Amherstburg Community Services

Donations needed for Coats for Kids

Special to the RTT

With winter just around the corner, and the cold weather that comes with it, Amherstburg Community Services has kicked off its annual Coats for Kids donation campaign.  The non-profit organization is seeking donations of winter outerwear that will be distributed to Amherstburg children and families.

“Having a warm, winter coat is a necessity with our unpredictable winters, but it’s a necessity many families can’t afford every year for growing children,” ACS Executive Director, Kathy DiBartolomeo said.  “Amherstburg has so many generous and caring residents.  With your help, we can ensure that every child stays warm this winter, no matter how far the mercury drops.”

Amherstburg Community Services executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo (left) and volunteer Christina Bezaire stand with some of the coats that were available at the ACS office as part of the 2017 Coats for Kids campaign. Donations are now being accepted for 2018.

The organization is now accepting donations of new or gently used coats, gloves, scarves, hats and other winter outerwear of all sizes.  Donations can be dropped off at Amherstburg Community Services at 179 Victoria St S or at Master Cleaners at 400 Sandwich St.

All donations go directly to Amherstburg families who qualify for distribution.  Distribution of the coats will take place out of Amherstburg Community Services from November 12 to November 16.  Anyone interested in receiving coats should contact Amherstburg Community Services at 519-736-5471.  Volunteers are also needed to help distribute the coats.  Those interested should also contact Amherstburg Community Services.  Coats for Kids is provided in partnership with the Unemployed Help Centre of Windsor. For more information, please contact Amherstburg Community Services.

Rotary Club bringing Montreal Canadiens alumni to town for charity game



By Ron Giofu


A charity hockey game will be coming to the Libro Centre Dec. 1 with some NHL heroes pitted against some local heroes.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg has announced that Amherstburg will be a stop on the Montreal Canadiens alumni tour with the Habs alumni going head-to-head with local heroes and business owners. Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Joan Donaldson said they are trying to line up local firefighters, police officers and business owners to play against the Montreal alumni.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Montreal Canadiens Alumni to bring this unique event to Amherstburg,” said Donaldson. “It’s going to be an exciting event at the Libro Credit Union Centre Dec. 1, with local players from our police force, fire department, and businesses.”

Donaldson said the Rotary Club was approached about taking on the event and decided to do so.

“The (Montreal Canadiens) alumni does charity events all over the country,” Donaldson explained.

All funds raised will continue to support the work of the Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

“We looked at the organization and what they do for the community,” said Donaldson.

As for which former Montreal players are coming, that won’t be known until later in the month, but Donaldson assured “these are high calibre players that are coming.”

Donaldson said “this will be a big event for us” with the Rotary Club possibly entertaining more such events, depending on how the Dec. 1 game turns out. She said manager of recreation services Rick Daly has been very supportive, as has Brian Da Silva from the Montreal Canadiens Alumni.

The Montreal Canadiens Alumni will be at the Libro Centre playing against local Amherstburg heroes Dec. 1. The game is presented by the Amherstburg Rotary Club with proceeds going to Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

“The Montreal Canadiens Alumni team is composed of some of the Habs’ most loved players over the years,” stated Da Silva.

The game will take place at the Libro Credit Union Centre and tickets will go on sale Oct. 9 for $20 each. There is a family pack (four tickets) available for $70 and $75 VIP tickets also available.

The VIP tickets also include a pre-game reception and “meet and greet” with the Montreal Canadiens Alumni team. Donaldson said there will be a limit of two items that can be signed for VIP ticket holders.

Tickets are available at and in person at the Libro Credit Union Centre, though Donaldson stated advance tickets may not be available at the Libro Centre until roughly one week before the event. Tickets will be available at the door, unless the game is a sell-out beforehand.

In addition, super fans can purchase a chance to share the ice with the Montreal Canadiens Alumni with spots as referees, linesmen and assistant coach with the Habs.

“This event brings together all that is truly Canadian about hockey and promises to delight fans of all ages,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo in a press release. “We are honoured to welcome the Montreal Canadiens Alumni team to our premier facility, and we extend a special thank you to the Rotary Club of Amherstburg for their tireless fundraising efforts within our community.”

Donaldson said the Rotary Club of Amherstburg is very excited to be hosting the event and that she is pleased with how engaged club members are in presenting the game.

“We are ongoing in looking for people who want to contribute to our program or be a sponsor,” she added. “The more we make, the more we can give to (ACS).”

For additional information please contact Joan Donaldson 519-817-5728, or Susanne Bergeron at
Rotary brings together a global network of community leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. The Rotary Club of Amherstburg can be found on Facebook at, on Twitter at or the public can visit the club’s website at
The Montreal Canadiens Alumni team plays 50 to 60 games a year and last year raised over $1 million for different charitable organizations.


ACS’ latest “Wine ‘n’ Hop” tops $4,300



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) tried a new date for its fall “Wine ‘n’ Hop” event and early returns are positive.

With the twice-yearly fundraiser usually having been held on a weeknight, ACS tried moving it to a Saturday and drew about 90 people.

“It’s a good number. It’s the first time we’ve tried having it on a Saturday,” explained ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “We got a lot of positive feedback.”

By having it last Saturday, DiBartolomeo said people were able to relax more and better enjoy themselves. There was also an expansion in the number of restaurants used as six were part of the most recent “Wine ‘n’ Hop” – the Salty Dog, the Beacon Ale House, the Dalhousie Bistro, Rosa’s, the Artisan Grill and Barrel 67. Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 was the starting and ending point.

“The restaurants really outdid themselves,” she said.

Roughly 90 people attended last Saturday’s Wine ‘n’ Hop that made its way to six downtown restaurants. It was the first time that Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) presented the event on a Saturday and organizers were happy with the results.

