Local dancers raise money with hot chocolate for W.E. Care for Kids



By Jolene Perron


Catz Meow dancers Ava Argoselo, her sister Lily and her friend Hailey Gwyther came together to set up a table outside their dance studio to sell hot chocolate for a cause.

“Ava always asked, ‘mom can I make bracelets and sell them?’ because she sees other kids doing stuff like that,” explained Argoselo’s mother, Maria.

Maria explained, it’s very time consuming to do something like making and selling bracelets. When she heard in the summer about W.E. Care for Kids doing the lemonade brigade, she was excited to learn that because of that success, W.E. Care for Kids is carrying on with doing a hot chocolate brigade. Maria thought holding the event at their dance studio, The Catz Meow would give them a small target audience and it wouldn’t be too overwhelming for her.

Maria went down to the hospital and picked up the starter kit, and then all they had to do was come up with a plan to execute their fundraiser – and decide what toppings they would include.

Megan Regnier, Lily Argoselo, Ava Argoselo and Hailey Gwyther (left to right) stand in front of their hot chocolate stand outside of The Catz Meow dance studio, waiting for visitors to buy their hot chocolate and choose from a wide selection of toppings. (Submitted photo)

“We took dry packets and taped a candy cane to it for people to take home as well,” said Maria. “She has always wanted to do something to give back and this was an ideal opportunity where part of the work was already done for us and tips that were provided to us. It was a good first round in organizing something for her to do.”

Argoselo, her sister and a few friends would periodically go around to the front of the Catz Meow Dance Studio building to wave their sign about selling hot chocolate for W.E. Care for Kids at the road. They even had three cars pull in specifically from seeing their sign.

“I think the day went really good, we had quite a few customers and we raised a total of $71 which we hope will help a lot of kids,” said Argoselo. “It was really fun having some friends there and it’s for a good cause. I might just do it again.”


St. Clement Parish fundraising concert raises over $10,000


By Jolene Perron


To preserve St. Clement Church’s crumbling mortar, the choir took upon themselves to raise money through a one-time concert.

Since 1880, the parish in McGregor has offered Holy Mass for its parishioners. As the congregation grew, the construction of the present church took place in 1903. According to the dioceses of London website, St. Clement’s exterior walls are constructed of stone blocks which they said are likely from the local quarry.

“The mortar itself is crumbling so we need to have it replaced and that’s costing us quite a bit of money so we’re doing everything we can to fundraise through different events,” explained choir leader Annette Barron.

Barron explained that she suggested a concert last spring after many inquiries from parishioners about the choir recording a CD. Due to copyright, a CD wasn’t doable, however a concert was the next best option. She took the songs they normally do, and added harmonies and “rejigged” the songs to create a repertoire for the choir to entertain the parishioners.

“We took it five steps further than they are normally used to, and they hated me for it at the beginning but they got whipped into shape and they sound awesome now,” said Barron.

A group of choir singers from St. Clements Parish performed a concert recently to raise money for repairs to the mortar, which is currently crumbling away.

Barron has been in the choir since 1990. She explained they sing every week at mass all year-round, as well as at special masses for holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Typically they only hold formal practices as needed, as they are all volunteers.

The response and support from the parish Barron said, has been overwhelming. From parishioners volunteering their time to help sell tickets, put up flyers, promote the concert and actually work the event taking ticket money and donations, Barron said they “responded like gang busters,” ready to help. A crew of them even came out the evening prior to set up a platform on the altar to accommodate the choir.

With corporate sponsors, the choir raised $10,000 and counting with people still coming in with donations. They are continuing to raise money through the Columbian Hall in McGregor, which also had a sold out dinner over that same weekend with an attendance of more than 300 people.

For those wishing to make further donations, they should contact St. Clement Church at during office hours, Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. or at 519-726-5127.

“I’m extremely happy that I can do something to actually help contribute to the continuity of our church,” said Barron. “A lot of churches, parishes kind of die out but this one, it’s a small parish but we seem to remain vibrant and strong and viable, that makes it hard to close it up. We always seem to pull through no matter what comes out way with the building.”




Western Secondary’s annual “Pumpkinfest” draws big crowds



By Ron Giofu


An annual tradition at Western Secondary School resumed last weekend with hundreds passing through the school’s hallways to support it.

“Pumpkinfest” was held Saturday and Sunday with people from around the Windsor-Essex County area converging on the local high school to purchase from the wide variety of craft and food vendors.

Western Secondary School students not only welcomed people to Pumpkinfest, they also collected goods for the school’s can drive. Front row (from left) Bryanna Fahringer and Myron Bennett. Back row (from left): Anthony Quiring, Trenton Breault and Duncan Phelps.

“We’re full this year,” said Sam Thomas, one of the Western Secondary teachers that helped organize the weekend event. “We have our regulars and we have some new ones this year.”
Some of the vendors also included Western students themselves, as a number of crafts and goodies made by the students were on sale.

“Everything’s great,” Thomas reported. “Everyone is happy.”

