Amherstburg Police Service

Secret Santa Benefit Dinner popular again at Mealtime Express

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Mealtime Express once again gave people a chance to have a chicken dinner and help local children at the same time.

The ninth Secret Santa Benefit Dinner was held Sunday evening at the Sandwich St. S. restaurant with the public responding favourably again in 2017. The final total of what was raised amounted to $9,270.50.

“We’ve pretty much sold all the tickets,” said Norm Mickle, who owns the restaurant with wife Janet.

Mickle said they have had businesses come forwarded with a wide variety of raffle prizes, adding Mealtime Express is very grateful.

“Everyone is volunteering their time,” he said. “We’ve donated the restaurant and the food and all of the proceeds go to local kids.”

The Secret Santa Benefit Dinner was held Sunday night at Mealtime Express. Staff volunteered their time to be there and were joined by Santa & Mrs. Claus. It is a partnership between Mealtime Express, the Amherstburg Police Service and ACS.

Once again this year, Mealtime Express teamed with Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Amherstburg Police Service on the toy drive aspect of the Secret Santa program. ACS helps buy and distribute the goods with Amherstburg police also assisting with a toy drive as well. Mickle said they are happy with the partnership.

The Secret Santa program has been a big success in Amherstburg in its first eight years, he added.

“We’ve helped 200 families and over 500 kids over the first eight years,” said Mickle. “Local kids have received over 3,000 gifts right off of their Christmas lists. It’s actually gifts the kids want for Christmas.”

Mickle called the program “a real community affair” and now team with ACS and Amherstburg police after handling it themselves the first number of years.

“Everyone has their role. It’s perfect,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “It’s a great partnership between the three of us. It only helps us get bigger and reach more families.”

Const. Nathan Harris, who helps organize the Amherstburg police toy drive with the aid of wife Ashleigh, said it is in its fourth year with the first three having gone well. Harris said the community seems to have rallied behind the toy drive and they have been able to help a good number of families in Amherstburg.

“We’re hoping to be as successful, if not more, this year and to continue to spread Christmas cheer,” added Harris.

Amherstburg police investigating mischief complaints

 

Amherstburg police report there was a tire slashed on a vehicle parked in the 200 block of George St. It was reported sometime overnight on Nov. 10-11.

  • Amherstburg police state that sometime before midnight last Wednesday, the rear window of a vehicle parked at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 was smashed out.

Anyone with information on either of these incidents is asked to contact the Amherstburg Police Service at 519-736-3622 or Crime Stoppers at 519-258-TIPS (8477).

Stats   There were 178 total calls for service last week with 61 traffic-related charges laid.

 

—All information courtesy of the Amherstburg Police Service

Amherstburg police looking for suspect(s) after two B&E’s

 

 

The Amherstburg Police Service is stating that two Amherstburg businesses were broken into in the downtown core last Thursday and are looking for at least one, if not more, suspects.

At approximately 10:30 p.m., police say a male is captured on several surveillance systems on Richmond St. near Dalhousie St. walking east on Dalhousie St. and lingering in the area. At 10:45 p.m., the male allegedly entered the Musicland store at 59 Richmond St. by kicking in the front door. According to police, the male left the business five minutes later. A total of approximately $500 in cash was taken from the business.

Amherstburg police say the same male then proceeded back towards Dalhousie St.

At 11:55 p.m., a male, police state that possibly the same individual or someone acting with the same individual, allegedly forced his way through the front door at the Artisan Grill at 269 Dalhousie St., around the corner from Musicland.

A suspect believed to be connected to at least one of the B&E’s in the downtown core of Amherstburg last Thursday night is pictured on surveillance camera footage. (Photo courtesy of the Amherstburg Police Service)

The male in this incident was again captured on surveillance. Amherstburg police say he entered the restaurant but did not take anything once inside.

The male is then seen getting into an older model GMC pick-up, with trailer mirrors, a metal rack behind the cab and a tool box in the bed. A second individual was waiting inside the pick-up.

Police are looking to identify the individual in the photos as well as the GMC truck.

If anyone may have information relevant to the investigation, you are encouraged to contact police at 519-736-3622, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.catchcrooks.com

 

Amherstburg Police Service hosting open forum on opioids

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Police Service is hosting an open forum this Thursday to help spread awareness and advice regarding opioids.

The free community forum, entitled “Not My Kid”, runs Nov. 9 at the Libro Centre from 6-8 p.m. Const. Kim Rathbone said their vision is to have information available in the foyer of the Libro Centre featuring youth diversion, New Beginnings, the Teen Health Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association among others.

“These places are typically in Windsor but they are going to be at your fingertips,” said Rathbone.

Once the program starts, Rathbone said they will have a real life story from someone who battled addiction and received treatment. The Windsor police drugs and guns unit will also be on hand to make a presentation.

