News

Kids Curing Cancer sets another fundraising record

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Kids Curing Cancer (KCC) revealed its 2018-19 fundraising total Friday night and it was the best yet.

KCC announced that they had raised $14,906 at various fundraisers, the biggest of which was a Feb. 16 pasta dinner fundraiser at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and the proceeds will be donated to the Fight Like Mason Foundation.

The Baillargeon family – led by children Lauren, Kierstyn and Ty – also held a concert at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in December and partnered with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) and the Amherstburg Admirals on a “Hockey Day” in January at the Libro Centre.

This year’s efforts brings the overall total in the six years of events to $53,911.

“Nine-year-old me would not believe it if you were to tell me what the six-year total would be,” said Lauren, during Friday night’s announcement that was also held at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.

Lauren called it “our second favourite day of the year” and noted the announcement came on a special day for the family. KCC was founded in memory of Dan Gerard, the grandfather of the Baillargeon children and father to their mother Jodi. March 8 was Gerard’s birthday.

“It’s grandpa’s birthday,” she said. “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate and honour him.”

Lauren noted she started fundraising shortly after Gerard died, with the initial goal in 2014 being $50. That ended up blossoming to where she raised $3,860 for the Patient Assistance Fund with the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Foundation.

The next year, KCC grew again and donated $6,280 to the Patient Assistance Fund and it grew again in 2016 as another $6,850 went to that cause, mainly from proceeds that came from pasta dinners that were held at the then-Verdi Club.

Kids Curing Cancer (KCC) made the official donation to the Fight Like Mason Foundation last Friday night at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. This year’s total was $14,906, bringing the six-year total to $53,911 though previous donations have included the Patient Assistance Fund and the Ronald McDonald House. Lauren, Kierstyn and Ty Baillargeon were joined by Mason and Morgan Gerard (left) as they made the
donation to Iain Macri, Chantelle Bacon and Miller Bacon-Macri.

In 2017, Kids Curing Cancer decided to donate to the Ronald McDonald House and that was the year it expanded to include concerts and the Hockey Day. That year, they donated $8,304.

The pasta dinner was moved to Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and in 2018, the Fight Like Mason Foundation was chosen as the charity of choice with last year’s total being $13,708.

This year’s total was yet another record.

“We are blown away by the generosity of family, friends and even strangers and we can’t thank (everyone) enough,” said Lauren.

Representing the Fight Like Mason Foundation were Iain Macri and Chantelle Bacon, parents of four-year-old Mason Bacon-Macri, in whose memory the foundation was started. Mason died of a form of childhood cancer in June 2016.

Iain noted there was a connection with the Baillargeons after originally meeting them and told the three youths that he was convinced their grandfather would be very proud of them for what they’ve done in raising over $50,000 for charity over the last six years.

“I don’t know how many different ways we can say thank you,” he said.

Macri praised the family for their hard work and said they are more than just partners now.

“It’s not just a team. You are part of a family now,” he said.

Chantelle noted the proceeds will not only decorate IV poles with superhero themes for sick children, but be invested back into the foundation’s community programming.

“We’re lucky enough (KCC) picked us and it’s definitely helped us to expand our programming,” Chantelle said.

Iain said it was amazing to see what the Baillargeon children have done and believes that their grandfather and Mason have become “buds” now. Chantelle added that while Mason didn’t get to go to school, he is still growing up around friends thanks to fundraisers like the ones Kids Curing Cancer presented.

Kids Curing Cancer can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kidscuringcancerforgrandpa. The Fight Like Mason Foundation website can be found at www.fightlikemason.org.

Craft brewery coming to downtown core

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Although there are some licensing issues that still have to be overcome, look for a craft brewery to open in downtown Amherstburg this spring.

Town council voted to support the issuance of a manufacturer’s limited liquor sales license for Lot 10 Brewing Co. for “by the glass” sales from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) during Monday night’s meeting, but opted not to delegate such authority to administration in the future and keep it at the council level.

Brian Fowkes, who is one of the partners founding the Lot 10 Brewing Co., said they plan to have five craft beers on tap when it opens with five more with different recipes also to be featured. The plan also calls for light appetizers to be served, he noted, and possibly wine sales.

The business will be located on Dalhousie St. and Fowkes said “location is key.” He believes they will get a lot of business from festivals and events in addition to regular foot traffic.

