Libro Centre

Amherstburg Soccer Club presents “Day of Champions”


By Jonathan Martin


The Larry Bauer Park soccer fields have drawn local champions in to play.

Saturday saw LaSalle, South Windsor and Amherstburg’s interlocked U18 divisions compete in the first round, quarter-finals and semi-finals of 2018’s Day of Champions.  LaSalle hosted the championship game Sunday.

At press time, the official final results have not been released.

Players show what they’re made of at 2018’s Day of Champions, held at the Libro Centre’s soccer fields in Amherstburg last Saturday. The championship finals were held in LaSalle Sunday.

The semi-finals went into overtime, with Amherstburg getting knocked out by a penalty kick.  LaSalle suffered the same fate.  South Windsor came out ahead.

This was South Windsor’s first year participating in the interlock.  According to Amherstburg Soccer Club (ASC) president Terry Sawchuk, the organization’s growth can be attributed to the sport’s capacity for teambuilding, healthy living and, most importantly, its affordability.

“Every year we have more players join,” he said.  “This year, membership is up by about 75.  We also started a new girls-only league this year.”

The tournament also enjoyed a healthy turnout.  Soccer-lovers lined the fields, hiding from the heat in the shade of sapling trees while the players laughed and ran and kicked and leaped.

“The Town of Amherstburg, as always, has been fantastic,” Sawchuk said.  “They keep the fields well-maintained and I’ve received compliments on the quality of the facilities.”

Woofa-Roo director pleased with attendance, despite rain



By Ron Giofu


Even though this year’s Woofa-Roo Pet Festival was held under cool, wet conditions, the festival’s director was still happy with how things went.

Lorene Clayton pointed out that while some of the outdoor events were impacted both Saturday and Sunday at the Libro Centre, it didn’t have that much of an impact overall. Indoor events went off as planned and Clayton said she was happy with the weekend overall.

“It’s a little bit slower but I am so impressed with the fact that we had terrible weather and so many people still came out,” she said. “It pretty much proves we have a loyal following who like to come out to see what we do.”

Events included the Dock Dogs diving competition, presentations from A-Team Robotics and their “Fetch-a-Roo” robot, the Border City Barkers dog agility show, presentations from various dog and pet groups, raffles, wiener dog races, vendors and more.

Corinne Googe and her dog Helena compete in the dog diving competition. They came in for the second straight year from Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

“People that are here had a good time,” said Clayton. “I’m sure we did well in spite of the weather.”

Clayton admitted to not being nervous when looking at the weather forecasts in advance.

“It is what it is,” she said of the weather. “I’ll take care of the things I can control but that’s not one of them.”

Julie and David Unholzer from Danes in Distress stand at their booth (right). Canine units from Windsor, Chatham-Kent and OPP perform demonstrations.

People will still come out rain or shine, Clayton added, and that they were anticipating warmer weather given the festival moved from August to July this year. Her highlight, she stated, was the same as it is every year.

“It’s the energy people bring to the festival,” said Clayton.

The volunteers were outstanding, she added, as they performed their duties regardless of weather without complaint.

“They all do it with a smile,” she said. “They’ve been just incredible. It’s impressive to see how well the volunteers are working.”

Corinne Googe and her dog Helena were competitors in the dog diving competition. They came in for the second straight year from Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

“I love it,” said Googe. “It’s one of my favourite events of the year. I just love the energy.”

Mackenzie Parks fires tennis balls out of the “Fetch-A-Roo” robot built by A-Team Robotics.

Googe added the competitors form their own little community but she said the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival in Amherstburg is special as she likes seeing the vendors, the dogs and the people.

Julie and David Unholzer of Danes in Distress brought their dog Mojo to the festival and said they help find homes for larger dogs like Great Danes. Julie said that Great Danes don’t do well in shelters and that her group helps shelters around the province find homes for the breed. She said that exposure at Woofa-Roo has helped them find homes for dogs.

Laura Greenwood from Wheatley said she comes annually to Amherstburg for the festival.

“I love it,” said Greenwood. “I come back every year, even if it’s raining. If you are a pet person, you obviously come back.”

Greenwood said she particularly likes the lure course, as she has “high drive” dogs and that tends to tire them out.

A-Team Robotics, the local robotics team featuring a lot of General Amherst High School students, were on hand with their “Fetch-a-Roo” robot, a robot which shot tennis balls in the air for dogs to chase. Mackenzie Parks, one of the robotics team members, said it was “a good challenge” for their off-season as they learned a different type of mechanism and how to design a robot to shoot balls.

“If we’re building robots to shoot balls, why not have a robot that shoots balls for dogs?” he said.

Police canine units from Windsor, OPP and Chatham-Kent were performing demonstrations at the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival July 22.

His father Allan, one of the A-Team’s mentors and coaches, said they also want to get the team more exposure. They were at Canada Day as well and plan to be at the Aug. 3-5 Amherstburg Uncommon Festival in the downtown core.

“We felt it was good chance to get in the community and give back,” said Allan.

Allan added that off-season challenges gives other team members a chance to “spread their wings” and show what they could do.

Joanna Pitcher and son Greyson came in from LaSalle for the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival. Joanna said they heard about it from other people while her son was playing soccer and decided to come out.

