Martin Breshamer

Rotary Club raises $2,000 for Easter Seals at Martin Breshamer Memorial pasta dinner



By Ron Giofu


The annual Martin Breshamer Pasta Dinner was held again last week and, like in previous years, it proved to be a good fundraiser for Easter Seals Ontario.

The event was presented by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg April 18 at the Columbus Community Hall. It was co-chaired by Rotarians Susanne Bergeron and Joan Donaldson with Donaldson stating that approximately 115 people attended and $2,000 was raised.

Bergeron called it a “phenomenal” turnout and also pointed out there were a number of door prizes from local businesses.

“It’s nice to see the support of the community,” said Bergeron.

Rebecca Rivard, fundraising specialist with Easter Seals Ontario, commented that the proceeds from such fundraising endeavors help in many ways. There are two accessible camps that Easter Seals operates with one near London and another near Peterborough. The cost to send a child to the camp is $2,500 per week, but proceeds as the ones from the Rotary Club’s pasta dinner help offset costs.

Money is also put towards specialized equipment to increase accessibility. There are also post-secondary scholarships offered, she added.

Faith Turner is this year’s Easter Seals Ambassador. She was one of the roughly 115 people that attended the Rotary Club of Amherstburg’s Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner.

The dinner was named in honour of Martin Breshamer, a long-time Rotarian who oversaw the pasta dinner and other Easter Seals fundraisers.

“(Martin) was a force to be reckoned with, for sure,” said Bergeron.

Rivard said that while she never met Breshamer, she searched his name on her computer and quickly discovered who he was and what he was all about.

“It’s amazing what this man accomplished,” said Rivard.

“We are carrying on his legacy,” added Donaldson. “Martin was an important part of our Rotary Club. We miss him dearly.”

Members of the Breshamer family were also on hand for the dinner, as was Faith Turner. Turner is this year’s Easter Seals ambassador.

“I am very honoured to represent people like me and be their voice,” said Turner.

Turner believed people with disabilities should have the same opportunities as other people.

“They are sort of tucked away,” said Turner, who has spina bifida. “They are just as important as anyone else.”

For more information about the Rotary Club of Amherstburg and their events, visit, “Like” them on Facebook or “Follow” them on their new Twitter site found by going on and searching @RAmherstburg.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg’s annual Easter Seals dinner April 18

Special to the RTT


The Rotary Club of Amherstburg will hold its annual Easter Seals Dinner at the Columbus Community Hall April 18 from 5-7 p.m.

The dinner funds opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities. The Rotary Club has named the pasta dinner in honour of the late Martin Breshamer, who created it locally. The Columbus Community Hall is located at 190 Richmond St. in Amherstburg.

Martin was a quiet pillar of the community through his many activities, all the while being the busy former plant manager for the local Seagram (now Diageo) plant.

The Martin Breshamer Memorial Easter Seals pasta dinner is next Wednesday night. Breshamer (pictured) organized the dinner annually as well as a walkathon. (Submitted photo)

For those with disabilities, he was a board member of Easter Seals, organized the Easter Seals walkathon and pasta dinner, ensured playgrounds were handicap-accessible, and was a board member and former chairman of the Rotary Children’s Rehabilitation Centre (now John McGivney Centre).

For Amherstburg, he arranged the Seagram Concert Series for the Windsor Symphony Christmas Concert, installed the Rotary Clock at the foot of Richmond St., was a board member of the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association and the Park House Museum, a fund raiser for the St. John the Baptist Church Restoration Fund, manager of the annual haunted house, and of course, president and board member of the local Rotary Club.

For the area, he was a United Way chairman where he exceeded the goal by 20 per cent and assisted small business through the Essex Community Future Development Corporation.

Having been born in The Netherlands where he survived WWII as a boy, Martin used to say, “Canada has been good to me and in my retirement, I can give my time to help others.”

In view of his many accomplishments, it is understandable why Canada awarded him the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and Rotary presented him the Paul Harris Award.

Rotary Club honours former member during Easter Seals fundraiser


By Adam D’Andrea


The Rotary Club of Amherstburg raised approximately $2,000 on April 5 during their annual Easter Seals fundraising dinner.

The dinner was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall and attended by roughly 200 guests. While the Rotary Club has been holding the fundraiser for many years, the event was recently renamed the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner.

