Columbus Community Hall

ACS’ “SOUPer Wednesday” returns Feb. 21


Soup lovers across Windsor-Essex rejoice – SOUPer Wednesday returns to Amherstburg Feb. 21.

The annual soup cook-off is now in its fourth year as a much-needed fundraiser for its host, Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).  The non-profit organization’s executive director says the funds raised will go towards the purchase of a new accessible vehicle.

“We’re looking to this event to kick-off a fundraising campaign that will help us purchase a new, accessible van,” DiBartolomeo said.  “For $10 a ticket, not only will you get to try some of the best soups made by some of the region’s best restaurants, you will give a helping hand to the people who rely on our transportation service.”

ACS has provided nearly 25,000 rides for seniors or adults with physical mobility issues over the past three years.  In December, they took one of their vehicles off the road and are looking to replace it.

The SOUPer Wednesday event pits 13 local restaurants and chefs against each other to determine who makes the region’s best soup.  Ticket holders receive all-you-can-eat soup, one dessert serving, and a ballot to vote for their favorite soup entry, and takeout tickets are also available.

The event will be hosted at the Columbus Community Hall (formerly known as the Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall) at 190 Richmond St from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and is sponsored by John D’Alimonte & Kim Wheeler RE/MAX Preferred Realty, Season’s Amherstburg, Dollars & Cents Investments, and Tino’s Auto Service.

This year’s participating restaurants are the 19th Hole at Wildwood; Armando’s Amherstburg; Artisan Grill; Beacon Ale House; D.o.C.K 21; Dalhousie Bistro; Gilligan’s Amherstburg; Knights of Columbus; LA Town Grill; Maria’s Restaurant; Season’s Amherstburg; Smashed Apple Catering and Takeout; and last year’s champion Specks.

For more information, people can contact Amherstburg Community Services at 519-736-5471 or visit their website at

“Fights at the Knights” showcases area boxers



By Jolene Perron


“I wish more people understood what amateur Olympic boxing was all about. It’s seeing the child that had low self-esteem glow, the kid who got bullied realize that he will not stand for it. Seeing quiet kids become leaders helping other quiet ones. Just ask a parent, and hear what they say.”

President of Fighting Island Boxing Club Joe LeBlanc said while most people believe what they see in the movies and on television, that’s not what true amateur Olympic boxing is.

LeBlanc said they try to hold shows once or twice a year to help fund other tournaments and shows they attend throughout the year, and to showcase their young up and coming fighters.

Brandon French connects with a punch versus Owen Will during their matchup Nov. 18. It was one of the boxing matches at “Fights at the Knights.”

“Every athlete that wants to fight can, providing that they are ready mentally and physically,” said LeBlanc. “All competitors are matched according to their age, weight and experience. When they are in a competition judges determine the outcome, as to who wins. All is done on points. There are three judges and a referee determining the fight.”

During the Nov. 18 event at the Columbus Community Hall, gyms from Toronto, Waterloo, London, Chatham, Sarnia and Windsor all came out. All the fighters who participated Nov. 18 will be participating in the provincials in Toronto Dec. 7-10. The event also served as a tribute to a fallen member.

Rebecca D’Adostin (right) makes
contact with her opponent Bridget Doyle during their matchup.

“Stevie Wigle started at the gym when he was 10-years-old and competed continually until his accident,” said LeBlanc. “Stevie was principal champ and attended the national championships representing Ontario two times, medalling both times. He was starting the process of becoming a new coach, and was a mentor to all the young fighters in the club.”

Fighting Island Boxing Club winners of the night included Brandon French, Jesse Hasson, who was also named boxer of the night, Lucca Capola and Spencer Quinn. LeBlanc said “Stevie Wigle was smiling down on all of his club mates.”

For more information on Fighting Island Boxing Club, visit them at 300 Victoria St. S. or give them a call at 519-962-5186.

Fighting Island Boxing Club hosting show this Saturday night



By Ron Giofu


Fight fans don’t have to leave Amherstburg this weekend in order to see a night of amateur boxing.

Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club (FIBC) will host “Fight at the Knights” this Saturday night at the Columbus Community Hall (formerly known as the Knights of Columbus Hall) at 190 Richmond St. Barring any last minute changes to the card, there will be about a dozen fights scheduled.

Local fighters will include 11-year-old Brandon French, 12-year-old Jesse Hasson, 11-year-old Carter White, 17-year-old Luca Capola, 14-year-old Spencer Quinn, 23-year-old Matt DiPasquale, 24-year-old Nate DiPasquale, 24-year-old Noram Lachance and 27-year-old Tyson Whalen.

Fighting Island Boxing Club owner/coach Joe LeBlanc said a number of gyms from around southwestern Ontario are sending fighters.

“We’ve got gyms coming in from all over the place,” he said, listing Windsor, Kitchener, Waterloo, Chatham-Kent, Brampton, London and Toronto as places were boxers are coming from.

The “Fight at the Knights” show will also be in memory of former FIBC fighter Stevie Wigle, who passed away earlier this year.

“We’re going to do this show in memory of him,” said LeBlanc, adding the music played between fights will be music Wigle enjoyed.

LeBlanc added they are looking at other ways to honour Wigle, including possibly purchasing a memorial bench.

Wigle had been with the FIBC for seven years and was a hero to the younger fighters, LeBlanc said.

