Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare

Bob Probert Memorial Ride thunders into Amherstburg



By Ron Giofu


The annual Bob Probert Memorial Ride thundered through Amherstburg again this year.

While reports have anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 motorcycles participating in the ride this year, the cause remains the same as proceeds will benefit cardiac care services in Windsor-Essex County.

Upwards of 1,500 motorcycles took part in the Bob Probert Memorial Ride June 24, with one of the stops being the Fort Fun Centrre.

According to Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital’s website, the Bob Probert Memorial Ride was in its eighth year and “has raised over $750,000 to support the creation of a second angioplasty suite, the new wellness exercise room used by our Cardiac Wellness patients and now a satellite location that will make access to the exercise room easier for patients in the county.”

The total mentioned on the website did not include Sunday’s numbers.

It was also announced that a new cardiac care satellite centre in Tecumseh will be named for Bob Probert.

Motorcycles filled the parking lot at the Fort Fun Centre during the Bob Probert Memorial Ride’s stop there June 24.

After leaving Thunder Road Harley Davidson, the ride came to the Fort Fun Centre, then headed to the Colchester Bar & Grill then headed back into Amherstburg where it stopped at Wolfhead Distillery. The wrap-up celebration was at the Ciociaro Club.

Dani Probert, Bob’s wife, was thrilled that the weather held out and that so many people came out in Bob’s memory and to support her family and the cause.

The naming of the cardiac care facility in Tecumseh came as a surprise, as Probert said she knew the location had been decided upon but didn’t know of the name of the facility until it was announced Sunday morning.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” she said.

Ride co-captain Scott Parker (below right) was one of those who was having fun at the Fort Fun Centre June 24.

Probert added she got emotional when she heard that announcement and that she is pleased that so many people continue to support the ride.

“The support from the hockey family and the whole community is overwhelming,” she said. “It’s mind blowing.”

More information on the ride can be found at www.hdgh.org/probertride or www.facebook.com/ProbertRide.

Bob Probert ride slated for June 25, features two stops in Amherstburg


By Ron Giofu

The seventh annual Bob Probert Ride is scheduled for June 25 and two of the stops on the ride will be in Amherstburg.

The Fort Fun Centre and Wolfhead Distillery will be two of the stops on the ride with it launching at 11 a.m. that day from Thunder Road Harley Davidson in Windsor. Other stops include the Colchester Bar & Grill and the Caboto Club, with the latter being the final stop.

Bill Marra, vice president of external affairs with Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, said they are thankful to the new ownership at the Fort, formerly the Verdi Club, for allowing the ride to keep stopping there and also acknowledged that Wolfhead is a new stop this year.

Proceeds benefit cardiac programs at HDGH. To date, over $647,000 has been raised with those funds contributing to a a new rehabilitation and wellness centre at the Prince Road campus. Talks have started to expand cardiac rehabilitation services to Essex County residents with a development of a satellite location.

Organizers, sponsors and members of the Probert family helped launch this year’s Bob Probert Ride last Wednesday morning. On the motorcycle are ride captain Dave Hutchison and Probert’s wife Dani.

Organizers, sponsors and members of the Probert family helped launch this year’s Bob Probert Ride last Wednesday morning. On the motorcycle are ride captain Dave Hutchison and Probert’s wife Dani.

Dani Probert, wife of the late Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks forward, said there is a lot of hard work that goes into planning the ride every year. She noted Bob died July 5, 2010 of a massive heart attack.

“For us to raise money for cardiac care, and we’ve had loved ones in the past couple of years who are going through the same thing, it’s so tragic. We wanted to turn this around and find something positive and for my kids it’s something positive for us to focus on and be a part of,” she said.

Probert added there are people that have been part of the ride since Day 1. Last year’s ride attracted over 1,200 motorcycles. The money raised speaks volumes of everyone involved with the ride, she added.

“It is a real community effort,” said Probert.

This year’s ride captain is Dave Hutchison, a former NHL defenseman and a friend of Bob Probert. Hutchison stated there is “a tight hockey family” and noted he was honored to be the ride captain.

“I haven’t missed a Probert ride yet,” he said. “In fact, Bob and I rode together in Ride for Dad in London a couple of times. Our friendship was based on doing fundraising events through the NHL and the riding community. So whether it was ball hockey with the troops or riding our bikes, Bob had a big heart and always wanted to give back.”
At a kickoff event last Wednesday, Hutchison relayed stories of being with Bob Probert while visiting soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Hutchison played 584 NHL games and accumulated 119 points and 1,550 penalty minutes. He played with the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs.

