Libro Centre

Canadian Blood Services has strong turnout at Amherstburg clinic

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Despite not reaching their goal, Canadian Blood Services is still reporting a busy turnout at a recent blood donor clinic in Amherstburg.

The clinic, held in late December at the Libro Centre, saw 79 units of blood collected though local officials had a target of 96. Still, it was reported that a steady flow of people passed through the community room at the Libro Centre donate.

One of those people who attended was Nancy Dupuis of Amherstburg.

“I have O-negative blood. I know there is always a need,” said Dupuis. “I want to do my part.”

Amy Vreman and Nancy Dupuis attended a recent blood donor clinic at the Libro Centre.

Dupuis said she used to donate years ago but got out of the habit. She returned with a few friends in the last few years and continues to do so.

Amy Vreman accompanied Dupuis to the blood donor clinic and Vreman said she began donating regularly thanks to a friend. Vreman said paramedic Mary Lou Beneteau encouraged 50 friends to donate 50 units of blood and has been returning to blood clinics since, often with Dupuis.

“We started doing this as a date thing,” she said.

For those who missed the clinic in December, Canadian Blood Services has more scheduled for the Libro Centre in the coming weeks. According to their website www.blood.ca, there is a Jan. 13 clinic from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. A Feb. 21 clinic is also planned at the Libro Centre from 2-7 p.m. while there is also a March 10 clinic planned at the same place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Seniors get introduction to golf

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Thanks to a golf professional, several people within the community got a chance to try the game for the first time.

Matt Bodde met with a group of golfing beginners in the Libro Centre’s indoor sports field. It was mainly seniors who turned out the first time but he is offering paid courses in January and April.

“This was a free clinic for a new program we’re bringing to the Libro Centre,” explained Bodde. “We’re doing it in here with softer balls.”

Local golf pro Matt Bodde demonstrates a swing during a recent workshop at the Libro Centre. Courses will be offered in January and April.

Bodde, who is the golf pro at Seven Lakes Golf Course in LaSalle, said he approached Libro Centre staff about starting a new golf program with the aim, in part, to get seniors interested in golfing. However, the course is designed for beginners and for those who need to “brush up on their golfing skills.”

Aspects of the course will include fitness, learning the basics of golf from the grip to the swing and video analysis as well.

“I worked in the United States for 30 years as a club pro,” added Bodde.

Bodde believes there will be a good turnout for the classes, which will be capped at ten people per class. People are asked to bring their own clubs, with required clubs for the first class being a wood, a seven-iron, a pitching wedge and a putter.

Winter classes are Jan. 17, 19, 24 and 26 from 10-11 a.m. Spring classes are April 11, 13, 18 and 20 from 10-11 a.m. The fees are $70.

People can register at the Libro Centre. Bodde asks that registration be done no later than 48 hours in advance to the session start date.

ACS teams with town for seniors roundtable

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A group of nearly a dozen service providers for seniors gathered at the Libro Centre last Wednesday morning to explain what they do.

Representatives from church groups, service clubs, senior-centric businesses and medical professionals gathered for the roundtable as part of a process to start networking and to have the town and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) get a handle on what is out there.

“We know that in the future that the number of seniors will grow,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “We have to start planning now.”

Rick Daly, the town’s manager of recreation services, said the senior population is rapidly growing and that as of 2016, 16.4 per cent of Ontario’s population is 65-and-over. In Amherstburg, 18.1 per cent of the population is in that age group.

“Seniors now are more active than ever,” he said. “The question we want to answer is how do we support our senior population?”

DiBartolomeo said seniors want to be active and they were also trying to find out what barriers may exist that prevent some seniors from being active. She said they are trying to network with others, compile a database of senior services and continue to work together.

“Amherstburg is a jewel,” she said, though many groups continue to “work in silos.”

Service providers outlined concerns about transportation, educating people about what is out there, and accessible housing. There are those seniors who don’t want to be a burden and others that simply don’t know what is out there, it was explained.

ACS and the town held a roundtable with senior service providers. ACS community awareness/fundraising co-ordinator Austin Tyrrell, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo and town manager of recreation services Rick Daly gather input from Heather Vandenham from Seasons Amherstburg.

Daly said grant opportunities are being explored and that the town is pursuing a master aging plan. There is hope of possibly developing the former St. Bernard School into a “hub” for seniors activities.

“There are a lot of opportunities coming Amherstburg’s way,” said Daly. “It’s an exciting time to be a senior because of the opportunities.”

In the short-term, additional racks could be put up around the Libro Centre to house pamphlets with seniors activities.

Service providers and groups that were not able to attend last Wednesday morning’s roundtable can stop by Amherstburg Community Services’ office at 179 Victoria St. S. and let them know what they offer and what they do for seniors.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services, call 519-736-5471 or visit www.amherstburg-cs.com. DiBartolomeo can be contacted directly at execdirector@amherstburg-cs.com.

