Michelle Laforge

Area boating group presenting four events for charity



By Ron Giofu


An area boating group is holding four different events in the coming weeks with organizations in both Amherstburg and LaSalle to benefit from them.

Boat Spotters, a non-profit boating group based in LaSalle, will be holding four events over the summer with one in June, two in July and one in August. The group has over 1,300 members between LaSalle and Amherstburg. The four events they are hosting will benefit causes in those municipalities as well – the LaSalle Hang Out Youth Centre and the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission.

Wendy Sutton, founder of Boat Spotters, said three of the four events are available to get to whether a person has a boat or not. She said everyone is welcome.

The first event is a pig roast and canned food drive being held at Ranta Marina June 23. Tickets are on sale now and are $30 for one and $50 for two. There will be two live bands – No Drama and 17 North – that will be entertaining the crowd. Overnight tent camping is permitted, said Sutton.

The second event will be at Beattie’s Sunset Marina in LaSalle July 21. In addition to the canned food drive, there will be a charity seafood broil and three live bands including No Drama, Echo Steps and South of Detroit Band. There will also be live chain saw carving. Sutton noted that overnight camping and tents are permitted. There will also be games, raffles and prizes. Tickets are on sale now and are $60. Those who want to want to stay in campers have to pay $20 though tents are free.

The canned food drive will be a “Fill a Boat” campaign with the proceeds going to the mission.

“We’ve got a cute eight-foot boat that we’re going to decorate so everyone can put canned goods into it,” said Sutton.

The third event is a “Festival of Lights” boat parade and dinner on Boblo Island. That is taking place July 28.

“Boats can sign up to enter the festival. We will meet at the Boblo Marina at 4 p.m.,” said Sutton. “The Boblo Beach House Restaurant will host a dinner. At 7 p.m., there will be an award given to the best dressed boat. Everyone is welcome to attend the dinner and enjoy the festival boats. A portion of your dinner purchased is donated to our charity campaign.”

At 9 p.m., the boats will leave Boblo and cruise around the island and down the shore of Amherstburg. Cost to enter a boat is $25 but Sutton said businesses can also enter and put their banners on their boats.

The dinner is a burger and fries for $15 or pickerel for $28.

The fourth event, the one that Boat Spotters said they are the most excited about, is the Barge Bash planned for Aug. 11. It will be held in Crystal Bay in partnership with C-Tow Marine Assistance. Sutton said there will be three bands – The Fabulous Soulshakers, Destroyer and The Formula – performing on a barge in Crystal Bay.

“We have the barge in place and we’re going to do it,” said Sutton.

“It’s time to bring the community together,” added Michelle Laforge, a committee member with Boat Spotters.

The Barge Bash is free and runs from 12 noon to 11 p.m.

Sutton noted there are approximately 15 marinas between LaSalle and Amherstburg.

“It’s a pretty big community between the two towns,” she said. “I formed a group and we connect all boaters from all marinas.”

“It also keeps the boaters aware of what is going on,” said Laforge. “It keeps them informed.”

Boat Spotters also wanted to give back to the community, so they decided to help the The LaSalle Hang Out Youth Center and the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission.

“Boaters are an awesome group of people,” said Sutton. “It’s a really good community.”

The group is also seeking businesses to sponsor their events.

“Anyone who wants to help out with monetary donations or door prizes, it’s all for charity,” said Laforge.

Both Laforge and Sutton agree that the community has been very supportive thus far.

“If this goes well, we’re going to be doing these annually,” said Laforge. “We’re excited to see how these events are going to take place.”

For further information on Boat Spotters and their events, e-mail BoastSpotterslasalle@gmail.com, call Sutton at 519-999-6393, visit their website at www.boatspotters.com or find their Facebook group by searching “Boat Spotters LaSalle.”