Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission

Mission trying to raise money for new chairs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Faced with the cost of having to replace their chairs, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is hoping the community can help them out.

The current chairs at the mission are becoming damaged and worn out, so the mission’s board is replacing them with 100 new ones. They are looking for people to sponsor the chairs at a cost of $50 each, though vice president Shirley Hitchcock says that covers not only the cost of the chairs but upgrades to the tables as well.

Hitchcock said the mission got the chairs seven years ago from a restaurant that was going out of business.

“We have golf balls on the legs so they won’t wreck our floors,” she said. “These chairs are terrible to sit on. You feel like you are going to fall off.”

“The vinyl is cracking,” added mission president Tim McAllister.

The new chairs are built to hold 400 pounds and have a seven-year warranty. The first 50 come later this month while the second 50 arrive early next year. The mission is searching for a place to store the extra 50 chairs, which will be used on holidays and for other special occasions such as the mission’s tambola event.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister (left) and vice president Shirley Hitchcock show the board where people have their names posted after sponsoring a chair.

“Tambola is a big event,” said McAllister. “We fill all the chairs.”

Hitchcock said the order for 100 chairs was based on the estimate of McAllister and his experience in knowing what the mission requires.

“Whatever he needs here, it’s based on his needs,” said Hitchcock.

The mission has roughly one-quarter of the chairs sponsored, she added. Hitchcock said Amherstburg and surrounding areas are “second to none” when it comes to helping charitable causes and people in need.

“There’s no community that supports people like the Amherstburg area,” said Hitchcock.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission offers a specialized service that is hard to find in the area, with both a food bank and hot meals among the services it offers.

“We are unique,” said McAllister.

“There’s nothing like us in the area,” added Hitchcock.

Some people, Hitchcock continued, just come for the fellowship and to speak with McAllister and the other volunteers at the mission.

“The mission is for everyone,” she said.

While the mission is run by volunteers, even those that are helped by it have adopted tasks that they call their own from clearing tables to helping with the dishes.

“We’re all the same here,” said McAllister. “Respect is what we require. We want people to be happy here. It doesn’t matter what they look like.”

To sponsor a chair, people can visit the mission or mail a cheque to it with the address being 298 Victoria St. S., Amherstburg, ON, N9V 2K5. People can also donate through their website at www.aburgmission.ca.

 

Mission golf tournament raises approximately $6,500

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The organizer of the 11th annual Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission golf tournament is pleased with how this year’s event played out.

“This year, we did really well,” said Winston McAllister. “It was amazing weather and we had great support as always.”

There were 136 golfers this year, McAllister stated.

The tournament was held at Dominion Golf Course in LaSalle.

“We were up 40 golfers from last year’s tournament,” he said. “We had a lot of great support from a lot of great sponsors as they really helped us out.”

McAllister, son of mission board of directors president Tim McAllister, said he couldn’t put a finger on exactly why so many people came out this year, but added they have a good core group of golfers that attend with newcomers joining them.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Misson’s golf tournament was Saturday at Dominion Golf Course in LaSalle. The winning foursome this year included (from left): Kyle Booker, Jesse Carter, Bruce Bratt and Mark Bondy.

“Hopefully people had fun and continue to come back,” said McAllister, who stated the tournament topped the $6,500 mark.

“Our eleven-year total to date is $62,600,” he said.

All proceeds will go directly back into the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, he added.

“The mission is run 100 per cent by volunteers,” said McAllister. “Whatever their greatest need is, the money will be used to support that.”

McAllister added he thanks all the volunteers, sponsors, golfers and all who supported the July 7 tournament.

“There’s so many people who made this happen,” he said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had with this golf tournament.”

People understand why the mission is needed, he added.

“I th ink the need for the mission is clear,” said McAllister. “Some people fall on hard times. ‘People Helping People’ is their motto and they are here to help the community.”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is located at 298 Victoria St. S. and their phone number is 519-736-9140. For more information, visit www.aburgmission.ca or “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmherstburgMission.

Chili Cookoff packs punch for charities

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a milestone year for the Charity Chili Cookoff.

The cookoff, held annually at the Columbus Community Hall (formerly known as the Knights of Columbus Hall) in Amherstburg, was presented for the 25th time last Saturday night. Organizer Ron Fryer said there were eight teams this year.

Teams, and the charities they were helping, included the Columbus Community Hall (benefiting the K of C), the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, Maria’s Restaurant (benefiting Amherstburg Community Services), Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering (benefiting the United Way), the Artisan Grill (benefiting Amherstburg Community Services), Wolfhead Distillery (benefiting the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission) and Royal LePage (benefiting cancer research).

Fryer said he updated the event several years ago, got rid of the judges and allowed the people to choose the winner. While the participants served the chili, they didn’t necessarily serve their own entry as chili was poured into eight identical serving trays and dished out from those as to keep the competition as fair as possible.

The winners from the 2018 Charity Chili Cookoff were crowned at the Columbus Community Hall Saturday night. From left: Natalie Borrelli and Kirk Churchill from Maria’s Restaurant (third place), Tim and Winston McAllister from the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship MIssion (first place) and Kevin and Court Meloche from the Columbus Community Hall (second place).

