip.

Lillian Scorrar, a parishioner and a lay delegate with Christ Church Anglican, will be heading to the African nation Feb. 2-18.

“It’s a mission trip and it’s sponsored by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank,” said Scorrar. “I’m going as an Anglican representative.”

The trip is also being made possible by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF).

Scorrar explained that she is working towards a doctorate of health sciences and has to do something of note globally, so this mission trip fits that requirement. As a member of the PWRDF, Scorrar adds she believes in what they do and wants to help out in another part of the world.

“It’s two-fold,” she said of her trip. “First, I’m passionate about helping others and, the other reason is I am going to use this to write my paper.”

The point of the Canadian Foodgrains Association is to help developing countries and Scorrar said that can include setting up wells and water resources, food security and assistance with maternal and children’s needs. According to background material provided by Scorrar, the bank provides food in times of crisis for hungry people in the developing world, helps people grow more food to better feed themselves and their families and provides nutritional support for malnourished people including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and young children.

The Canadian Foodgrains Banks also advocates for public policies that enable families and communities to better feed themselves and looks for ways to engage and educate Canadians about global hunger. The PWRDF works in 28 countries with a variety of partners including Anglican dioceses, ecumenical and secular partners. Their work is primarily in the field of international development so that people around the world have better access to improved health, food, human rights and more.

Lillian Scorrar is heading to Malawi next month on a mission trip. She holds the flyer for this Saturday’s fundraiser at the Columbus Community Hall.

Scorrar said it is her first time going on a mission trip and she is “excited and nervous” about going. She has had to get several vaccinations in preparation for next month’s trip.

“I’ve done things locally but never abroad. It will be life-changing,” she said. “I’m very excited to experience it and see how developing countries live.”

The nervousness comes from travelling with people she doesn’t know, as she is part of about a dozen Canadians making the journey.

“We’re all pretty much from different religions but we’re all Christian-based,” said Scorrar. “We all came together to form this group.”

The only other Anglican going is a priest from New Brunswick, Scorrar added.

The trip costs $5,000 and Scorrar is fundraising to be able to afford it. The community at Christ Church has helped, as have family and friends with Scorrar now turning to the broader community to assist. There will be a fundraising dinner to be held at the Columbus Community Hall Jan. 20 from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for a half-chicken dinner and will be sold in advance only.

There will also be a silent auction and door prizes. There will also be a special door prize for people that bring canned goods the day of the dinner. All canned goods will be donated to local charities to fight hunger.

For tickets, call Scorrar at 519-551-7706, Cheryl Yako at 519-736-2281 or Cecile Browning at 519-996-9961. Donations can also be made through Christ Church.

“Press for Progress” brunch to celebrate International Women’s Day


By Ron Giofu


Plans are well underway to celebrate International Women’s Day in Essex County.

A committee consisting of people from Amherstburg and LaSalle are in the planning stages for the “Press for Progress” brunch that will be held March 4 at Ambassador Golf Club in LaSalle. The event is being presented by the Essex County International Women’s Day Committee and the Belle Vue Conservancy.

“We wanted to have an event to celebrate International Women’s Day that takes place on March 8,” explained event-co chair Patricia Simone. “This years theme is ‘Press for Progress’ and the committee wanted to host an event to get people talking and thinking about the best way to press for progress for women’s issues.”

Simone added that due to positive response, the event has been opened up to people from around Windsor-Essex County.

The master of ceremonies for the brunch will be St. Clair College president Patti France with Laurie Tannous, vice president of government and industry relations for Farrow, being the guest speaker. There will also be panelists that will provide a brief introduction and answers to questions posed by moderator Anthony Leardi.

Panelists include St. Clair College professor and local author Veronique Mandal, Michael Akpata from IBM, Jody Goslin from Oxley Estate Winery and Enwin Utilities CEO Helga Reidel.

“We hope that everyone attends this event to show that pressing for progress is something that everyone should be assisting with. This isn’t just a women issue it’s an everyone issue,” said Simone.

Proceeds from ticket sales and donations will be directed to the Belle Vue Conservancy. Auction and 50/50 draw proceeds will be donated to the LaSalle Food Bank.

“We chose Belle Vue as it was the home of sisters, Margaret and Catherine Reynolds, whose landscape paintings provide an invaluable record of early 19th century life in Upper Canada,” said Simone. “Their works hang in the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Windsor Museum, Library and Archives Canada and Fort Malden National Historic Site. We feel it’s important to ensure that this history remains in Amherstburg.”

Tickets are $40 per person. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch and program starts at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are available at the River Town Times office at 67 Richmond St. in Amherstburg and the Leardi Law Firm at 23 Sandwich St. S. in Amherstburg.

Simone co-chairs the organizing committee with Peggy Thompson, with other committee members including Bonnie Deslippe, Stephanie Thomson, Leardi and Akpata as well as advisors Shirley Curson-Prue and Michael Prue from the Belle Vue Conservancy.

From humble beginnings, seamstress continues to help others



By Jolene Perron


“My life mission is for the love and helping of all people.”

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and raised in Windsor, self-motivated Pamela Murray has had a unique background.

In her younger years, Murray explained she was always involved in dance, and had a love and a passion for entertaining. She loved finding new talent to showcase. She was fresh out of Bruno’s School of Hair Design in Toronto and had just moved back to Windsor when an automobile accident changed her life forever.