“It’s lovely,” she said. “It’s really fun.”

New operator of pro shop at Libro Centre decided upon



By Ron Giofu


The pro shop at the Libro Centre will soon be back in business.

Nantais Athletic Inc. has been approved as the new tenant at the town’s recreation complex and will fill the space formerly operated by Canadian Tire. The latter gave notice to the town they would no longer lease the space and closed at the end of March. According to a report from manager of recreation services Rick Daly, four businesses submitted “unsolicited offers” to take over the space and continue to operate it as a pro shop and skate sharpening facility.

Administration then advertised for a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI).

“With the concern voiced by residents and user groups that the space should continue to be utilized as a pro shop, administration called for a REOI from potential respondents wishing to operate a sporting goods store and skate sharpening centre at the Libro Centre,” Daly stated in his report. “As this was an REOI, and not a proposal call, the level of detail required to be provided in a submission was to demonstrate that the potential tenant was experienced and capable of providing the required services and was interested in establishing a full time, year-round business at the Libro Centre.”

Daly said that a five-year term, subject to renewals, was sought, and that four submissions were received. He added that all four firms were contacted for “a more detailed supplementary submission to include items relating to the proponent’s experience and products, service, image, intended hours of operation and business approach.”

One proponent asked to be removed from the process and the remaining three bidders were evaluated by director of planning, development and Legislative Services Mark Galvin, Daly, a financial planning administrator and an outside consultant.

“The evaluation criteria was equally weighted on: experience, hours of operation, level of service (multi-sport and community involvement) and overall business plan,” Daly stated.

Daly added: “In addition to sporting goods and skate sharpening services, Nantais Athletic Inc.’s owners have been highly involved on the developmental side in many sports played in Amherstburg, including hockey, football and baseball.”

The space is 695 square feet in size and Daly said the previous tenant was charged $11.32 per square foot plus HST. Nantais will be charged $13.50 per square foot for the first two years with the lease to be increased using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the remaining years.

“The estimated revenue shortfall of $1,424 for 2018 results from a three-month vacancy for the leased space. Entering into a rental agreement with a new tenant will mitigate any further revenue shortfall,” Daly said in his report.



ACS partnering with town to host public meeting for seniors Aug. 16


Amherstburg Community Services has once again partnered with the Town of Amherstburg’s Recreation Services Department to support seniors living in the municipality.

On Aug. 16, the two organizations will host a town hall meeting to consult seniors, caregivers and concerned citizens on changes they would like to see to support healthy aging in Amherstburg.  ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo is excited for the input from the community and hoping to see a large turn-out.

“We think there are plenty of amazing ideas just waiting to be heard,” DiBartolomeo said.  “We know the statistics and we know that a huge part of our population is made up of older adults.  As a community, we need to adapt to these changes and it’s only right that this part of the population has their say.”

The town hall meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns and share ideas on how to make Amherstburg a more welcoming place for older adults.  The feedback from this event will help plan and implement new programs and services for Amherstburg seniors.

Information on resources and programs currently available for seniors living in the area will also be shared with those who attend.  The meeting will take place at the Libro Credit Union Centre’s community room at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16.

Registration is not required, however people looking for more information are asked to contact Amherstburg Community Services at 519-736-5471.

This event follows a similar consultation with organizations, business owners and community leaders that took place in December last year.

More players participate in this year’s ball hockey league



By Ron Giofu


The ball hockey league presented by St. Peter’s ACHS College School has wrapped up for another season.

The final night was last Tuesday night on the main pad of the Libro Centre. St. Peter’s headmaster and league organizer Peter Thyrring said this year’s league went well. He stated there were roughly 70 kids that played this year, up 30 per cent from last year.

“We’re growing again, which is a good thing,” said Thyrring.

Players in the bantam divisions gather for group photos at the Libro Centre July 10.

Thyrring said they always had a bantam division, but were able to re-establish an atom division this year. The coaches and volunteers that helped at the atom level are willing to move up to bantam next year, which he said helps in the running of the league. He credited parents for stepping up and taking a lot of the weight off his shoulders in terms of organizing and running the ball hockey league this season.

The players came mainly from Amherstburg and LaSalle, with some players also coming in from the Harrow area.

“We need other communities to work with us,” said Thyrring. “They need to be part of it.”

The ball hockey league is “definitely on the upswing,” he added, noting they are close to being able to form a travel team and compete with teams in the Ontario Ball Hockey Association (OBHA) from as far as the Greater Toronto Area and Kingston. Thyrring doesn’t see any reason why the league couldn’t grow to have as many as 100-150 male and female players in future years.

“It is growing in this area,” he said. “It’s really cheap. People can afford it. It’s for anyone. Anyone who can hold a stick and run has an opportunity to play.”

Atom players have their photo taken after their ball hockey season concluded. (Submitted photo)

Referees used by the local league were trained at a OBHA clinic in Chatham, Thyrring said, and that allowed them to get a paying job. Some of the players were students from St. Peter’s and that included those in residency.

Players came from all levels of hockey and there were also a group that had never played before. The leading scorer in the atom division was Cameron Tweedall with 23 goals while Aiden Bastien dominated the bantam division with 77 goals.

The league tried to give back to the local economy, Thyrring added, noting that the jerseys were made locally this year.