Bart DiPasquale

Enbridge steps up with annual donation towards River Lights



By Ron Giofu


Enbridge will once again be the presenting sponsor of the River Lights Winter Festival.

An official cheque presentation was held outside the Gordon House where the renewable energy company presented a cheque for $15,000.

“This will be Enbridge’s fifth year sponsoring the exceptional programs and some of the light

displays at the River Lights Winter Festival,” says Suzanne Shea, communications and

stakeholder relations senior advisor of power operations with Enbridge. “We are proud to have the opportunity to continue to partner with the town and share in the holiday spirit with the Amherstburg community.”

Shea told the River Town Times last Tuesday that they continue to sponsor River Lights “to celebrate the holiday season with the community and strengthen our partnership with the town.”

According to a press release, Enbridge supplies renewable power to nearly 2,400 homes in the region, thanks to its 15-megawatt Amherstburg solar facility.

Suzanne Shea, communications and stakeholder relations senior advisor of power operations with Enbridge, presents a cheque for $15,000 to Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale. Enbridge is once again sponsoring the River Lights
Winter Festival with the municipal tree lighting ceremony being Nov. 17.

“With Enbridge’s generous support, we are proud to continue the unique festival programming

our town has come to know and love. Old world charm in our vibrant community, with our

dazzling light displays, is the signature backdrop for historic Amherstburg during this event,” Mayor Aldo Di Carlo said in the press release.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale said he appreciated the generosity and the fact companies like Enbridge step up and sponsor events like River Lights.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said DiPasquale.

The six -week long festival kicks off with the municipal tree lighting ceremony Nov. 17. Sarah Van Grinsven, the town’s special events co-ordinator, said the proceeds from the Enbridge sponsorship go towards making River Lights bigger and brighter. The money, Van Grinsven noted, will help offset some of the costs of opening night.

The Town of Amherstburg made the River Lights Winter Festival an official town event earlier this year.

Van Grinsven said roughly 6-8,000 people attend the opening ceremonies for the River Lights Winter Festival with about 30,000 coming to the event overall.

“We’ve become a family tradition,” said Van Grinsven.


Legion Week parade helps kick off festivities



By Ron Giofu


Legion Week is underway in Amherstburg with the local branch kicking it off last Saturday with parades and awards.

Legion Week, the origins of which date back to 1953 when an open house was held in Dresden, is traditionally celebrated the third week of September. Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 held its parade and gathered back at the branch afterward. Capt. Jeff Turner, commanding officer of the #202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, acted as master of ceremonies and read proclamations from Ontario Command and other dignitaries, including Premier Doug Ford.

Ford’s statement included comments about it being a good opportunity for members of the community to come out and discover more about their local Legion branch.

Zone Commander Gayle Brown congratulated Legion Br. 157 for its parade and hoped the community would go to the Legion to find out what it’s all about.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard leads the Sept. 15 parade down Dalhousie St. (above) and Sandwich St. S. (below).

“I invite everyone to come in and see what the Royal Canadian Legion does and why we are part of this organization,” she said.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale brought greetings from the town, as Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was in Ohio with local Miracle League players at the Miracle League all-star game. DiPasquale stated the Legion is a very worthy organization.

“This building and the people who work inside of it make it go,” said DiPasquale. “It’s a great place.”

The parade returned to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 upon its conclusion.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 president Laurie Cavanaugh thanked those who helped put Legion Week together.

“A lot of work goes into this week,” she said. “It takes a lot of people, a lot of volunteers.”

Cavanaugh said the Legion is hopeful of having people come in and see what it offers.

“This week, if we get one or two members or if we get one or two people come out that have never been here before, it’s an accomplishment,” said Cavanaugh.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 also recognized members with Years of Service Awards.

Awards for affiliate members included Mark Denunzio (10 years) and Michael J. Duby (20 years).

Associate member ten-year awards included James Cyrowski, Martina Heeren, Christina Hindi, Diane C. Langlois, Judith Loomis, Murray Loomis, Amber Turner and Constance Sinasac. Cavanaugh and Jocelyn Hagerty received 15-year awards while 20-year award went to Gary Cooper, Ed J. Delisle, Dawn M. Fryer, Dennis Pajot and Karrie Thrasher. Receiving 25-year awards were John D. Bradt, John Richard Crozier, Mark Fox, Ulyses Wayne McKinnon, Clark Moore and Michael Prue.

Associate 30-year awards went to Carol Ann Goodbout and B.B. Sprague Jr. while J. F. Fox, I.J. Goulin and Cameron Jones were recognized for 35 years of membership. Receiving awards for 40-years were Kathryn Lancop and G.G. Murray Jr. while J.P. Mertens received a 45-year award.

Capt. Richard Girard received an award for his 55 years of service to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

Years of Service Awards for ordinary members went to Allan Carroll and Shawn Cooper (10 years), Laura Gazdig, Terry Hall and Russell Revington (15 years), Tracy Cooper (25 years), William St. John (30 years), John Copland (35 years), Wayne Surtees (45 years), Wayne Hurst (50 years) and Richard Girard (55 years).

Activities and events the remainder of Legion Week include a veteran appreciation dinner Wednesday night at 7 p.m. where veterans eat free, a general membership meeting Thursday at 7 p.m., a Ladies Auxiliary dinner 4-6:30 p.m. Friday, a chicken wing special Saturday from 4-6 p.m. and a Sunday breakfast from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. where veterans eat free. There will also be music and other events during the week as well.