For more information on this year’s Bob Probert Ride, visit www.facebook.com/probertride or www.probertride.com.

Amherstburg Police Service to appoint mental health officer



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Police Service will soon have a specially assigned mental health officer.

Chief Tim Berthiaume said the police department gets roughly $170,000 in grants annually with the province asking that money be re-purposed. The officer, who has yet to be appointed, will be a full-time officer in that position, receive special training and work in collaboration with the LaSalle Police Service and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.

It will be a redistribution of current resources, the services stated in a tweet Tuesday morning.

“We’re hoping the officer will start April 1 in their new role,” said Berthiaume.

Police carWEB

The chief said the idea behind having a full-time mental health officer would be to reduce calls for service and allow the Amherstburg Police Service to be proactive. The officer would meet with people in the community, give them options and advise them about what services there are available.

The officer would also be able to build and maintain relationships with people who may need mental health resources, Berthiaume added.

Berthiaume stated they have been tracking mental health calls for the last three years and there has been a “steady incline” in the amount of calls that Amherstburg police have been receiving. There were 67 mental health related calls in 2016, Berthiaume said, but that number does not include calls with charges. The chief indicated there could be other incidents with a mental health component but classified as something else due to a charge being laid.

Berthiaume added that collaboration with LaSalle police would include the mental health officers covering each other off when the other is unavailable.

The officer is expected to be appointed soon as Berthiaume stated there is a competition within the police service as to who will get the position. Once that officer is assigned, he or she will be given special training to assist them with their new duties that start April 1.

Over 1,200 bikes pack Verdi Club as part of Bob Probert Ride


By Ron Giofu


The Verdi Club parking lot was a sea of motorcycles Sunday morning as the sixth annual Bob Probert Memorial Ride roared into Amherstburg.

The first stop on the ride was the Verdi Club with motorcycles streaming in from both directions along Texas Road to enjoy some food, beverages and fun before heading off to CBG’s in Colchester for the second stop.

Roughly 1,200 motorcycles packed the Verdi Club June 26 for the Bob Probert Memorial Ride.

Roughly 1,200 motorcycles packed the Verdi Club June 26 for the Bob Probert Memorial Ride.

Other stops included the Sandbar Waterfront Grill in Puce and the final stop in Walkerville.

Dani Probert, the wife of the late NHL player who played for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, didn’t have a final total of the money raised for this year’s event but told the RTT at the Verdi Club they had surpassed $600,000 to date since the ride began.

“Things are looking really good,” she said. “The sponsors really helped. Without all of the fabulous volunteers, this wouldn’t have happened.”

All proceeds will support the Cardiac Wellness and Pulmonary Rehab Program at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.

“The weather is awesome,” said Probert. “Big Bob is looking out for us. This is just amazing.”

Believing it was a great way to pay tribute to her late husband, Probert was thrilled that an estimated 1,200 motorcycles were part of this year’s ride.

“It’s wonderful to see all the smiling faces. Everyone is happy,” she said.

Bob Probert died of a massive heart attack July 5, 2010 and Dani said this is a way that family, friends and the community can give back. All proceeds stay local to assist with cardiac care.

“It doesn’t get any better than that,” said Probert.

One of the 1,200 riders in this year’s Bob Probert Memorial Ride was Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. Much like the Motorcycle Ride for Dad last month, DiCarlo got to ride up near the front of the line as the ride came into Amherstburg.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo stands on a small wall near the entrance to the Verdi Club to photograph the sea of bikes that came to the Bob Probert Memorial Ride Sunday. Approximately 1,200 motorcycles were involved.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo stands on a small wall near the entrance to the Verdi Club to photograph the sea of bikes that came to the Bob Probert Memorial Ride Sunday. Approximately 1,200 motorcycles were involved.

DiCarlo was clearly impressed with the turnout for this year’s Bob Probert Memorial Ride.

“This is insane,” he said. “They filled the parking lot handlebar-to-handlebar. That’s a lot of bikes.”

DiCarlo said that now that he is recognized more than he was before, more people comment to him about the town and he receives mainly positive comments.

“Everyone’s got good things to say about Amherstburg,” the mayor stated. “They love the town. They love the stops.”

Having the first stops of both the Motorcycle Ride for Dad and now the Bob Probert Memorial Ride be in Amherstburg is important, DiCarlo added, as the riders tend to stay together for the first few stops before people start bypassing stops and not staying as closely together.