Cessidia DeBiasio

“Row Madness” raises over $10,000 for ADL Scholarship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Members of the Garage Gym gathered with friends and family at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery to raise money for a local charity.

“Row Madness” took over the local winery with proceeds going to The Addolorata De Luca Leadership (ADL) Scholarship, founded by Amherstburg resident and recent University of Windsor graduate Cessidia DeBiasio. Tony Smith, who co-owns the Garage Gym with wife Dani, compared the type of event to the famed NCAA basketball tournament held every spring.

“It’s a rowing event, similar to the March Madness event,” he said.

The Garage Gym’s “Row Madness” event featured approximately 80 competitors, he said.

“We’re pitting 17 teams against each other,” said Smith.

Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery donated use of the facility for the day and G.L. Heritage Brewing Co. also partnered with the Garage Gym.

“We have all kinds of donations,” he stated. “It would be impossible to list them off.”

The Garage Gym held “Row Madness” Nov. 25 at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery to benefit the Addolorata De Luca Leadership (ADL) Scholarship. The event raised over $10,000. Winston McAllister was one of the participants and was encouraged by his wife and teammate Trish during the event.

The Garage Gym regularly supports local charities, Smith continued, and they were impressed by DeBiasio and her charity.

“We chose this one because we are so impressed by the young lady who is behind it,” he said.

Teams were comprised of Garage Gym members and members of their family and friends. Support for the event has been “unreal,” he added, noting a minimum donation of $100 was required in able to participate in the rowing tournament.

The person with the most pledges wins an opportunity to participate in a transformation program at Garage Gym.

DeBiasio told the crowd that “each and every one of you is making a difference” in helping a student become a contributor to the community. Every single dollar raised goes to the scholarship, named in honour of her grandmother, she added.

“I’m truly grateful,” said DeBiasio. “It means a lot.”

DeBiasio said she has been working on the ADL Scholarship for about three years and has raised $25,000. Once $40,000 is raised, two scholarships can be awarded, but she would be happy to offer even more.

For more information on the scholarship itself, visit www.adlscholarship.com. The public can keep up on the ADL Scholarship on Facebook @theadlscholarship and Instagram @theadlscholarship.

“Row Madness” sees Garage Gym team with local charity

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Garage Gym is hosting its “Row Madness” event again this year and a scholarship started by a local woman will be the beneficiary.

The Addolorata De Luca Leadership (ADL) Scholarship was recently selected by The Garage Gym as the charity of choice Nov. 25 “Row Madness” fundraising event. The fundraiser will be held at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery from 12-6 p.m. this Sunday with the winery serving its product with G.L. Heritage Brewing Co. also scheduled to be on hand pouring their craft beer.

There will be music, drinks and The License to Sear food truck will be available to anyone who wants to come and support the competitors and the charity.

Cessidia DeBiasio, founder of the ADL Scholarship, said the ownership at the Garage Gym is very supportive of the community and believe in giving back. She said people can take part in groups or individually or they can just come out to support the cause and cheer the rowers on.

“All the money is directed to the scholarship,” she said. “It’s a great way to increase community awareness, comradery and teamwork.”

Individuals and teams will be completing 42,195m in a rowing marathon style. Participants are asked to each raise $100 in pledges. Top individual fundraisers and team fundraisers (teams consist of five individuals) will receive prizes. It will consist of members from The Garage Gym, located in Amherstburg and Kingsville, as well as community members.

DeBiasio stated the event is open to all skill levels, ages and strengths. She noted that 100 per cent of donations given to the ADL Scholarship are used to provide scholarships to deserving first or second generation Canadian student leaders at The University of Windsor.

“These students are giving back to our Windsor-Essex community and the University of Windsor,” she said.

DeBiasio is hopeful that this year’s “Row Madness” is as successful as last year’s event, as this is her first year as the charity of choice. Last year’s fundraising event, held by Garage Gym, hosted over 300 Garage Gym clients and community members and received “significant media attention,” she said. For more information on the

Event, please visit: www.facebook.com/theadlscholarship or www.facebook.com/thegaragegym.net.

Companies and individuals can also sponsor the event, with DeBiasio calling it “a great marketing tool” for them. She said when money is donated to a smaller charity like the ADL Scholarship, it has a great impact.

“The fact that (Garage Gym co-owner Tony Smith) is supporting a small, grassroots charity is amazing because it shows what type of leader he is,” said DeBiasio, who noted she was “over the moon” when she learned the ADL Scholarship was chosen. “It’s nice to see he really does help everyone.”

DeBiasio said she has been working on the ADL Scholarship for about three years and has raised $25,000, good for one scholarship thus far. She is hopeful of reaching at least $40,000 so that two scholarships can be awarded, but would be even happier to offer even more.

“The more money we raise, the more scholarships we can give out and the more students we can help,” she said.

To register a team, register as an individual, to get pledge sheets, or to get more information on joining another team, please e-mail nikki@thegaragegym.net. For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, e-mail info@adlscholarship.com or nikki@thegaragegym.net.

For more information on the scholarship itself, visit www.adlscholarship.com. The public can keep up on the ADL Scholarship on Facebook @theadlscholarship and Instagram @theadlscholarship.

