Carolyn Davies

Local bed and breakfast getting recognition for their efforts

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Bondy House Bed & Breakfast is gaining recognition for their efforts.

The Dalhousie St. business, owned by Merv Richards and Carolyn Davies, was awarded a 9.5 ranking by the website Booking.com, a ranking that is considered prestigious within the industry. They have also been scored five out of five by AirB&B and four out of five by the Ontario Federation of Bed and Breakfast Accommodations.

“We were really happy to get the recognition,” said Davies.

Davies noted while there is no major hotel in Amherstburg at the moment, there are still places to stay.

“A lot of times, there is kind of a view that there is no place to stay in Amherstburg,” she said. “B&B’s have been serving the community for the last 20 years. There’s a cluster of us here.”

Bed and breakfasts help keep tourism dollars local, she said, adding that local restaurants and shops appreciate it when the Bondy House sends business their way.

Richards agreed, saying they give out a lot of referrals not just to shops and restaurants, but to wineries and other locations as well. Richards said they had guests from Texas “who fell in love with the (town)” and hired a taxi to take them around.

The Bondy House Bed and Breakfast, owned by Carolyn Davies and Merv Richards, has been gaining recognition within the industry including a 9.5 ranking by the website Booking.com.

“We’ve gotten great testimonials from people who have stayed here and who were happy for the time they spent here,” added Davies.

Davies added medical students have stayed at the Bondy House and received a chance to experience what it’s like to live in a small town. That could lead to doctors locating in smaller communities, she believed.

“We have had four to six people that have stayed here for a while and they ended up buying a house here,” added Richards.

Davies said they try and make people feel at home and they have had people from various walks of life stay there, including knights, poets, authors and songwriters.

Both Richards and Davies stated that they are in full support in bringing a hotel to Amherstburg. Richards said the support is “absolutely unconditional.”

“Anything we can do to improve traffic flow to the downtown and other areas is a tremendous help to all of us in the entire town,” he said.

Davies believed bed and breakfasts will still thrive if a hotel comes to town, as she believes there will be more people staying locally, more people eating and more people purchasing goods in town.

“It’s going to be a positive for everyone,” she said. “We see it as enhancing the sector we’ve been accommodating all along.”

The Bondy House Bed & Breakfast is located at 199 Dalhousie St. and can be reached at 519-736-9433 or www.bondyhouse.com.

Belle Vue Conservancy planning two fundraising events, new roof coming

 

 

By Julianna Bonnett

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy is planning a pair of music-themed fundraisers to help fund the building’s restoration, with actual construction work possible in the near future as well.

Conservancy vice president Carolyn Davies said they looking to begin putting a new roof on the historic 200-year-old home as the Belle Vue Conservancy is hoping to restore the building as soon as they can. Roof restoration is expected to begin this spring.

Following the restoration of the roof, the next project the conservancy is looking to undertake is the restoration of the windows.

“The Belle Vue is one of the top ten endangered historical buildings in Canada and that’s why it’s so important to us,” said Davies.

The Town of Amherstburg owns the building with the Belle Vue Conservancy charged with the duty of raising the funds to pay for the restoration. CAO John Miceli said there has been a bidder’s meeting for the roof replacement on Belle Vue.

“The Belle Vue Conservancy has raised funds and would like to replace the roof. We are moving in that direction,” Miceli told the RTT in an e-mail.

The first fundraiser will allow people to rock the night away with Rick Rock and his music at “Rocking for Belle Vue.”

The Belle Vue Conservancy, in partnership with Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, is having a fundraising dinner, silent auction and music by the well-known entertainer, Rick Rock.

“It’s a time to rock the night away with great music from Rick Rock. I suggest everyone build up their appetites and put on your dancing shoes,” said Carolyn Davies, vice president of the conservancy.

The Rick Rock night will be April 13 starting at 6 p.m. at the Legion Br. 157 and the menu will include chicken, vegetables, scalloped potatoes, salad and dessert all for $25. Tickets are available at the Gordon House, Legion Br. 157 or by contacting Davies at 519-736-9433.