“For $10, where are you going to go to sample chili?” asked Fryer. “For $10, where can you go for a night out?”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission came in first place, the Columbus Community Hall finished second and Maria’s Restaurant came in third.

Mission president Tim McAllister, who served the chili with his son Winston, joked prior to the judging that he was there to win it.

“We’ve won second and third but we never won first,” McAllister said once the results were announced. “We are excited, grateful and thankful that people came out and supported us in this event. It was a lot of fun. I’m glad we were able to win.”

“It’s for a good cause,” added Winston.

The band Rio Michaels performed after the cookoff was concluded. Final totals of what each winning team won was not available at press time.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission celebrates updated website

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a two year process, but the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission has an updated website.

Formerly maintained by a Windsor resident who has since relocated to western Canada, the old website became out-of-date and tough to maintain locally. After offers to create a new one didn’t pan out, mission vice-president Shirley Hitchcock turned to her son to create a new website.

The mission had further hurdles to get the www.aburgmission.ca name back but once that was done, the website can now be updated locally with the aid of Hitchcock’s husband Jon.

“Our website has an entirely new look ,” explained Hitchcock. “It now contains updated information, photos and bios of our board members, a place to make a donation, a listing of what we need most, how we support the community and how they support us, upcoming events, when we’re in the news, etc.  Most importantly, all of the information is current.”

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission Tim McAllister surfs the mission’s new website.

Mission president Tim McAllister was thrilled with the results.

“Shirley and her team started almost two years ago putting the website together,” said McAllister. “It was a lot of challenges, tears and frustration but it’s beautiful. It’s well done. The mission board of volunteers is very thankful to Shirley, her husband and her team for the efforts to put the website together.”

McAllister said such dedication is nothing different for the mission, as all board members and volunteers are committed to making the mission a better place.

“Everyone gives their dedication and commitment to the work,” said McAllister. “As president, it makes me feel good I have that support.

Local musician planning concert to benefit Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The music of Rick Rock is known throughout Amherstburg and surrounding areas and he will be using his music to give back to a local charity Feb. 2.

Rockworld and Showtime Productions will be presenting the “Simply Queen” live tribute concert at the Caboto Club in Windsor as a fundraiser for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission. Rock is one of the promoters of the concert and will be performing as Freddie Mercury at the show.

“I have been performing for Amherstburg’s food mission for many years, as a volunteer musician for their events such as their Christmas volunteer dinner and any function (vice president) Shirley (Hitchcock) and (president) Tim (McAllister) asked for help with.”

The Simply Queen band will be performing a benefit concert for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission Feb. 2 at the Caboto Club in Windsor. (Photo courtesy of www.simplyqueenband.com)

Rock said he lives in Amherstburg and while other missions around the region get more assistance, he feels the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission “gets left out” in large, regional fundraisers.

The Simply Queen band will be performing a benefit concert for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission Feb. 2 at the Caboto Club in Windsor. (Photo courtesy of www.simplyqueenband.com)

“Even though the concert is in Windsor, I want to take care of the mission in Amherstburg,” said Rock. “I have a special place in my heart for Amherstburg and for the people here. I love Amherstburg. I feel it’s the pearl of Essex County.”

Between ticket sales, a silent auction and any further donations, Rock is hopeful of raising anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 for the mission. Donations of canned goods and non-perishable food items will also be welcome.

Other members of the Simply Queen band include Windsor-Essex County musicians Mitch Taylor on bass and Phil Charette on drums plus other musicians from the Toronto area.

According to Rock: “Simply Queen performs all the iconic songs that made Queen one of the most legendary rock bands of all time, and faithfully recreates the grand scope of Queen’s live shows, both musically and visually, with attention to detail capturing the amazing live Queen experience that filled stadiums around the world.  No backing tracks – it’s all live, and ‘Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind!’”

Rock said if they get 400-500 people at the concert, “we’re happy,” but clearly wouldn’t mind if they topped that.

“If we get more, that would be dandy,” he said.

Simply Queen performed a concert last year that benefitted the Canadian Diabetes Association Windsor District and Rock said that drew over 700 people.

The Simply Queen band will be performing a benefit concert for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission Feb. 2 at the Caboto Club in Windsor. (Photo courtesy of www.simplyqueenband.com)

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. The Caboto Club is located at 2175 Parent Ave. in Windsor, at the intersection of Tecumseh Road East.

Advance tickets are $20 and are available online thru www.ticketscene.ca  or cash at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission as well as the Bod-E-Tone Kiosk at Central Mall in Windsor. If tickets don’t sell out by the Feb. 2 show date, tickets will be available at the door for $30.

If there are businesses or individuals that wish to donate cash or a door prize, please contact Rock by phone at 519-567-7520 or by e-mail at rrock88@gmail.com.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission also has a newly designed website, found at www.aburgmission.ca. The site is geared towards providing information on what the mission needs most, any upcoming events, support received from the community and other items of community interest.