Community Living Essex County

Community Living Essex County receives $75,000 from Ruthven Apple Festival

 

 

Community Living Essex County (CLEC) received a nice Christmas gift a couple of weeks early.

The Ruthven Apple Festival committee presented the cheque from the Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Colasanti’s Tropical Garden last Wednesday afternoon. When all was said and done, proceeds amounted to a record $75,000.

“This money couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,” remarked CLEC executive director Nancy Wallace-Gero. “This is absolutely fantastic. It kinds of takes your breath away.”

The Ruthven Apple Festival committee presents the cheque to Community Living Essex County Dec. 13 at Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens. This year’s festival raised a record $75,000.

Wallace-Gero said it is “one of the most exciting days of the year for Community Living Essex County” and that the money stays in Essex County and directly benefits those receiving supports and their families.

“This is used to help people in our community,” said Wallace-Gero. “This will help us ensure the quality of supports we give to people in the community will continue to be the highest.”

The festival has grown tremendously over the years, Wallace-Gero added, with much of the growth stemming from word-of-mouth advertising.

Tony DeSantis, manager of community relations and resource development with CLEC, said “we have a lot to celebrate” and called it a “wonderful event” to help kick off the Christmas season.

“Our organization is involved in so many different things,” said DeSantis. “We look forward to 2018 but we are closing out 2017 with a bang.”

DeSantis thanked the farmers, Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens and volunteers, noting “we work with so many volunteers to make this event happen.” He also thanked long-time committee member Ron Hicks, who passed away earlier this year. Hicks’ wife Laverne and daughter Shannon were on hand to help present the cheque.

Community Living Essex County executive director Nancy Wallace-Gero (left) accepts the $75,000 cheque from the Ruthven Apple Festival steering committee. Making the presentation is Laverne and Shannon Hicks, wife and daughter of long-time committee member Ron Hicks, who passed away earlier this year.

Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos expressed pride in seeing everyone coming together annually to put on the event. He said the festival has been running 38 years and “that is something worth celebrating.”

Colasanti thanked everyone as well, but also pointed out the work of DeSantis. He said the committee has a list of tasks to do and DeSantis is the one doing a lot of them.

“Tony is on 30-40 per cent of the job list,” said Colasanti. “I think that’s pretty incredible.”

Community Living Essex County is a non-profit, charitable organization that supports over 650 people with intellectual disabilities and their families across Essex County. For more information, visit www.communitylivingessex.org or call 519-776-6483. People can also “Like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/clessexcounty or “Follow” them on Twitter at twitter.com/clessexcounty.

“Lunch Mob” planned for Oct. 31 in support of hiring people with an intellectual disability

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

Community Living Essex County supports over 700 people who have an intellectual disability so that they may live in a state of dignity and share in all elements of living in their community with an opportunity to participate effectively.

One element of living in a community is contributing through gainful and meaningful employment.

Community Living Essex County’s Career Compass has joined The Ontario Disability Employment Network’s (ODEN) provincial campaign to promote Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) by choosing to host their first ever “Lunch Mob” at a local business that practices hiring people with disabilities.

A “Lunch Mob” is based on the “Cash Mob” concept. A group of people converge on a business (in this case a restaurant) on a set date and time, buy a meal, meet other “Lunch Mobbers,” while supporting the chosen local business.

This “Lunch Mob” will be held at Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant, a business that has employed someone with an intellectual disability for over two years. Riccardo’s is located at 65 Sandwich St. N. in Amherstburg.

Members of the community are encouraged to stop by between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. for lunch Oct. 31. Please RSVP with Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant at 519-736-4333.

Right across the street, Joe Meloche Ford, another inclusive employer that has hired someone with an intellectual disability through Career Compass, is hosting a can drive in partnership with WE as part of the “WE Scare Hunger” campaign to assist food banks in local communities serving people who require food assistance.

“Lunch Mobbers” are encouraged to stop by Joe Meloche to also donate canned goods or other non-perishable items to support their “WE Scare Hunger” campaign.

To learn more about DEAM, be sure to like Community Living Essex County’s Career Compass Facebook page (Facebook.com/CLECareerCompass) and follow them on Twitter (@CLECareerCompass).

For more information about the services available to people with an intellectual disability and their families, contact Community Living Essex County at 519-776-6483, or stop by the main office located at 372 Talbot St. N. in Essex.

Run, Walk or Wheel in support of Community Living Essex County

 

 

The 2017 Jingle Bell Run, Walk and Wheel Steering Committee anticipate hundreds of people from across Essex County will participate Nov. 12 at Ken Knapp Ford in Essex for the 23rd Annual running of the Jingle Bell Run, Walk and Wheel.

The event has raised thousands of dollars for Community Living Essex County in support of over 650 people with an intellectual disability throughout Essex County, including many in Amherstburg.

New for 2017 will be a 2km run and walk to encourage new runners and walkers to join the fun.

“We look forward to another great day and encourage families and friends to join us” states Bob Blair, Chair of the Jingle Bell Run Steering Committee.