Lot 10 Brewing Co. is soon opening on Dalhousie St., across from the Gordon House.

“We’re going to get a lot of traffic,” he believes. “We wouldn’t go anywhere but downtown Amherstburg.”

Fowkes said they are looking at the end of April or early May to be open.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo noted this will be the fourth craft brewery or distillery in Amherstburg, joining G.L. Heritage Brewing Co., Lonsbery Farms Brewing Co. and Wolfhead Distillery. Lot 10, he said, will be the first one downtown as the others are on Howard Ave.

“It’s actually a great model. It’ll expand what we already have,” he said.

DiCarlo said he was already getting calls from developers about coming to town and that “ramped up” following the hotel and condominium announcements. He said he liked the location for Lot 10 Brewing Co. and also believes the location will be beneficial during festival season as it will be one more place for residents and visitors to go.

Local resident celebrates 99th birthday

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local resident celebrated her 99th birthday in style last Sunday afternoon and vows she will make it to her milestone 100th birthday.

Georgina “Jo” Bedard was surrounded by friends and family at Seasons Amherstburg with dinner, cake and a presentation to her from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo as part of the celebration. Among her friends were fellow parishioners from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. The Pembroke-born Bedard saw her mother die in 1929 and she followed her father into the lumber camps before they moved to Windsor when she was a teenager.

Bedard raised her family in Windsor and became a widow at age 32. One of her three sons owned a farm on County Road 50 for many years and she moved to Amherstburg in 2000 to be closer to him. Before coming to town, she recalled paying her bills at her Windsor home by taking in boarders, many of whom were police officers that had been transferred to the area.

“I’ve been around a long time but I have never thought of myself as being 96, 97, 98 or 99,” said Bedard, whose actual birthday was Tuesday. “It’s just a case of having another birthday. I grew old gracefully.”

eorgina “Jo” Bedard turned 99 on Tuesday but
celebrated with family and friends Sunday
afternoon at Seasons Retirement Community. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo presents her with a certificate on behalf of the town.

There are already plans for next year.

“I’m 99, I’ll probably see 100,” she figures. “My health is good. We’ll see. Only time will tell.”

Bedard credits her longevity to living one day at a time.

“Yesterday is a memory and you look to today,” she said. “You get up in the morning and whatever comes, you deal with it.”

Recalling she grew up as one of 15 girls and two boys, Bedard said they were “poor as a church mouse” and lived off the land to survive. She said they would have to go down to the river for water because there was no indoor plumbing.

“I love every year I’ve lived. It made me stronger. It made me a survivor,” she said. “Anyone alive that has lived this long, we’re survivors. We survived from the poor times to the very good times.”

Bedard said she has had aunts and uncles live long lives. There were sad times in her 99 years, though.

Jo Bedard gets her
picture taken blowing out her candles.

“The only sad thing is my children did not live to be old. When you bury two of your children, it’s sad,” said Bedard. “I never dreamed I’d bury two of my children.”

However, Bedard remains positive.

“Overall, life is good,” she said. “You just have to be able to deal with life. When all is said and done, life is good. You just move on with things. Life brings a lot of different things.”

Bedard noted that “I’ve seen so many things in the last 99 years, I can’t begin to tell you” and that amazing things have happened in her life. She enjoys being with the younger generations of her family and is happy being around them.

“I love each and every one of them,” said Bedard. “It’s like old times.”

New band making mark on music scene, coming to town this weekend

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local band is making some noise on the local music scene and is bringing their talents to Amherstburg this weekend.

Ryan Mickle, Chase Santavy, Mitchell D’Aloisio and James D’Aloisio make up the band Two Years Apart and they will be playing at Shooter’s Roadhouse Saturday starting at 9 p.m. The band has been together roughly a year, though the members note they came together over the years either jamming with each other or with others before aligning as a group themselves.

The name two Years Apart stems from the fact most are two years apart in age, though Mickle and James grew up together and played in elementary school. James and Mitchell are brothers.

Mickle notes that he has been writing songs since he was 13-years-old. Mitchell and Santavy are attending the University of Windsor with the goal of being social workers and were talking in class one day about music and when Mitchell said they needed a bass player, Santavy jumped on board.

“It was the perfect fit,” noted Mickle.

Two Years Apart got their start at the Phog Lounge in Windsor at open mic nights, stating it was a welcoming atmosphere for young musicians looking for a place to play.