“In June 1989, my life changed forever with a horrific car accident resulting in me now being a right leg amputee,” explained Murray. “My desire to do hair professionally and all the hours of hard work was over, but I remembered my love of sewing.”

Since she was a child, Murray had loved to sew. With the help of a friend from school, she started a business plan and learned how to use a computer. She said that was the beginning of her business, Rastafari Dynesty Designs By Dorcus.

“I had very little skills and I opened my first shop on Wyandotte Street in Windsor in 1995,” said Murray. “My first fashion show was in the parking lot of St. John Church, very humble beginning. My shows were very unique and for all ages. We showcased African clothes with live drumming, models and dancing. We did shows in Michigan and as far as Toronto. My love of people and seeing pure joy wanted me to go further. I had a calling.”

Pamela Murray stands with her most recent project, a car seat from a classic car, which she has completely reupholstered from fabric seats to vinyl.

Murray explained she wanted to join the masses and make a difference. She gave up her Canadian rights, packed her bags and travelled to rural areas of third world countries. This is where Murray explained she “met some of the greatest people.”

“These people are hidden and even forgotten about,” said Murray. “I would teach the children basic life skills, help with homework and ethics for work. Things that we don’t even think about, and often taken for granted, like being able to read and write. I would then take the same people young and old and train them. Who wanted to be drummers, who wanted to dance and who wanted to be models, I trained them all. I was teaching them to operate sewing machines. These students were starving to learn and their teacher was ready.”

Murray explained she visited many places by invitation and was always well received. She said everyone she met loved Canada and dreamed of seeing how great our country is. Some of her greatest memories were in Jamaica where she was involved in many shows and her designs were worn by a number of professionals and artists from their music industry.

“They loved me and my endless hours at the sewing machine making and designing school uniforms,” explained Murray. “They would call me a factory because I would work late into the night sewing. Everything that was earned was given back to the community.”

Her most memorable moment was her show, “Santa Claus Comes to the Ghetto,” where, through sponsorships, she was able to provide music, food, drinks and even Santa. The children at the show had never seen Santa Claus. Murray designed the suit and all of the elf clothes, and even had gifts purchased by the sponsors.
“I would do these shows for fund raising for community development,” said Murray. “I raised funds to build school washroom to homes for the elderly.”

Murray adopted five children after their mother died. She put them through school, and raised them to be adults, some of them even have children of their own. Murray said leaving them was the hardest part about returning home, but she had always dreamed about returning. When she came home with just one single suitcase, she didn’t intend on staying.

“I’ve been doing so much for others that I had forgotten about myself,” said Murray.

“I felt instant comfort and the people are so warm and friendly and always willing to offer assistance. I came with one suitcase and now I am living like a Queen because of all the kindness and generosity with the people of Amherstburg and St John (the Baptist) Church.”

Murray lives to serve her current community now, doing clothing alterations, making drapery, pillows and interiors all out of her King St. home. She said there’s nothing she can’t do, and encourages anyone to call her at 519-713-9051 for anything they may need. Since she’s been home, she made friends with Jennifer and Brent Sousie who she said helped to direct her to a whole new level of sewing. Murray even does car seat upholstery, she said she has her friends to thank for it.

“Whether I am in my wheelchair or on my crutches I will work very hard for the people of Amherstburg. I also offer to teach sewing in a group environment,” said Murray. “I have a common sense approach to sewing and I can show how easy sewing can be and I want to share my very special gift.”

Amherstburg police searching for male connected to alleged road rage incident



The Amherstburg Police Service are searching for a male party allegedly involved in a road rage incident Dec. 26 at Walmart and would like to speak to him.

According to police, the male pictured allegedly took a knife out of his pocket while the parties were arguing in front of the store. Police state that they cannot confirm if a knife was present but they would like to identify and speak to the male.

If you have information, please contact Const. Pizzala at 519-736-8559, ext. 309 or Crime Stoppers at 519-258-TIPS (8477), or at


Thefts   Amherstburg police say two people in ski masks attempted to break into the change machine at the car wash in the 6700 block of County Road 50 Sunday around 8:10 p.m. The suspects did not gain access. Police say they were unable to locate the suspects. The investigation continues.

  • A theft in the 300 block of Sandwich St. S. was reported last Thursday. Smoke detectors were reported stolen from an apartment unit. Police say the matter is under investigation.
  • A Honda generator was stolen from a construction site in the 300 block of Welsh St. It was also reported last Thursday, though the theft was believed to have occurred sometime over the previous two weeks. That theft is also being investigated.
  • A purse was reported stolen from a vehicle parked at a home in the 200 block of Sandwich St. S. It was reported Sunday evening. Police remind residents to ensure they lock their vehicles and remove anything of value from them.
  • Amherstburg police have identified a person they were seeking in relation to a theft at the Amherstburg Laundromat Jan. 7. Police say a suspect allegedly broke into a locked hallway and stole supplies. While the person has been identified, the matter is under investigation and, as of press time, charges had not been laid.


Accident   A 77-year-old Harrow man was charged with passing on the right not in safety following a two-car accident Saturday around 6:30 p.m. at Front Road North and Windermere Pl. There were no injuries. The vehicles involved were a Dodge Caravan and a Dodge Journey.


Mischief   A house was reported to have been egged with the report coming to police around 11:49 a.m. Sunday. The home is located in the 7000 block of Eagle Cr. Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.


Stats   There were 33 traffic-related charges laid from Jan. 8-15 with that time period also seeing five 911 calls and 16 alarm calls.


-All information courtesy of the Amherstburg Police Service