DiBartolomeo added that if people enjoy themselves during the day and liked the appetizers, they had the option of returning later that evening for dinner.

Amherstburg Community Services thanked their sponsors as well as the restaurants and the people that attended. Austin Tyrrell, ACS’ community awareness and fundraising coordinator, estimated that the latest “Wine ‘n’ Hop” topped $4,300. Despite having one van donated and a new bus on order, ACS is still trying to keep its vehicle fleet in the best shape possible, so the proceeds will go into the vehicle replacement fund.

DiBartolomeo said ACS should receive its new bus within the month.

“We’re happy to continue to host events with local businesses and encourage people to shop local,” added Tyrrell.

Sponsors included John D’Alimonte and Kim Wheeler from RE/MAX Preferred Realty Inc., Dollars and Cents Investments, Bornais Financial Services and Tech-IT-Easy. The free transportation was sponsored by Thrasher Sales and Leasing.

To keep up with the fundraisers, services and events that Amherstburg Community Services is planning, or to learn more about opportunities to give, people are encouraged to contact ACS at 519-736-5471, visit and follow their social media pages including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. People can also visit the Amherstburg Community Services’ office, located at 179 Victoria St. S. in Amherstburg.


“Give a Little, Help a Lot” campaign raises almost $500 for ACS



Special to the RTT


After a store-wide fundraising campaign, Meloche’s No Frills presented local charity, Amherstburg Community Services with a cheque for $485.

The money was raised through by customers of the Amherstburg grocery store as part of the “Give a Little, Help a Lot” campaign.  Chris Meloche says him and his wife, Tina, who both own and operate the store, are always excited to help their community.

“We try to help local groups whenever and however possible,” Chris said.  “If everyone gives just a tiny bit, it can go such a long way.  This campaign makes it as easy as possible for busy people to make a big impact.”

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo accepts a $485 cheque from Tina and Chris Meloche of Meloche’s No Frills. The money was raised through No Frills’ “Give a Little, Help a Lot” campaign. (Special to the RTT)

The campaign encouraged customers to donate small amounts to local charities like Amherstburg Community Services.  Tina Meloche says their store’s customers deserve credit for their donations.

“We have a role as a local business to encourage a giving and generous community, and our staff did a great job of that, but at the end of the day, it’s the customers,” she said.  “It’s simply incredible to have customers who are so generous and willing to help others.  It’s clear we live in a caring community.”

According to the executive director at ACS, Kathy DiBartolomeo, the money will go directly towards helping the most vulnerable people in the region.

“As a small charity, we really do rely on the support of our community to make an impact,” DiBartolomeo said.  “We are so grateful to the staff and owners at our local No Frills, and especially to every customer who donated.”

General donations like this support a variety of programs that help the elderly, low-income families and individuals, and others living in Amherstburg.  Anyone interested in learning more can contact Amherstburg Community Services directly at 519-736-5471 or people can make a donation by visiting their website at



Car dealers, realtors band together to help ACS



By Ron Giofu


First it was Concours Mold Inc., now it is a group of Amherstburg car dealers and realtors helping to get Amherstburg Community Services’ (ACS) complement up to full strength.

Just weeks after the Goggin family and Concours Mold teamed to bring the fundraising total to $75,000 for a new accessible bus, four local car dealers and a pair of local realtors were at ACS last Tuesday afternoon where a 2009 van was presented to the agency.

Representing the car dealers were Scott Elliott and Mike Bezzoubkin from Amherstburg GM, Matt Semande from Thrasher Sales and Leasing, Michelle Ropac from Joe Meloche Ford and Leo Racicot Jr. from Racicot Chrysler while realtors John D’Alimonte and Kim Wheeler also were part of the team that helped acquire the van.

Elliott said once the issue went public about ACS having their former vehicles break down and removed from the road, everyone decided to help out.

“The four (car dealerships) got together and said we want to help with the situation,” said Elliott. “John and Kim heard about it and wanted to help too.”

The van, valued at approximately $10,000, will assist ACS with different services but the primary focus at the current time will be the St. Clair College shuttle service. The shuttle service had been cancelled for the fall semester due to the vehicle shortage but has now been restored thanks to the donations from the community.

Local car dealers and realtors banded together to purchase a new van for Amherstburg Community Services (ACS). From left: Leo Racicot Jr., Kim Wheeler, John D’Alimonte, Mike Bezzoubkin, Michelle Ropac, Kathy DiBartolomeo, Branka Stewin, Scott Elliott and Matt Semande.

Elliott said the process took about six weeks to come together.

Thrasher Sales & Leasing stated they are pleased to be part of a “terrific group of dealers” that allowed such a donation to happen.

“Thrasher Sales would like to send a big thank you to our customers and community, as it’s their support that allows us to give back and help organizations like the ACS and so many other local causes. These organizations help so many people in our community,” Semande stated.

Kathy DiBartolomeo, executive director at Amherstburg Community Services, was very happy with the donation and said students can now have a reliable way of getting to class. She noted there are students who used the service for three years and now, in their graduating year, can continue.

“We are relieved we can continue to get them to St. Clair,” she said.

DiBartolomeo stated it “will be a well-used vehicle” and that it could be used for other purposes as well.

Branka Stewin, program co-ordinator at ACS, said there are five students currently enrolled for the St. Clair College student shuttle. While that doesn’t mean it’s filled up, there are few spots remaining but those who sign up after spots are filled can be placed on a waiting list.

DiBartolomeo added that ACS is “extremely grateful” that the community has come together to learn about and support the agency. They offer over 20 services out of its office.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services, visit, visit their office at 179 Victoria St S. or call 519-736-5471.