The gymnasium (shown here) and the hallways at Western Secondary School were packed with crafters and craft lovers as part of the Oct. 28-29 Pumpkinfest at Western Secondary School.

Over 100 students, or roughly one-quarter of the school’s population, helped volunteer. They joined staff members, former staff members and Western graduates in helping out.

“It makes it so nice,” said Thomas. “I don’t think there’s many places that happens.”

With so many former staff and students coming by the school for Pumpkinfest, Thomas joked that “I get lots of hugs this weekend.”

Western Secondary School students had their own crafts and artwork for sale as part of the Oct. 28-29 “Pumpkinfest.” The event is a fundraiser for the high school.

Money raised goes back into the school with Thomas stating that it helps pay for field trips, events and special guests. She added that she starts work on Pumpkinfest in May with bookings being accepted starting every June.

Janet Arnold shows one of the knitted items she had for at Pumpkinfest.

The students also enjoyed the event. Many were gathered by the main entrance collecting for the school’s can drive with student Anthony Quiring saying that the event allows them to represent their school to visitors.

“It’s awesome,” said Quiring. “I’m happy. We worked really hard.”

Feedback was positive, the students agreed.

“We’ve heard really good things,” said Quiring. “(The public) likes it here and we’re doing a good job.”

Josh Fex and Jaclyn Hertel look at some of the items for sale at Pumpkinfest.

Janet Arnold was one of the 110 vendors on site and was selling various knitted goods.

“I’ve been coming here for quite a few years now,” said Arnold. “I’ve got quite a few people who come back each year.”

Fundraiser for Brock Hasson planned for Nov. 4



By Ron Giofu


A local seven-year-old’s fight against a form of cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) will be the subject of an upcoming fundraiser.

The “Bravery for Brock” fundraiser will be this Saturday at the Columbus Community Hall (formerly known as the K of C Hall) with Brock Hasson and his family being the recipients of the proceeds. His mother Natalie Brundage Hasson said they won’t be there due to Brock needing surgery Nov. 1, but they are appreciative of all of the support the community has given thus far.

“He’s doing pretty good,” she said last week. “It’s one day at a time.”

Brock has already had to undergo three months of chemotherapy and now faces three more months, but Natalie said they have received a lot of support from the community.

“It’s hard to put into words,” she said. “It’s surprising so many people are willing to help. It’s so overwhelmingly wonderful. There are so many people who keep reaching out for me who don’t even know him. That’s the nice thing.”

Once Brock’s treatments have concluded, there is a 90 per cent chance the cancer won’t return.

“It gives us hope that it won’t come back,” added Natalie.

Brock Hasson sits in a fire truck during a recent tour of Amherstburg fire station #1. (Special to the RTT)

The cancer was found in one of his testicles but didn’t go anywhere else.

“It was all localized,” said Natalie. “It didn’t spread anywhere else.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has contacted the family but Natalie said they will participate once Brock has concluded his treatments.

Natalie said the family is extremely thankful the Amherstburg Fire Department had Brock come to the station, get his fire gear and was given a tour. Chief Bruce Montone said at the Oct. 23 town council that donations are welcome for the family at Libro Credit Union with the fire department also making a donation.

Natalie also thanked Amherstburg Public School and Brock’s teacher Laura Braithwaite, Little Hands for the selling of shirts and all of the supporters.

The Nov. 4 fundraiser gets underway when doors open at 6:45 p.m. and it runs until 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 with that including Bull’s Eye Pizza and dessert. Music is by The Del Vito’s 60’s Dance Party and there will also be a cash bar, raffle prizes, a 50/50 draw and silent auction.

To purchase tickets or to donate prizes, contact Gianna Brundage Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 519-967-1389 or e-mail

St. Clair students to hold fundraiser for Miracle League of Amherstburg



By Jolene Perron


As part of their business and marketing programs, a group of St. Clair College students have been given the task of planning, organizing and running a charity event and have chosen an Amherstburg organization to be their recipient.

“My hopes for this event is to raise the maximum amount of money possible, have a fun environment and provide the best experience to the families and children involved,” said Patrick Thompson, Amherstburg resident and student in the business and marketing program. “It’s an exciting opportunity for us as soon to be marketing professionals to be able to plan and organize an event as large scale as we hope this evening can be.”

Thompson said the Nov. 22 pasta dinner fundraiser will take place at The Fort Family Fun Centre. They have named the event “Miracle at The Fort” and it costs $20, which will include the dinner as well as an entry to win a brand new smart phone. Participants must be present to win, and there will also be silent auctions and raffle prizes at the event.

Although The Fort Family Fun Centre has only been open since February, co-owner Brad Hearn said they have been helping charities from the start as well as sponsoring various sports teams.

“We like to help organizations in our direct community,” explained Hearn. “The Miracle League is a great organization here in Amherstburg. We have helped them before. We have discounted the food pricing as well as the hall rental to help the fundraising. We do our best to help out in the direct community.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, e-mail or text or call 226-787-8640.