The Jingle Bell Run, Walk and Wheel is Nov. 12 in Essex. The proceeds benefit Community Living Essex County, which supports over 650 people with intellectual disabilities in all seven county municipalities including Amherstburg.

He adds: “The event is for everyone from competitive runners to casual walkers, together for a great cause.”

Medals will be presented to every participant; with acknowledgement for top finishers. Participants are encouraged to collect pledges to win a chance at a Fit Bit.

Every participant will be eligible for a variety of door prize draws. As a safety precaution, event officials are requesting that the public not bring dogs to the event unless they are working service dogs for the visually impaired; as well, no bicycles (wheelchairs only).

To register, go online until Wednesday, Nov. 8 to www.onlineregistrations.ca/jinglebell. As well, registration forms will also be available at Ken Knapp Ford in Essex, local health and fitness clubs, arenas and online at www.communitylivingessex.org.

Participants can also register the morning of the event on Sunday, Nov. 12 between 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. For more information call 519-776-6483, ext 246.

Community Living Essex County pleased with 2017 golf tournament

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

Community Living Essex County (CLEC) held its 27th annual Charity Golf Classic last week and were happy with the results.

The tournament, held last Thursday at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor, drew fewer golfers this year (126) than last year (143) but manager of community relations and resource development Tony DeSantis said CLEC is still hopeful of reaching its $20,000 goal.

“I think we made more than last year because have more corporate sponsors,” said DeSantis.

CLEC made $18,000 from the 2016 Charity Golf Classic.

While the tournament was open to all interested golfers, part of the event was the Municipal Cup competition between the participating Essex County municipalities. Leamington – comprised of Mayor John Paterson, CAO Peter Neufeld, Brian Humphrey and Ward Hutchins – repeated as Municipal Cup champions by beating two Kingsville teams as well as teams from Amherstburg, LaSalle and Lakeshore.

Team Amherstburg was comprised of Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Councillor Leo Meloche, fire chief Bruce Montone and retired fire chief Al Reaume.

Community Living Essex County held its annual golf tournament last Thursday at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor. Leamington repeated as winners of the “Municipal Cup” portion of the tournament, which was a competition between Essex County municipalities. From left: Leamington CAO Peter Neufeld, Brian Humphrey, Leamington Mayor John Paterson, Ward Hutchins.

Community Living Essex County held its annual golf tournament last Thursday at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor. Leamington repeated as winners of the “Municipal Cup” portion of the tournament, which was a competition between Essex County municipalities. From left: Leamington CAO Peter Neufeld, Brian Humphrey, Leamington Mayor John Paterson, Ward Hutchins.

Community Living Essex County is grateful to the municipalities, DeSantis added, noting CLEC operates in each of the seven county municipalities. He noted Amherstburg’s re-entry into the Municipal Cup portion of the tournament and said it was DiCarlo’s first year in the tournament.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of the communities,” said DeSantis.

DeSantis called this year’s tournament “a positive experience” and believed people left happy with the day. He paid tribute to long time volunteer Fred Mitchell, who not only golfed, but recruited golfers and sponsorships. The team of volunteers was also thanked with the volunteers and golfers also recognized by board of directors 2nd vice president Sue Desjarlais and CLEC director of operations Karen Bolger.

A final fundraising total will be announced in the coming weeks.

Community Living Essex County supports over 650 people with an intellectual disabilities and their families. For more information on the agency, visit www.communitylivingessex.org.

Community Living Essex County celebrates 56 years during AGM

By Jolene Perron

 

Community Living Essex County held their annual general meeting last week to discuss their achievements as an agency over the last year, as well as to recognize some outstanding members.

In attendance at the 56th annual AGM were a number of area mayors including Mayor Ron McDermott from Essex, Mayor Nelson Santos from Kingsville, Deputy Mayor Joe Bachetti from Tecumseh, Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale from Amherstburg and Mayor Tom Bain from Lakeshore. Bain, also the warden of Essex County, said it’s a huge team effort which is to what he attributes the outstanding results of the organization.

Also in attendance to show his support was Essex MPP Taras Natyshak. He said it’s is truly amazing to know that for 56 years, Community Living Essex County has existed in the community to provide support and love for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families.

“It’s something that we should be incredibly proud of, but also something that I think inspires us to the core and not simply because of the nature of the work that you do, but because of the effect that it has on our broader community,” said Natyshak. “Looking at the involvement through the slideshow, that is incredible. I don’t know that there is another organization that is so involved in our community and is so important to raising awareness and bringing people together because we are only as strong as we can be when we lift each other up and we are certainly a stronger community because of the work that you’ve done.”

Community Living Essex County said goodbye to members Jennifer Fraser, who was with the agency from June 2011 to June 2017, and Eva Penner Banman, who was with the agency from June 2015 to June 2017. They won’t be going too far however and will be helping on committees and task groups.

Celine LaBrecque (centre) of Amherstburg was this year’s recipient of the Bruce Crozier “Inspiring Possibilities” Award at the Community Living Essex County (CLEC) annual general meeting last Tuesday night. Making the presentation are Essex MPP Taras Natyshak and CLEC 2nd Vice President Sue Desjarlais.