To view more photos from the Sept. 15 Legion Week parade in Amherstburg, visit our Facebook album.

Essex County municipalities urged to partake in “128 Flags of Remembrance” tribute



By Ron Giofu


Municipalities across Essex County have been urged to participate in a ceremony coming this fall to honour area veterans.

Amherstburg is now one of the municipalities that will contribute towards the event.

Town council passed a motion put forth by Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale last Monday night to contribute $1,000 towards sponsoring the event. DiPasquale believed the event would be beneficial for young people as well as those who defended Canada in times of battle.

The Veterans Voice of Canada is presenting a ceremony known as the “128 Flags of Remembrance” Sept. 22 at Ambassador Park in Windsor with Essex County politicians being invited to be part of the event. Those same Essex County representatives were also encouraged to bring a sponsorship request back to their respective councils during a recent meeting of county council.

Michael Beale and Suzanne Allison represented the Veterans Voice of Canada group at a recent meeting of Essex County council. Beale said each Canadian flag represents 1,000 fallen Canadians who served Canada from the start of the 20th Century to date.

“We want to honour all who served Canada,” Beale told county council.

Suzanne Allison and Michael Beale recently addressed Essex County council with regards to the Sept. 22 “128 Flags of Remembrance” tribute that will be taking place at Assumption Park in Windsor.

The flags will be dedicated in recognition of a veteran and donors have the ability to have a flag dedicated in the name of the veteran of their choosing.

“Quite frankly, it is a celebration of life,” said Beale.

Beale and Allison were hopeful each mayor and/or deputy mayor could bring the matter to each of their seven municipalities.

“We’d like to have you as an integral part of what we are doing,” Beale told county council members.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara noted the sacrifices made by veterans have made Canada what it is today. He stated he had a veteran in mind, and stated he was willing to donate as much as $1,000.

“I’m so pleased to be a Canadian and proud to be Canadian because of the people who defended our rights and freedoms,” said McNamara.

Warden Tom Bain stated that the County of Essex would sponsor one of the 128 Canadian flags.

The Sept. 22 “128 Flags of Remembrance” ceremony gets underway at 1 p.m. To honour a veteran by sponsoring a flag, call 519-945-2867 or e-mail

For more information on the Veterans Voice of Canada, visit

Richmond Terrace resident celebrating 100th birthday


By Ron Giofu


A resident of the Richmond Terrace Long-Term Care Home is celebrating a milestone birthday.

A celebration was held last Monday for Betty Sul on the occasion of her 100th birthday, with her actual birthday being July 18. Sul said she was surprised for the recognition, though called it “absolutely beautiful” and “absolutely perfect.”

“I’m just so happy that I’m going to cry,” said Sul.

Sul’s tears were held back as she smiled and enjoyed her special moment. A musician in the main floor activity room dedicated songs to Sul to commemorate her 100th birthday.

Dianna Lovell, one of Sul’s two daughters, said her mother also has four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Lovell pointed out that Sul came to Canada in 1946 after marrying a Canadian soldier during World War II.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (left) presented a plaque to Betty Sul last Monday afternoon at Richmond Terrace Long-Term Care Home. Sul was recognized for her 100th birthday with her actual birth date being July 18.

“She’s from England,” Lovell explained. “She was one of the war brides.”

Sul came to North America and originally landed in New York before coming to Canada and settling in Windsor. Lovell said her mother dedicated her life to helping others through nursing.

The celebration at Richmond Terrace was something Sul didn’t expect.

“She’s totally surprised,” said Lovell. “This is a wonderful surprise for her.”

Sul was recognized by the Town of Amherstburg, as Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale was on hand to present her with a framed certificate.

“It’s a proud, proud time for everyone,” DiPasquale told Sul. “It’s a big accomplishment.”

Essex Powerlines plants 250 trees in Amherstburg



By Ron Giofu


As a part of the “Go Green Plant a Tree Campaign” that ran from Jan. 22-March 31, Essex Powerlines (EPL) will be planting 1,000 trees in its shareholder municipalities with about 250 planted in Amherstburg.

The campaign encouraged EPL customers to make the switch to paperless billing and as added green initiative to the community, a tree would be planted in their municipality.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (far right) joined Essex Powerlines staff recently in planting trees in Golfview Park.

“We are truly committed to making our communities greener together,” stated Joe Barile, Essex Powerlines’ general manager. “We have to thank our customers who made this such a success.”

The Essex Power team were out in Golfview Park near the retention ponds planting cedars, maples and oaks. Teams of tree planters have been or will be going out to other member municipalities such as LaSalle, Tecumseh and Leamington.

In addition to these events, EPL have donated a portion of the trees to elementary schools within each municipality. About 150 trees go to schools with the other 100 planted in events like the one recently in the Golfview subdivision.

“It was very important for us to find a way to engage our youth in this initiative. We have seen a great uptake from the elementary schools to take part,” added Barile.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale plants one of the trees that were put in Golfview Park.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale was one of the people volunteering to help plant trees last week. He said environmental-type work is always welcome in the town and agreed that getting children involved was important.

“Planting trees like this is an important step in the right direction,” stated DiPasquale.