ADL Scholarship

“Row Madness” raises over $10,000 for ADL Scholarship



By Ron Giofu


Members of the Garage Gym gathered with friends and family at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery to raise money for a local charity.

“Row Madness” took over the local winery with proceeds going to The Addolorata De Luca Leadership (ADL) Scholarship, founded by Amherstburg resident and recent University of Windsor graduate Cessidia DeBiasio. Tony Smith, who co-owns the Garage Gym with wife Dani, compared the type of event to the famed NCAA basketball tournament held every spring.

“It’s a rowing event, similar to the March Madness event,” he said.

The Garage Gym’s “Row Madness” event featured approximately 80 competitors, he said.

“We’re pitting 17 teams against each other,” said Smith.

Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery donated use of the facility for the day and G.L. Heritage Brewing Co. also partnered with the Garage Gym.

“We have all kinds of donations,” he stated. “It would be impossible to list them off.”

The Garage Gym held “Row Madness” Nov. 25 at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery to benefit the Addolorata De Luca Leadership (ADL) Scholarship. The event raised over $10,000. Winston McAllister was one of the participants and was encouraged by his wife and teammate Trish during the event.

The Garage Gym regularly supports local charities, Smith continued, and they were impressed by DeBiasio and her charity.

“We chose this one because we are so impressed by the young lady who is behind it,” he said.

Teams were comprised of Garage Gym members and members of their family and friends. Support for the event has been “unreal,” he added, noting a minimum donation of $100 was required in able to participate in the rowing tournament.

The person with the most pledges wins an opportunity to participate in a transformation program at Garage Gym.

DeBiasio told the crowd that “each and every one of you is making a difference” in helping a student become a contributor to the community. Every single dollar raised goes to the scholarship, named in honour of her grandmother, she added.

“I’m truly grateful,” said DeBiasio. “It means a lot.”

DeBiasio said she has been working on the ADL Scholarship for about three years and has raised $25,000. Once $40,000 is raised, two scholarships can be awarded, but she would be happy to offer even more.

For more information on the scholarship itself, visit The public can keep up on the ADL Scholarship on Facebook @theadlscholarship and Instagram @theadlscholarship.