Next step in determining Camp Bryerswood’s future coming Oct. 9



The local Guiding movement is still fighting to keep Camp Bryerswood and the next step in that process is scheduled for Oct. 9.

According to a press release sent out last week, volunteers with the Bryerswood Youth Camp Optimist Club (BYC) stated that “the future of a beloved 25-acre campground and recreational property is now in the hands of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.”

The release states that Girl Guides of Canada, which owns a number of campsites including Camp Bryerswood, made an application under s. 10 of the Charities Accounting Act to sell off all of its camp properties in the province. The application was scheduled to be heard on May 8 but was adjourned to allow affected campground committees and interested parties the opportunity to seek official intervenor status to make representations.

Taras Kulish, a lawyer with Steinberg Title Hope & Israel LLP and co-counsel for BYC Optimist Club says he is confident that the court will grant them standing as an intervenor in the application.

“The hope is that we will ultimately be successful in having the property transferred to BYC Optimist Club — which is incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act — for the benefit of the youth in the entire community,” he said in the press release. “The purpose of our intervention is to stop the sale to third parties with no connections to the camp, which would likely operate on a for-profit basis with no guarantees that the youth in the community will be considered.”

According to the Notice of Motion to Intervene, the land was purchased in 1992 and has been held in trust for the use, benefit and advantage of the Girl Guides. BYC Optimist Club has a vested interest and has supported the campground in many ways, “including financially and with sweat equity since its inception in 1992.”

Guiders Cathy Robertson and Linda Tull stand outside the main building at Camp Bryerswood in a photo from last November. Local Guiders are trying to save the camp from being closed and a court date is scheduled for Oct. 9.

The members of BYC Optimist Club are long-term Girl Guides who have been associated with Camp Bryerswood for decades.

The River Town Times reported in Nov. 2017 that the Girl Guides took over the property from the KOA and have been operating it since then. It attracts youth from not only Windsor-Essex County, but Chatham-Kent as well.

“This is the camp for down here,” BYC Optimist Club vice president Cathy Robertson said last November. “The next closest camps are up towards Sarnia and London.”

Kathi Poupard, president of BYC Optimist Club, says the Guiding community in those areas believe that if Camp Bryerswood was run locally, it will be sustainable and profitable.

“BYC Optimist Club has submitted a 15-year business plan to the court to show how the camp can be run on a profitable basis and still be an affordable venue for youth organizations in our community to use,” Poupard said in the press release. “All profits will be reinvested back into the camp and programming.”

Robertson added: “We are hopeful that we can come to a fair negotiated or mediated settlement before a judge takes this out of the parties’ hands and makes its own decision.  At the same time, we are optimistic that we can arrive at a negotiated settlement with Girl Guides of Canada before the court has to make those decisions.”

BYC Optimist Club launched a GoFundMe campaign to fund legal and other fees for the court proceedings and the transfer of ownership of Camp Bryerswood. Robertson said the link is www.gofundme.com/bryerswood-youth-camp. They are trying to raise $15,000.

“We really need funds to help moving forward in this process,” said Robertson.

The Oct. 9 hearing will see the court determine whether or not the volunteer group will act as an intervenor in the proceeding.

Funds being raised for local man with Transverse Myelitis



By Ron Giofu


When Rick Orum got up to go to work one morning in late December, his life changed in a big way.

Now, his family is trying to raise funds and public support to help him deal with Transverse Myelitis, the illness he was eventually diagnosed with as a result of what he experienced that morning.

“On Dec. 27, he got up to go to work after four days off for Christmas,” said Rick’s wife Manila Celsi-Orum. “He got up and he was weak in the knees. He came back and collapsed in bed in excruciating pain for a couple of minutes then had no feeling from the waist down.”

Rick underwent five MRI’s, lumbar punctures and a series of plasma exchanges but was eventually diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord. After spending three weeks in Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette campus, he was transferred to the Tayfour campus where he is still recovering.

The 52-year-old Amherstburg resident has regained some movement in his left leg, not much in his right and still has no feeling from the waist down.

“We really don’t know what the prognosis is because we don’t know what type of virus attacked his spinal cord,” explained Manila, adding they are focusing on his rehabilitation right now.

Manila said it has been an extremely stressful time for the family as they also juggle their family businesses as well as trying to be at the hospital to help Rick.

“It’s been a huge adjustment,” she said.

RIck Orum of Amhersburg is battling Transverse Myelitis. His family has started a GoFundMe page to help fund their needs in relation to his illness. (Photo from GoFundMe.com)

Owner of Canard Automotive and LaSalle Towing and Recovery, Rick has been unable to resume work at those businesses. His family has been trying to get the businesses going as much as possible.

“Rick was a one-man show,” said Manila. “He was the mechanic and tow truck operator.”

While drivers are helping with the towing end of the business, the garage has been put on hold for the time being, she explained.

Rick is on blood thinners and auto-immune medications and his therapy is ongoing. Manila said his morale is doing fine, noting he has now had time to deal with what he is going through.

“He’s got a really good sense of humour,” she added.