“He was their mentor,” said LeBlanc. “They are fighting in his memory.”

Proceeds from Saturday night’s boxing show will help the FIBC with travel and accommodation costs for their trip to the provincial championships in Toronto this December.

“Every penny that comes in is for the kids,” said LeBlanc.

Doors open at 6 p.m., fights start at 7 p.m. There will be a cash bar, 50/50 draw and prize draws. Admission is $15, payable at the door.


Hogwarts themed event coming to Amherstburg



By Jolene Perron


Have you ever wanted to know if you’d be best suited for Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw? Do you know all there is to know about Harry Potter? This event may be the event you’ve been waiting for.

No need to travel to Detroit for events like Pottercon, or to Universal Studios, instead just wait until Oct. 28 and head over to the Columbus Community Hall to take part in the Sorting Ceremony, an authentic English dinner and then begin the skill testing trivia tournament, with a cash prize of $400 (in Muggle currency of course).

The event will be put on by ACCESS County Community Support Services , which executive director John Sutton explains is a not-for-profit organization, which meets the ever-changing needs of Windsor and Essex county. Through their after school programs in both Harrow and Leamington, to their Youth in Transition program which helps youth transition out of care with the Children’s Aid Society, to Community Nutrition programs which includes more than 40 community gardens, nutrition workshops and cooking classes, and ACCESS Housing, which is a team dedicated to eradicating chronic homelessness in the region as a member of the Windsor Essex Housing Connections.

“We’re always looking for creative ways to engage the community and our volunteer base while raising much needed funds for our various programs,” said Sutton. “The Halloween at Hogwarts idea marries the trivia craze with the ever popular Harry Potter Saga and promises to be a “spooktacular” event that will test even the most ardent fan of all things Hogwarts. Proceeds will be used to fund all Access Programs.”

Development manager at ACCESS, Wendy German will be the one heading the event with her colleagues and volunteers. She said they wanted to have the event in Amherstburg because ACCESS is a county-based agency. She explained “if you can’t come to us, we will come to you,” for any of their services including housing and basic needs, to nutrition programs and more.

“By holding events at different locations around the county, we can share the message of our services to those in need and share awareness and opportunities to donate, support and volunteer to those in different towns,” said German. “Love for the Harry Potter Series is widespread. In addition to popular events in both Detroit and Goodrich, we held just a trivia around Harry Potter in March at Colasanti’s. It sold out in a week with a waiting list, so we know there is interest. There also happen to be a lot of staff at ACCESS who are very fond of the series and that makes for a great planning committee and lots of creative ideas.”

ACCESS will be decorating for the event with the theme of Hogwarts in mind. German explained they want the event to be as authentic as possible. The Knights of Columbus will be providing the meal and the bar, and the staff, volunteers and committee at ACCESS will be planning, decorating and in attendance at the event to ensure the guests “have a truly magical experience.” They will event have rare and magical items up for auction including dragon eggs and flying keys – if you can catch them. Butterbeer will also be available for those patrons over the age of 19. And of course, Honeyduke’s candy bar will have those treats everyone loves including Bertie Botts Ever Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs.

The event is sold out.

The Columbus Community Hall is located at 190 Richmond St. (formerly known as the K of C Hall).

Amherstburg local bringing unique expo to town this September



By Jolene Perron


A local hairdresser was inspired by women, and had decided to create an event to celebrate all types of women, from every walk of life.

The event titled “Burlesque: Women’s Expo” came from Justin Boswell’s Zumba inspired Burlesque Heat, which he and his burlesque business partner Jacklyn Slaney envisioned.

“We mixed in exercise with female empowering dance moves,” explained Boswell. “Confidence in yourself and in your own skin is what Burlesque is to us. Being in the career I am in, I see all types of women and I hear their stories. I was inspired by them. I wanted to create an event that would celebrate all types of women. I wanted an event that would break up your everyday routine, have you step into something you’ve never done before and most of all bring women together.”

Boswell is the frontman of the event, along with his co-creator Slaney, who has collaborated with the initial ideas for the event. Slaney will also be a co-demonstrator that day. The two, along with their partner, Columbus Community Hall which is hosting the event, are looking forward to a successful evening.

Justin Boswell will be bringin a “Burlesque: Women’s Expo” to Amherstburg in September.

Justin Boswell will be bringing a “Burlesque: Women’s Expo” to Amherstburg in September.

“You can expect a bit of everything from this event,” said Boswell. “There will be a mini Burlesque Show/Demo and a Burlesque workshop where ticket buyers will have the opportunity to leave with some exciting & easy routines. The planning for our event has been refreshing and exciting, especially with the response for interested vendors and Raffle prize donators. We have a lot of exciting surprises at this event that women will not want to miss.”

Vendors for the event thus far include Sweet Legs Leggings, Pur Romance, Char’s Art and Jewellery, Younique, Violet Dragons Treasures, Reiki Healing, Tasty Traditions Gourmet Treats and many more.
Tickets will be available in advance and Boswell is hoping people will purchase their ticket prior to the September 17 date, as the sports are limited. Prices are $15 for a single ticket, at $25 for pairs, and you can obtain them by e-mailing or by going to their Facebook Page titled “Burlesque Women’s Expo. Tickets are available for pick up at Ambiance Hair Designs.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to The House of Sophrosyne, an all women’s wellness centre.