 

 

Local scholarship founder hits first of two fundraising targets

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local scholarship founder has hit her first fundraising target and is now aiming to finish the job.

Cessidia De Biasio, founder of the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship (ADL), announced that they have reached the first fundraising milestone of $25,000.  She stated the ADL Scholarship needs the community’s help in reaching their ultimate fundraising goal of $40,000 and has put out a “call to action” to raise the remaining $15,000.

By reaching, their first fundraising target of $25,000, De Biasio said the first of two scholarships will be able to be awarded to either a graduating University of Windsor student or a student in second year or above. The first presentation will be in January.

The remaining $15,000 needed will allow for a second scholarship to eventually be awarded.

According to De Biasio, “to sustain the values inherited from our ancestors and to teach future generations about overcoming adversities, this endowment needs to raise $40,000 so that each year, two first-or second-generation Canadian University of Windsor student leaders can each be given a $1,000 scholarship. Everyone receives a tax receipt for their donation. Every donation counts! The ADL Scholarship appreciates donations from everyone and also welcomes organizations, businesses, and community groups who hold fundraising events to benefit The ADL Scholarship.”

Cessidia De Biasio holds one of the brochures promoting the Addolorata De Luca Leadership (ADL) Scholarship. She founded the scholarship and recently hit the first of two fundraising targets.

De Biasio, 24, graduated from the University of Windsor’s School of Social Work in 2015 and just recently graduated with a business degree.

“We are excited to be announcing our first milestone. It has been 2.5 years in the making, and I cannot wait until we reach $40,000,” she said. “I fundraised all by myself. It was a lot of hard work.”

The scholarship is named for her grandmother and “to commemorate Addolorata De Luca’s perseverance and strength as an immigrant to Canada,” De Biasio founded The Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship in November 2015. De Biasio stated that her grandmother “taught her children about the importance of hard work, perseverance, and determination.”

Addolorata De Luca grew up in a poor family, obtained a Grade 3 education and raised five children after being widowed. She came to Canada and provided for her family, doing whatever it took, including washing dishes, planting vegetables for local farmers and working long hours picking tomatoes.

DeBiasio said the values taught to her by the grandmother inspired her “to ‘pay-it-forward’ to help other students.” She stated “this charity acknowledges the selflessness and determination of all immigrants while giving back to the next generation of leaders. The students who will receive this scholarship must be first-or second-generation Canadians and demonstrate leadership in his/her community and at the University of Windsor.”

The ADL Scholarship values the importance of collaboration and partnership. The charity works closely with various community members, businesses, and organizations.

“I’m grateful for all the Windsor-Essex support thus far. So many companies and leaders have come forward and contributed and we are so grateful” said De Biasio, a lifelong Amherstburg resident and graduate of St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School.

For more information or to donate, visit the charity’s website at www.adlscholarship.com or e-mail info@adlscholarship.com.

De Biasio also states the public can keep up on the ADL Scholarship on Facebook @theadlscholarship and Instagram @theadlscholarship.

University student aims to honour past, help other students’ futures

 

By Ron Giofu

Addolorata De Luca grew up in a poor family, obtained a Grade 3 education and was widowed, forcing her to bring up five children.

De Luca came to Canada and provided for her family, doing whatever it took to provide for her family including washing dishes, planting vegetables for local farmers and working long hours picking tomatoes.

Now, many years later, her granddaughter is remembering her struggles and wants to give back to the community in her name.

Cessidia DeBiasio created the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship two years ago with the aim of not only giving back to University of Windsor students, but to honour her ancestors and the ancestors of others.

DeBiasio, who was born and raised in Amherstburg and is a graduate of St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, said people in Windsor-Essex County have many stories of how the generations before them came to the area to make lives for themselves.

“Everyone has a story you can relate to,” said DeBiasio, “whether they have stories of where they came from or where their family came from.”

Cessidia DeBiasio, an Amherstburg native now attending the University of Windsor, has created the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship. She holds a sponsorship card that is given to those who donate to her cause.

Cessidia DeBiasio, an Amherstburg native now attending the University of Windsor, has created the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship. She holds a sponsorship card that is given to those who donate to her cause.

DeBiasio is fundraising to help establish the scholarship, which she hopes will become an annual award. The endowment has to raise $40,000 in order that a deserving student can receive a $1,500 scholarship. She said the recipient will be selected by the University of Windsor’s student award and financial aid committee.

A graduate of the University of Windsor’s School of Social Work in 2015, she is still at the university pursuing a business degree and hopes to have a career involving corporate social responsibility.

While she has created the scholarship two years, she has been actively fundraising for the last 18 months in addition to her studies and other aspects of her life.

“It’s been a lot of work doing this,” said DeBiasio, with the 23-year-old believing she is one of the youngest people to pursue such an endeavor.

DeBiasio pointed out she has raised almost $20,000 thus far towards the scholarship. She has no timetable to raise the remainder of the $40,000, but would like to do so sooner rather than later.

“The sooner I can raise it, the better,” she said. “All donations are appreciated.”

For further information or to donate to the scholarship, visit www.adlscholarship.com, or e-mail info@adlscholarship.com. People can also visit the scholarship’s Facebook page by searching “The Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship.”