Celine LaBrecque (centre) of Amherstburg was this year’s recipient of the Bruce Crozier “Inspiring Possibilities” Award at the Community Living Essex County (CLEC) annual general meeting last Tuesday night. Making the presentation are Essex MPP Taras Natyshak and CLEC 2nd Vice President Sue Desjarlais.

The Board Members who were inducted onto the Board of Directors for 2017/18 are as follows:

 

  • Ron Giofu, President
  • Robert Tomek, 1st Vice President
  • Sue Desjarlais, 2nd Vice President
  • Erika Davidson, Treasurer
  • Diane Bourbeau, Past President
  • Michelle Mastellotto, Director
  • Diane Powers, Director
  • Ray Renaud, Director
  • Mike Siblani, Director
  • Chad Sutherland, Director
  • Nancy Wallace-Gero, Executive Director and Secretary to the Board
  • Scott Pratt, Director

 

Amherstburg resident Eva Penner Banman (right) is recognized by CLEC executive director Nancy Wallace-Gero last Tuesday night. Penner Banman, along with Jennifer Fraser, were thanked for their service on the board of directors.

Amherstburg resident Eva Penner Banman (right) is recognized by CLEC executive director Nancy Wallace-Gero last Tuesday night. Penner Banman, along with Jennifer Fraser, were thanked for their service on the board of directors.

After the business portion of the meeting wrapped up, a number of members were recognized for their efforts above and beyond.

The Bruce Crozier Inspiring Possibilities Memorial Award started off the awards portion of the evening. Presented to Celine LaBrecque, the award was created to recognize people who have made tremendous strides in their life while overcoming many obstacles. Sue Desjarlais and Natyshak presented the award to LaBrecque, explaining how active and busy she is in her Amherstburg community, and how she has overcome many barriers.
LaBrecque was born with complex challenges and experiences difficulties with speech and coordination, which she has overcome a great deal and today is an outstanding public speaker. She has given speeches on topics such as “Ending the “R” Word,” and she has spoken about the importance of inclusion. She participated in the Special Olympics as a rhythmic gymnast in 2015 where she won four gold medals and placed fourth overall in the world in Special Olympics Women’s Rhythmic Gymnastics.

The Jeremy Hart Memorial Bursary was presented to Kyle Girardin, someone who knew Jeremy very well. Jeremy Hart passed away suddenly in 2012, after which time his family established the award for Community Living Essex County, to assist others in achieving their dreams and aspirations, and to continue on with their education which Jeremy strived to do. Diane Powers, who presented the award, explained how Girardin has many goals he hopes to accomplish and will be returning to school to pursue a career in landscaping.

For the first year, the Kevin McMullan Memorial Award was presented in honor of Kevin McMullan who passed away May 3, 2016. The award was presented to Jackie Burney, who was recognized for her excellence in support and services. Her leadership, professionalism, innovation, teamwork, advocating for others, resilience, initiative, dedication and courage warranted her to be recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Special Education Coordinator Lorne Rocheleau with the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board was presented with the Community Inclusion Award. Presenter Chad Sutherland explained, creating welcoming and accessible communities is a shared responsibility, and the award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution towards the development of a welcoming and accessibly community.

“Through his work with First Choice – Employment, now Career Compass, Lorne has used his passion to bring employment to the attention of his colleagues at both the Catholic and Public School Boards,” explained Sutherland. “Many years ago Lorne was employed as an in-home worker for this agency. Lorne understands our goals, mission and vision of an inclusive community and is now a champion in the education sector for inclusive employment and indeed inclusive involvement of all people in all aspects of our community.”

One person from the North, South, West and Central geographical areas was also recognized for making an outstanding contribution to their community through volunteering, employment, involvement in clubs, participation in the community and making strong connections. Those recognized are as follows:

North Area
Kelly Thibert

South Area

Amber Reekie

Alvin Matte (right) receives the Outstanding Service Award for the west area (Amherstburg/LaSalle) from the area’s director of supports Anne Garrod. Garrod was also honoured for her 35 years of service during the  meeting.

Alvin Matte (right) receives the Outstanding Service Award for the west area (Amherstburg/LaSalle) from the area’s director of supports Anne Garrod. Garrod was also honoured for her 35 years of service during the meeting.


West Area
Alvin Matte

Central Area
Paul Janisse

 

Community Living Essex County has more than 700 dedicated and skilled employees. To conclude the evening, those with 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service were recognized.

 

Celebrating 20 Years of Employment:

Martha Vukov, Support Worker, Central Area

 

Celebrating 25 Years of Employment:

Lori Huson, Manager, CL Supports, Central Area

John Neposlan, Support Worker, Central Area

Sandra Paisley, Manager, CL Supports, West Area

Dina Pawelec, Support Worker, Northshore

Celebrating 30 Years of Employment:

Karen Ruston, Admin Support

 

Celebrating 35 Years of Employment:

Lee-Anne Dupuis, Director, CL Supports, South Area.

Anne Garrod, Director, CL Supports, West Area