A fundraising page has been established on the GoFundMe site, with Rick’s page entitled “Rick’s Fight Back from Paralysis.” Response to it has been going well thus far, Manila said, with financial and moral support being offered. People from across the country, many of whom have suffered from Transverse Myelitis, have reached out.

“It was very, very uplifting and very encouraging,” she said.

The GoFundMe page is trying to raise $35,000. Manila said they are fundraising for renovations to their home to be wheelchair-accessible including a washroom, wheelchair ramps and lifts, a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, and ongoing therapy and medications.

“There are a lot of little things and some big things,” she said.

Rick was originally scheduled to come out of the hospital this Friday but, after meeting with the doctors, Manila said it was agreed to not release him just yet. The family does not know when the new release date will be.

Manila added that the family has received a lot of encouragement thus far.

“I want to thank everyone for the support,” she said. “The outpouring of support is overwhelming for me.”

The direct link to the GoFundMe web page is www.gofundme.com/ricks-fight-back-from-tm.

Online fundraiser started for local teaching and coaching legend



By Ron Giofu


The daughter of a local coaching legend is trying to help her father and has enlisted the aid of the community to do it.

Katie Scott, daughter of retired General Amherst teacher Dave Scott, has started a GoFundMe page to help her father as Dave is battling ALS – otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Her goal is to raise at least $5,000 through the online campaign, money that will be used to cover any out-of-pocket expenses that will have to be laid out for a customized wheelchair, ramps and other mobility aids.

Katie said her father has lost a lot of his mobility, particularly in his upper body, and sometimes experiences shortness of breath.

Dave Scott (left) coaches quarterback Sam Girard during a 2013 junior football game.

Dave Scott (left) coaches quarterback Sam Girard during a 2013 junior football game.

“I’m doing it because I love him and I want to help him in the best way I possibly can,” said Katie.

Some items that Dave needs are covered through insurance and by the ALS association, Katie said, but there are other items that are not and some that require some payment by the family.

“There’s all the little extras that has to be paid for,” she said.

While Katie has embarked on the GoFundMe fundraiser, she admits that her father isn’t fully on board with the request.

“He’s a proud man,” she said. “He doesn’t want people to think he can’t afford things.”

Despite that, Katie said she wants to improve her father’s quality of life and give him more freedom to come and go from his home.

Dave and Katie Scott

Dave and Katie Scott

“His best interest is what I have in mind,” she said. “I’m doing it for the greater good.”

Dave taught at General Amherst for over 30 years and continued coaching since he retired, with his coaching career lasting more than 40 years. He coached junior football and track and field as recently as 2016.

“He’s coached so many students,” said Katie. “It’s a nice way for the community to give back to him. I think a lot of people are looking for ways to help.”

To find the GoFundMe page, search the site for “Team Scott Fight Against ALS.” The direct link to the page can be found at www.gofundme.com/3u1bz0w.

Fundraiser for family of Adam Pouget being held Friday night


The fundraiser for the family of Adam Pouget is fast approaching.

The event, being presented by Liuna 625, is entitled “Adam’s Eve” and is being presented Friday night in the Libro Centre’s indoor soccer arena. It benefits Pouget’s wife Ashley Dupuis and their children. Pouget was killed after being struck by a vehicle Nov. 17 as he was either walking or skateboarding to work along Simcoe St. between Meloche Road and Concession 4 South.

The event runs between 7-11 p.m.


Live music will be performed by Jody Raffoul. There will also be hors d’oeuvres and beverages served Friday night.

A silent auction will also be presented in order to raise funds for the family.

There is also a GoFundMe page set up where people can make online donations. It can be found at www.gofundme.com/adams-eve.

Tickets for the “Adam’s Eve” fundraiser are $10 per person and will be available at the door Friday night.

Lighthouse Church holds open house



By RTT Staff


Lighthouse Church held an open house last Sunday to show the community what they offer and to hopefully raise a few bucks as well.

The church, located at 266 King St. (at Gore St.) in Amherstburg, opened its doors with Christine Jupp, wife of Pastor Tim Jupp, stating it was a chance to demonstrate their ministry to the town. She said they are involved in a number of different projects as well including Christmas programs and helping the Bayanihan Children’s Home in the Philippines.

Lighthouse Church

Lighthouse Church

Jupp said they are also starting new Bible studies and worship services every Wednesday and will have an annual harvest celebration in October.

The church community, including the Jupps, are hopeful they can raise at least $40,000 for a new roof for the building as the current roof has run its course. There have been leaks in the roof when it rains, she added. They have started a GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/restorelighthouse) and are trying to raise money that way.

Plan A would be to raise the money and repair the church but if maintenance costs can’t be raised, they plan on selling the church. It already has been listed for sale but the Jupps would rather the necessary money be raised and the church stay at its current location.

“We don’t want to leave,” said Christine.

Christine noted how hard it can be for smaller parishes to raise money and keep on top of their costs but she is hopeful that Lighthouse Church will remain where it is.

“It’s been a long road,” she said.

Pastor Tim and Christine Jupp have been at Lighthouse Church for the last 14 years.