A display of the History of World War I veterans who healed in the Belle Vue after the Great War when the home was a respite care residence will be available.

The second fundraiser will be “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” and will take place May 1.

Back by popular demand, people are invited to join the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Belle Vue Conservancy as they celebrate spring to raise funds for Belle Vue at the event at Christ Anglican Church.

“We started this event a year ago and it was a tremendous success. It was sold out and we did not have enough seats, so we are eager to see how this year goes,” said Davies.

Joining the WSO will be Windsor’s own Adam Iannetta, who, according to Eventbrite.com, has wowed audience with his rich baritone voice.

“Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” will run from 7-9 p.m. Tickets for this event are also $25.

For more information go to www.bellevueconservancy.com or www.windsorsymphony.com and search under “Education & Community – Community Outreach.” People may also call event chair Linda Jackson at 226-345-0628.

The public is also invited to “Like” the Belle Vue Conservancy’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter by searching “@BellevueMatters.”

—With files from Ron Giofu

Public meetings held regarding proposed nurse practitioner-led clinic

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Town of Amherstburg hosted two public meetings last week on a proposed nurse practitioner-led clinic for the community.

The first meeting was held last Wednesday evening at Amherstburg town hall while the second was held Friday morning at the Libro Centre with the bulk of the attendees being seniors. Those fielding questions included CAO John Miceli, Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic executive director Pauline Gemmell, members of Gemmell’s team and local nurse practitioner Carolyn Davies.

Miceli told residents that the aim is to have the clinic open later in 2018 or by early 2019 and the clinic would take up about 4,300 square feet of the roughly 30,000 square St. Bernard School building. The town and Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board are currently in arbitration trying to settle a dispute on the value of the building, located at 320 Richmond St., as the town wants to purchase it for a seniors’ hub.

The town is undertaking a seniors’ master plan to confirm programming and community needs “for the fastest growing sector of our town’s population,” Miceli said, adding that plan should be completed this year.

AO John Miceli and members of the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic make a presentation at a public meeting held last Friday morning at the Libro Centre.

While nurse practitioners may consult with a physician, they would provide primary care to residents themselves. People of all ages can use a nurse practitioner-led clinic and such clinics can offer a variety of services from chiropractors, physiotherapists, diabetes care, nutrition and cooking, women’s health and social work.

It was also learned at the public meetings that those enrolled in a nurse practitioner-led clinic may also be eligible for home visits from staff.

“It’s very exciting,” said Michael Lavoie, president of the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic’s board of directors. “It’s something new, something innovative.”

Lavoie quoted statistics from a recent survey the clinic had done which showed those enrolled at the clinic were overwhelmingly satisfied with the care they received with 98 per cent of people stating they would recommend it to family and friends.

“I’m excited for the future of health care not just for our clinic, but for our region,” said Lavoie.

Whether or not such a clinic comes to Amherstburg depends on funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care but Miceli said it would have a major positive impact if approved.

“If we get the funding for this, it’s going to increase the quality of life for many of our residents,” said Miceli. “I truly believe that.”

Tina Heeren said she looks after some friends and believed “there are a lot of health issues in this town.” Heeren said there are many who need help “and they are not getting it” as many have difficulty leaving their homes.

Local nurse practitioner Carolyn Davies fields a question at a March 2 public meeting at the Libro Centre.

John McDonald called a nurse practitioner-led clinic an “intriguing” option and suggested outreach into churches to gain further access and knowledge of who needs assistance. Kathy Hay said she hopes it does come, as people of all ages could use the clinic.

Gemmell said services at a nurse practitioner-led clinic are funded by OHIP and emphasized that people would receive primary care from a nurse practitioner.

“It’s a different kind of care,” she said.

Kate Bolohan, a nurse practitioner and clinical lead at the Essex County clinic, said appointments are roughly 15-30 minutes in length and can involve other health professionals to help treat the needs of the specific patient.

Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic executive director Pauline Gemmell and board chair Michael Lavoie listen to a question during a March 2 public meeting.

“We all work together,” said Bolohan. “It’s a great collaborative effort from all angles.”

Gemmell pointed out she has received letters of support from a wide range of people in the community and provided letters of support that were left at town hall that people can sign, if interested. Those letters will be given to Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, who will bring them to the Ministry of Health.

No timelines were given for when a funding announcement could be made, but Gemmell indicated there are rumours that something could be announced before March 31.

Nominations open for ACOC’s Business Excellence Awards

By Ron Giofu

 

The best of the best in Amherstburg’s business community will be on display April 27 but now is the time to let the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce (ACOC) know who the public thinks is the best.

Nominations are now open for the ACOC’s Business Excellence Awards with the public invited to let the Chamber know who they think the winners should be. ACOC president Carolyn Davies pointed out they have modified the categories slightly, with the major change being elimination of Large Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year and going with Business of the Year and New Business of the Year instead.

There are 11 categories in all with the Welcoming Accessibility Award being a new addition for this year. Davies said that award is geared towards businesses who have taken steps to allow those with disabilities greater access to their establishments.

Other categories include Excellence in Customer Service, Most Attractive Improvement, Community Service/Community Involvement, Growth & Expansion, Investing in a World Class Workforce, Excellence in Food Services, Business Legacy and the ACOC Director’s Choice Awards.

Davies said it is a chance to recognize hard working local businesspeople for the efforts they do and the commitment they make.

“Business owners work hard trying to provide a good service,” she said, adding for many it’s a 24/7 commitment.

The ACOC Business Excellence Awards are a way for the community to show their appreciation to the business community, Davies noted.

Nomination forms can be dropped off at Gibb Insurance, the River Town Times, the Dan Gemus Real Estate, Duby’s Home Centre or people can visit www.amherstburgchamber.com. The awards will be handed out April 27 at Pointe West Golf Club. Tickets are $50 per person and available at the same locations.

ACOC reflects on the past year during recent AGM

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Board members with the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce (ACOC) gathered at the Lord Amherst Public House restaurant for their annual general meeting and reflected back on their most recent year.

Among the board executive in attendance were president Carolyn Davies, treasurer Chris Gibb and directors Ray Bezaire, Janet Willoughby and Dan Gemus and they looked back on some of the ACOC’s more recent accomplishments.

“We got a lot of successful networking projects done,” said Davies.

The ACOC also supported local events, such as the town’s Canuck It Up! Festival.

“It’s been a very busy year,” she said.

Gibb pointed out the chamber had “successful lawsuit” regarding the 2015 Mardi Gras with organizer Ian France ordered to pay back overpayments amounting to $8,607.64, plus interest, as well as legal fees. The total amount of the reimbursement, according to ACOC officials, was $10,812.30.

“We got a settlement we worked a long time for,” said Gibb. “We’re glad to have that behind us.”

Dan Gemus, Carolyn Davies, Janet Willoughby, Ray Bezaire and Chris Gibb discuss the business of the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce as part of the organization’s AGM Feb. 15.

Bezaire noted they are going to reinvest that money back into the membership, stating they are guardians of other people’s money.

Davies said plans for the future include focusing on direct support for businesses, whether that be through networking support, social media or other means at the ACOC’s disposal.

Bezaire noted the chamber wants to work with the Town of Amherstburg on business attraction and retention. Davies added they meet quarterly with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo to discuss “issues of importance” to the business community.

“We are going to be having the Business Excellence Awards,” Davies stated. “That will be happening at the end of April.”

With the municipal election being Oct. 22, the ACOC also plans on hosting all-candidates nights.

The Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce currently has 154 paid members, a number that they are pleased with.

“It’s huge for a town like Amherstburg,” added Gibb.

For more information on the ACOC or to join, visit www.amherstburgchamber.com, e-mail amherstburgchamber@gmail.com or call 519-736-2001.