Community Living Essex County gets donation from clothing entrepreneur

 

 

Andrew Banar and his mother Karen Pickle (centre) donate $500 to Community Living Essex County. Accepting are CLEC executive director Nancy Wallace-Gero (left) and manager of community relations and resource development Tony DeSantis.

Andrew Banar and his mother Karen Pickle (centre) donate $500 to Community Living Essex County. Accepting are CLEC executive director Nancy Wallace-Gero (left) and manager of community relations and resource development Tony DeSantis.

By Ron Giofu

 

A young man with a disability who started his own clothing line has given back to an agency that has assisted him.

Andrew Banar, who started the Group Hug Apparel clothing line in 2009 with his mother Karen Pickle in 2009, presented Community Living Essex County (CLEC) with a donation of $500 last Wednesday afternoon. Banar started Group Hug Apparel to raise money for college and to help local families and charities from his sales. The shirts, featuring Andrew’s rock inspired drawings, quickly became a hit and the company grew into a full-time business.

The proceeds were generated through several events that Banar and Pickle have attended through the year, with CLEC being one of the causes Banar chooses to support.

“They help me enjoy life. We have fun,” said Banar.

Banar said he enjoys attending summer camps offered through CLEC and executive director Nancy Wallace-Gero indicated that could be where some of the donation proceeds go towards.

“There’s so many different ways it can be used,” said Wallace-Gero.

Among the other causes that Group Hug Apparel proceeds will go towards include WE Care for Kids, Sick Kids Hospital, homeless shelters, food banks, Transition to Betterness and fundraisers for Leamington leukemia patient Aubri Andre.

“Anything that touches Andrew, it spreads from there,” said Pickle.

“Andrew is very generous with his list of organizations he donates to,” added Wallace-Gero. “Community Living Essex County is very, very proud to be on that list.”

Over the years, Banar has donated over $20,000 to local charities, including Community Living Essex County. He has also been recognized with several awards including the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award, Canadian Down Syndrome Hero Award, Council for Exceptional Children, and many others.

Community Living Essex County supports over 650 people with an intellectual disability and their families across Essex County. The agency also operates Channel Resource Centre, located at 260 Bathurst St. in Amherstburg.

Comments are closed.