“They are going to talk to parents about typical signs to look for in your child and what to look for in your child’s room,” she said.

Rathbone added that local Shoppers Drug Mart owner Josie Piruzza is scheduled to speak on keeping prescription drugs safe and proper disposal of drugs. There will be school nurses from around Windsor-Essex County on hand, Rathbone continued, with Sharmaine Tanario-Battagello from Withdrawal Management also scheduled to speak.

Tanario-Battagello has 27 years of program development and clinical experience and holds a master’s degree in organizational psychology and clinical social work. She has worked in the fields of mental health and addictions throughout her career and has been part of the medical systems in both Canada and the United States.

Crime Stoppers Windsor-Essex County is also scheduled to attend with free naloxone training also being provided. Naloxone is used on someone who has overdosed and buys time for the person to be treated by medical professionals.

Rathbone pointed out that there have already been open forums on opioids in Kingsville and LaSalle and organizers have learned from those events on what information people are seeking. Amherstburg police hope to prevent opioid addiction and limit it from becoming a major issue locally.

“The whole point of this is to get ahead of it,” said Rathbone. “It’s not a giant issue in Amherstburg. There’s no epidemic here.”

Another open forum is scheduled to be in Windsor in early 2018, she added.

The “Not My Kid” community forum will run from 6-8 p.m. The Libro Centre is located at 3295 Meloche Road in Amherstburg.

For more information, contact Rathbone at 519-736-8559.

Ticket sales for Mealtime Express’ annual Secret Santa Benefit Dinner underway

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

An event that began as a way to simply give back to the community that gave so much to them, has grown into a well-known fundraiser and partnership within the Amherstburg community.

“I think it’s a real testament to our community that three Amherstburg organizations are able to work together to help residents who are less fortunate,” said Austin Tyrrell, community awareness, fundraising coordinator for Amherstburg Community Services. “I think all of us have seen a neighbour or friend struggle, and I think I speak for everyone at ACS, Amherstburg Police, and Mealtime Express, when I say that we are immensely proud to provide not just a gift, but an experience that these families and their children won’t soon forget.”

The Secret Santa Benefit Dinner returns Nov. 12. This photo was taken at the 2016 event.

Norm Mickle, who’s wife Janet has owned Mealtime Express restaurant in Amherstburg for more than 29 years, explained the Secret Santa event began as an extension of an Essex Mission Program, which gathered specific gifts for kids in the Essex area.

“The staff at Mealtime would take kids names from the mission along with what they wanted for Christmas and go out and buy those gifts,” said Mickle. “We then loaded them up and took them out to some of the most wonderful people we ever met, Ilene and Ed Clifford. Their home looked like Santa’s workshop.”

Mickle explained, Janet decided they could turn this into something more for the kids in the Amherstburg and surrounding communities. This is where the idea for the first annual Secret Santa Benefit Dinner was born. In that first year, Mickle said they raised about $4,000, which went directly to local kids Christmas lists. In eight years, they have been able to help more than 200 families, and more than 500 children.

Last year alone, they raised $10,000.

“I do not have to knock on doors for raffle prizes. Local businesses call us to see what they can do to help,” said Mickle. “You see, it’s a win, win, win, win situation for all involved. The folks that buy tickets for the dinner get to help local kids win. The local businesses who sponsor us get to give back to the community that supports them win. The volunteers, from our family, the Mealtime Express Staff, Amherstburg Community Services and the Amherstburg Police services all get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing how much help they are, win. And of course, the kids getting Christmas gifts right from their Christmas wish list win. You wrap this all together and everyone’s contribution adds up to helping change a child’s life and they are given the gift of hope for their future. Over the years we have received anonymous donations from families that were once visited by Secret Santa.”

ACS is taking care of getting in touch with families in need of these gifts, while the Amherstburg Police Services will be collecting donations, and on November 12, Mealtime Express will host their Secret Santa Benefit dinner. For tickets, please visit Mealtime Express. They are $20 each, and are only sold in advance, with a takeout option available.

The ticket includes a three-piece chicken dinner, with fries, coleslaw, a beverage and cake for dessert. There will also be a raffle, gifts for everyone who attends as well as an appearance from Santa and Ms. Claus. For more information, please contact Mickle at (519) 816-7189.

“Each year has truly been a blessing and once again the Secret Santa program has started to grow again,” said Mickle. “Santa represents the smile on your face whether you are giving or receiving during this celebration. I’m not asking anyone to believe what I believe in. Jan and I chose this way. Through Santa Claus we can give the gift of Christmas to those in need and to us this is the greatest gift of all. Without the support of so many people we could not do this, so, for some unknown reason we are blessed to do this and hopefully for years to come.”