“Our former secretary who passed away, his name was Martin Breshamer; we lost him at the beginning of last year. Easter Seals was very near and dear to Martin’s heart. He did the telethons, the walkathons, all for Easter Seals,” said Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Laura George. “This is something that we can do to honour his service, not only to the Easter Seals but definitely to the Rotary Club too.”

Rotary Club of Amherstburg members take a break for a photo during the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner last Wednesday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The dinner raised approximately $2,000 for Easter Seals. (RTT Photo by Adam D'Andrea)

Rotary Club of Amherstburg members take a break for a photo during the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner last Wednesday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The dinner raised approximately $2,000 for Easter Seals. (RTT Photo by Adam D’Andrea)

All proceeds from the dinner will be going toward the Easter Seals’ efforts to provide programs and services to children with physical disabilities. These include a summer camp, post-secondary scholarships and financial assistance for wheelchairs, walkers, ramps and lifts.

“It’s always very successful. People really come out and support us,” said fundraising chair Carl Gibb.

George thanked the members of the Knights of Columbus for providing them with some much-needed added manpower to run the event and the Rotary members who went out into the community to get door prizes for the fundraiser.

“We couldn’t do a lot of what we do without our door prizes,” she said. “Local businesses are really great. We go knocking door-to-door a couple of times a year and we hardly ever get turned away.”

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg’s next major event will be their eighth annual Ribfest, which runs from July 7-9 this year.

Rotarians raise $1,500 at annual Easter Seals pasta dinner



By Ron Giofu


The Rotary Club of Amherstburg raised $1,500 at its annual Easter Seals pasta dinner but this year’s dinner was important for who it is now named after.

The dinner is now the Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner, named for the long-time Rotarian who organized Easter Seals fundraising on behalf of the local club. It was held last Wednesday night at the Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall.

Rotary Club president Lena Lazanja said the club decided to name the dinner after Breshamer, who died in January. Breshamer also served as club secretary for years.

Lazanja pointed out that a large contingent of the Breshamer family turned out in support of the event.

“We’re hoping to do just as well as past years,” said Lazanja.

Luke Marchant, a 2016 Easter Seals ambassador, enjoys his pasta dinner at the K of C Hall in Amherstburg April 6.

Luke Marchant, a 2016 Easter Seals ambassador, enjoys his pasta dinner at the K of C Hall in Amherstburg April 6.

The Rotary Club formerly did a spring walkathon in conjunction with the pasta dinner as another fundraiser for Easter Seals but Lazanja said it could be moved to the fall so it can be done in conjunction with the Interact Club that Rotary sponsors at General Amherst.

“They’ve been very active and we’re thinking of doing it with them,” said Lazanja.

Wendy Nicholson from the Easter Seals said the pasta dinner is a very welcome fundraiser for Easter Seals and praised Breshamer for starting it 29 years ago.

“They help tons,” she said of the Rotary Club. “Any amount of money raised helps send kids to camp.”

In addition to sending Easter Seals children to accessible camps, the Easter Seals organization assists in families attaining mobility devices for those who require them.

Luke Marchant is one of the Easter Seals ambassadors this year and came in from Windsor for the dinner. He said he is enjoying his role as ambassador and that he is excited and proud to be one.

Tom Breshamer said the family was very pleased to have the dinner named after Martin.

“When the Rotary Club approached the family about using his name, it was an easy decision,” said Breshamer. “He was part of the Rotary Club for 40 years.”

Breshamer said his father ran it for the first 28 of the 29 years and “we really appreciate the Rotary Club naming the event after him.”

Breshamer added he is proud of his father as is the family and that he accomplished a lot. Helping children was one of Martin’s many accomplishments.

“He had a passion for the children,” he said. “He had a soft spot in his heart for the children.”

Sponsors for the Easter Seals pasta dinner included Topnotch Plastics, Delisle Signs, Precision Jewellers, Home Hardware, Re-Lighting, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sue Pietracupa, Shirley Bondy, TD Canada Trust, Armando’s and Accucaps.

Raffle winners included Ricka Lavigne, June Gignac, Kris Martin, Sue Byron, Sue Pietracupa, Freddie Beekhuis, Jana Miller, Leo St. Louis, Janet Annison, Bill Wark, and Jill Gibb.