 

ACS hosting seniors roundtable next Wednesday morning

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) will be meeting with community service providers next Wednesday with seniors the focal point of discussion.

ACS is teaming with the town to host a roundtable discussion Dec. 6 in the Libro Centre’s community room from 10 a.m.-12 noon. The roundtable is geared towards seniors and the service providers and groups that service the senior population.

“We know that in the future that the number of seniors will grow,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “We have to start planning now.”

ACS and the town want to find out what services are available now so they can work to bring in what is needed. Service and church groups will also be invited to the roundtable to find out what they offer for the senior population.

Businesses, such as those offering in-home services and financial services among others, have been invited.

“We’re opening it up to everyone. We want to find out what is out there,” said DiBartolomeo. “We know seniors of all ages want to be active in the community.”

DiBartolomeo added they will compile the data and see what areas they are lacking. There is the possibility of meeting directly with seniors themselves to find out what they want at a future meeting, she added.

There is also the thought of collaborating, she said, as DiBartolomeo said other not-for-profit agencies may offer similar services and multiple groups could enhance what is out there.

Service providers and groups not able to attend Wednesday morning’s roundtable can stop by Amherstburg Community Services’ office at 179 Victoria St. S. and let them know what they offer and what they do for seniors.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services, call 519-736-5471 or visit www.amherstburg-cs.com. DiBartolomeo can be contacted directly at execdirector@amherstburg-cs.com.

Town to consider its own surcharge recommendation for Libro Centre

 

By Ron Giofu

Town council has opted to consider its own recommendation for a new surcharge to be assessed to Libro Centre users.

In the process, they spurned a different proposal submitted by the building’s three main user groups – the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), Skate Amherstburg and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

According to a report from manager of recreation services Rick Daly, “administration proposed a capital surcharge outlined in the user fee bylaw” and “this capital surcharge is set at $6 per rental unit of time for sport facilities and park bookings and $3 per rental unit of time for room rentals.”

That option would see an estimated $25,350 collected in a year, as opposed to the other option, presented Monday night by AMHA president Marc Renaud. That option is estimated at collecting $26,648.

“We believe non-residents should pay more and adult users should pay more,” Renaud told town council. “Kids in sport stay out of court.”

Renaud said the option created by the three major users would require all three principal users to contract ice hours at a minimum100 hours per year. The principal rate user surcharge would have been $4 per hour to all hours rented on all ice surfaces from Sept. 1-April 30 annually and $10 per hour for all pads from May 1-Aug. 31.

For Amherstburg resident users that book ice rentals for a minimum of 12 hours per month would be set at $6 per hour for all pads. Casual non-resident users would pay a surcharge of $13 per hour of ice rentals.

Under the town’s proposal, Renaud said it would translate into a $21.82 cost per AMHA player and $13.50 for every Skate Amherstburg participant. Under the proposal he presented, Renaud said the numbers drop to $14.54 per player in AMHA and $9 per Skate Amherstburg participant.

According to the administrative report: “Administration recommends that Option #1 (the town’s recommendation) be approved as it is the most equitable and easiest to implement. The users would pay into the reserve equally based on rental levels.” The report added that “the fundamental difference in the structure of the reserve in Option 2 (presented by the primary users) is problematic, in that it doesn’t allow the town to deal with global building issues and only ice specific issues. Secondly, it creates inequality, as it doesn’t allow the users who are paying a disproportionate share much representation at the time the replacement is needed. In this case, you would have non-primary users subsidizing the future replacement of infrastructure to the benefit of the primary users.”

Councillor Rick Fryer said he supported the town’s recommendation, believing the $6 surcharge across the board is “fair” and that the people who use the Libro Centre most would pay a greater share of the surcharge.

“I don’t see this being a big issue with the user groups,” said Fryer.

Renaud reiterated his position that adult users should be paying more in order to keep youth in sports.

Councillor Jason Lavigne said he has three children who have played travel hockey and regardless of whether it is children or adults playing, the adults still pay the costs.

“You are kind of wishy-washy here,” Lavigne told Renaud.

Lavigne said the Libro Centre is the envy of the area but there are costs to keep it that way.

“We have to realize it costs money and we’re having issues here,” said Lavigne.

Councillor Leo Meloche believed the user groups’ options were “a burden to the non-primary users” and that the general taxpayers were paying “a pretty good share already” to maintain the Libro Centre. He said he didn’t find the user groups’ option to be unreasonable. Councillor Diane Pouget said “we try to be fair to everybody” and noted Daly’s report where it said the primary users had 54 per cent of the ice time in 2016 but would only pay 38 per cent of the total surcharge under their proposal.

Councillor Joan Courtney noted she has children and grandchildren who play hockey and believed that if a person can play hockey, they can afford to pay a little more. She noted there is money for hats and jackets and that “somehow they find the money” and didn’t believe the surcharge was unreasonable.

“To keep the Libro Centre a great facility, I don’t think it’s too much,” said Courtney.