SOE Wine Festival gives back to Skate Amherstburg, House of Shalom



SOE Wine donationsBy Ron Giofu


A pair of local youth organizations that helped out at the Shores of Erie International Wine Festival have been recognized by the organizers.

Karen Gyorgy, chair of the wine festival committee, presented financial rewards to Skate Amherstburg and the House of Shalom last Thursday as a way to give back to the two groups that assisted in cleanup and other chores during the September festival. Additional funding could flow to the groups in the future so a donation total was not disclosed at the present time.

“We chose these organizations because of their ability to bring young people in to do an amazing job for us,” said Gyorgy.

Gyorgy said they also partnered with Skate Amherstburg and the House of Shalom to give young people a “sense of community” and to let youth know they are giving back.

“It gives us a real sense of satisfaction to have these young people help out,” she said. “The young people of this community will be our volunteers of the future.”

House of Shalom activities co-ordinator Rebecca Deline said her volunteers look forward to assisting at the wine festival annually. She said it makes them feel they are “a valued part” of the Amherstburg community.

“It’s gives them an ownership in the community,” said Deline.

Participating in such volunteer activities also gives House of Shalom members a chance to meet and network with new people as they work towards building a career for themselves in the future.

The House of Shalom will put their donations into a general fund, which will help fund building maintenance and programming costs.

Sharon Kawai, president of Skate Amherstburg, said the club’s two synchronized skating teams participated with funding being used to help offset competition costs. She added Skate Amherstburg always tries to give back to the community as best as they can and this was a good fit for them.

Kawai said their volunteers interact well with the community with feedback from the community being overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m so proud of them,” said Kawai.

Kawai added most of Skate Amherstburg’s volunteers far surpass the 40 hours needed for high school graduation.

“They are doing it because they know volunteering is rewarding in and of itself,” she said.

Gyorgy added her belief that working together can lead to great things.

“I could not be prouder of these two organizations,” stated Gyorgy. “They go above and beyond.”

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