“It’s a judgment-free zone,” said Mickle.

The Phog is run by Tom Lucier and Joe O’Brien and the band said they have been supporters from the start. Two Years Apart has been playing open mic nights there and at other locations in Windsor such as Villain’s Beastro and the Beer Exchange but, with three of the four rock band members being Amherstburg natives, they are excited to showcase their skills

“This is our first show in Amherstburg,” Mickle noted. “It’s a pretty big show for us.”

The band “Two Years Apart,” seen here in Toronto, will be performing at Shooters this Saturday. (Photo by Liam Wear)

The band has also put their song “Bungalow” on YouTube and have recorded a total of four songs thus far, two of which were recorded in Toronto.

“We’ve got two songs recorded in our buddy’s basement,” added Santavy, noting their friend Jacob McIntyre is a budding producer.

They describe their music as heavy and classic rock and the members noted they are doing this on the side as they either stay in school or work. James is a nurse in Toronto and practices the drums when he gets recordings of what his fellow band members do

“He listens to the recordings we send him and he keeps up,” said Mickle. “We just let him come up with the drum part.”

Mitchell and Santavy are still students while Mickle works as a manager of a custom kitchen design firm.

“We just like having fun,” said Mitchell. “If it stops having fun, we won’t do it.”

Mitchell joked that “if you like wearing jeans on jeans, drinking Coors Light and hanging out in the garage, you’ll like our music. If you like having fun, if you like good times, we’ll try our best to make that happen.”

They used to have a fifth member that rapped but after he left the band, “it really focused our sound,” said Santavy. Mickle added they have a “good mash-up” of musicians with the four of them.

Two Years Apart performs. (Photo by Liam Wear)

“We complement each other well,” said Mitchell.

The band has already written 15 original songs and “that wouldn’t happen if we didn’t enjoy it,” said Mitchell.

They used to practice in the D’Aloisio basement but now they extend thanks to Karl Vanier, who lets them practice in a garage multiple times per week.

“We’re very grateful to him,” said Mickle. “It’s nice to have that as our headquarters I guess you’d call it.”

The band members describe their growth as “organic,” with Santavy calling it “a steady uphill progression.”

“Whatever happens, happens,” stated Mitchell. “We do what sounds good.”

“We’re taking it as it goes,” added Mickle.

Santavy agreed, stating “it’s been a very organic experience. Nothing feels forced. Nothing feels like labour. Wherever this takes us is where we’re going to go.”

Two Years Apart has Facebook and Instagram pages they invite the public to follow them on. They have done about 25 shows locally so far, including the open mic nights, and after this Saturday night’s show at Shooters, they will have an April 6 show at the Phog and another show at Shooters Victoria Day weekend. They are also looking to perform at festivals and events around the Windsor-Essex County region.

 

Police investigating break-and-enters

 

 

The Windsor Police Service – Amherstburg Detachment is investigating a pair of break-ins at a property in the 6500 block of Concession 6 South.

Police say two homes on the same property were reported to have been entered, with a total of $200 in miscellaneous jewellery stolen. It was reported March 10 around 3:15 p.m. There are no suspects, but if people have any information, they are asked to contact police at 519-736-2252 or Crime Stoppers at 519-258-TIPS (8477).

 

Other thefts   Police are investigating a theft of a pickup truck grill that was delivered to a residence on Walker Road. The home, in the 9500 block, was the site of the delivery and the package was stolen from the front of the residence. The package had an approximate value of $300. It was reported March 5 around 3:54 p.m. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers or police

*A shed was reported to have been entered in the 200 block of Dalhousie St. and police say approximately $1,200 in tools were stolen. There are no suspects but anyone with information is requested to contact police or Crime Stoppers. It was reported March 9 around 12:51 p.m.

Mischief   Police report several mischief complaints between March 1-4. Orange paint balls were shot at various locations around Amherstburg, police say. The matter is under investigation and police are asking anyone with information to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

 

Accidents   Police say a two-vehicle accident March 6 resulted in a 19-year-old Amherstburg man charged with failing to stop at a red light. It was reported around 5:19 p.m. There were no injuries.

*A two-vehicle accident was reported March 8 at County Road 20 and Texas Road. Police say an 81-year-old Amherstburg woman wash charged with failing to signal a lane change. There were no injuries.

 

-All information courtesy of the Windsor Police Service – Amherstburg Detachment