Jones Cookoff raises thousands for Essex County Heroes



By Ron Giofu


The 6th annual Jones Cookoff was held Sunday and the Essex County Heroes will benefit big time.

The cookoff, held at the home of Terry and Lisa Jones, raised thousands for the Heroes, an athletic club that started in Amherstburg 14 years ago for people with intellectual disabilities. A final total was not known as of press time, but it is expected to far exceed the $30,000 raised last year.

The Heroes are a partnership between Community Living Essex County and the Amherstburg Police Service with Michelle Jones-Rousseau and Mike Cox being co-founders. Jones-Rousseau said she wanted her son Kyle to be able to play basketball and the idea grew from there.

The cookoff began as a way to celebrate the birthday of Terry and Lisa’s daughter Mackie and it now raises thousands annually.

“We have amazing support,” said Jones-Rousseau. “From my perspective, I am so appreciative of all the friends that have gone along with this and helped out.”

Heros co-founder Mike Cox (below) dressed as Superman while co-founder Michelle Jones-Rousseau (with brother Terry, above), was also in superhero attire at last Sunday’s cookoff.

The cookoff sees friends, family and business associates of the Jones family gather, cook over an open fire and serve it to the hundreds that attend. Everything from chili, soup, crepes, perogies, “Heroes Gyros” and more were served Sunday.

People dressed in costume and got into the spirit of the event.

“They jumped in and supported the event. They went along with it,” said Jones-Rousseau.

The Essex County Heroes have had an “amazing year,” she added, as not only do they have basketball weekly at both General Amherst High School and Essex District High School, but they also have teamed with Group Hug Apparel to offer hip hop classes in Kingsville and swimming in Leamington.

“This is all from the donations from the Jones annual cookoff,” said Jones-Rousseau. “Everyone is very enthusiastic to make plans on how to get our club even bigger.

The Heroes have over 160 members, she added.

“We’re growing all the time,” she said.

Terry Jones added that he and Lisa are pleased to help and noted they have a lot of fun doing it.

“It’s for a great cause,” he said. “There is a lot of great friends and family. You can’t ask for a better deal.”

Numerous businesses and companies helped sponsor the event and make donations, something he said they are very grateful for.

Jones, who is Jones-Rousseau’s brother, also noted that everyone gets into the fun of it, with some dressing up in costumes. He called the volunteers with the Heroes “angels” and said they go above and beyond to help out.

“It’s all about helping to support them,” he said.

For more information on the Heroes, visit the group’s Facebook page.

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