Miracle League of Amherstburg

Town council refuses Woofa-Roo signage request, to look into programmable signage

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival will have to seek other ways of promoting its event after town council nixed a signage request at the April 23 meeting.

Lorene Clayton, festival director, asked council if the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival could share the Miracle League of Amherstburg sign along Front Road North. She said she was willing to have other festivals share the sign posts as well, not just her event.

“I would like to use the sign every year for one month prior to the festival,” Clayton requested. “I’d like to open it up for other festivals and special events.”

Clayton said she used to use the sign in front of Duffy’s Tavern and Motor Inn, but with that gone as part of the demolition of the site, she needs to use other options. Lawn signs are used, but Clayton said she understands the need to limit signage within Amherstburg.

Noting she has only two weeks to use lawn signs in Amherstburg, Clayton said that presents difficulty in advertising her event.

Additional signage to be affixed to the Miracle League sign on Front Road North was the subject of debate at the most recent town council meeting. The town is exploring programmable signage.

Asked whether she had permission from the Miracle League to erect the signs, Clayton said “they have no objections” to the plan. However, manager of licensing and enforcement Nicole Rubli told town council she was in receipt of a letter from the Miracle League requesting no additional signage be attached. That also meant a request from the Rotary Club of Amherstburg was denied later in the meeting.

Director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin said the Miracle League sign was not paid for by the town and noted there would be “a number of competing interests” if town council were to allow others to post on the same sign posts.

“It would be very difficult to co-ordinate that,” said Galvin.

Clayton disagreed, believing it would be no different than the banners that hang over Sandwich St. S. that are booked on a first come, first served basis.

CAO John Miceli suggested the town consider programmable signage at the north and south entrances to the municipality. He believed the town should be proactive as it pertains to promoting tourism and special events.

“It will be done tastefully. It will be programmed to a municipal standard,” said Miceli.

Council will receive a report on the matter with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo trying to console Clayton by stating that while her request wasn’t granted, her delegation did spark further investigation into the signage matter.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival will be held at the Libro Centre this year on July 21-22.

Miracle League of Amherstburg returns with its spring season

 

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Athletes with the Miracle League of Amherstburg got to play ball last Saturday.

The Miracle League’s spring season got underway at the Miracle diamond located at the Libro Centre. Michele Vigneux, one of the Miracle League’s board members and its publicity director, said they have a large enrolment of players this year as 158 people have signed up.

The league, as it always has done, as featured players of a variety of ages from all around Windsor-Essex County and not just Amherstburg.

Abbi-Lynne Dufour clowns around with Hunter, the Miracle League mascot, during the league’s first day of the 2018 spring season May 5.

“That’s our highest number so far,” Vigneux said of the enrolment figure.

The Miracle League of Amherstburg features nine teams, with four games throughout the day. One game sees three teams rotate between batting and fielding to try and get all athletes with a disability the chance to play baseball.

Kyle Jones takes a swing at a pitch.

Vigneux said this is a milestone year for the Miracle League of Amherstburg, as it turns 10-year-old in September. She added there are still families finding out there is a Miracle League in operation in Amherstburg.

“We’re happy to be still going strong,” she said.

Gerald Lemire connects with a pitch during the opening day of the Miracle League spring season May 5.

The Miracle League of Amherstburg does need volunteers for the next seven weeks of the spring season. Vigneux said groups and businesses are welcome to come out and help as are individuals. She pointed out it is a great way for high school students to get their required 40 hours of volunteer service.

To volunteer, contact Janet at janetmlabuddyteam@gmail.com, Danielle at danielltmlabuddyteam@gmail.com, visit www.amherstburgmiracle.com or call 519-919-4641.

It is the first Miracle League in Canada and came to town with the aid of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.

Miracle League golf tournament has no trouble attracting golfers

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Miracle League of Amherstburg held its annual golf tournament last Saturday afternoon with it attracting more golfers than ever before.

“We had more than a full house,” said Michele Vigneux, a board member and publicity director for Miracle League. “We’ve had to turn away more than a few teams. It’s a good problem to have.”

The total amount raised from the tournament won’t be known for a few weeks, according to Vigneux, but she said they were aiming to raise over $10,000. She said the proceeds from this year’s tournament will go towards the installation of a wheelchair accessible swing at the accessible playground next to the Miracle League diamond.

“We’re hoping, if we can raise enough money, that we can get it installed this fall,” she said. “That’s the goal.”

The swing, known as a Liberty Swing, costs $48,000 though the league has received $8,000 in cash donations and $17,500 in in-kind services. The remaining $22,500 comes from the Miracle League’s funding, which includes proceeds from such events as the golf tournament.

Special Olympian Kyle Spearing was part of Team Amherstburg for last Saturday’s Miracle League golf tournament at Sutton Creek Golf Club. From left: Miracle League publicity director/board member Michele Vigneux, CAO John Miceli, Spearing, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Miracle League board president Chuck Bondy, Libro Centre operations director Sandy Lindsay.

Special Olympian Kyle Spearing was part of Team Amherstburg for last Saturday’s Miracle League golf tournament at Sutton Creek Golf Club. From left: Miracle League publicity director/board member Michele Vigneux, CAO John Miceli, Spearing, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Miracle League board president Chuck Bondy, Libro Centre operations director Sandy Lindsay.

Word has gotten around about Miracle League and the golf tournament. Vigneux said people know the money is going to a good cause and there were a lot of good prizes. Mike Bondy, a board member and volunteer with Miracle League, was able to secure a number of prizes including one week at a luxury home in Florida and trips to Cape Cod, Agawa Canyon, Washington and a condo in Shanty Creek.

Despite numerous donations throughout the year, the Miracle League doesn’t do any of its own fundraising except for the golf tournament.

“It’s our only fundraiser,” said Vigneux. “We hope to get the biggest bang for our buck as we can.”

Vigneux added it was the first year Mayor Aldo DiCarlo golfed in the tournament. He was joined by Special Olympian Kyle Spearing, CAO John Miceli and Libro Centre operations manager Sandy Lindsay.

“We’re really thankful to have everyone’s support,” Vigneux added. That includes new and returning golfers and sponsors.

“Everything we do is for the players and the league,” added Chuck Bondy, president of the Miracle League’s board of directors.

Bondy thanked all involved and stated “we couldn’t do this without all of the players and the volunteers are unbelievable.”

The fall season for the Miracle League of Amherstburg starts Sept. 9. For more information on Miracle League, visit www.amherstburgmiracle.com or call 519-919-4641.

Miracle League celebrates its volunteers

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A quartet of Miracle League volunteers have summed up their feeling helping the local organization.

Conor Dawson, Brad Bondy, Avery Duhart and Nancy Ferguson are four of the many that volunteer their Saturdays with Miracle League, which concluded its spring season June 24. They all got started in different ways but are all glad they are involved.

“I play baseball for Turtle Club (in LaSalle),” explained Dawson. “I like the game and try to get easy volunteer hours.”

For Duhart, it was another case of getting high school volunteer hours.

Among the many volunteers that help the Miracle League of Amherstburg operate are Brad Bondy, Conor Dawson, Nancy Ferguson and Avery Duhart. All four say they find their experiences rewarding.

Among the many volunteers that help the Miracle League of Amherstburg operate are Brad Bondy, Conor Dawson, Nancy Ferguson and Avery Duhart. All four say they find their experiences rewarding.

“I started volunteering for high school and I really enjoyed it after I got my hours,” he said. “Also, you can’t beat free food.”

Ferguson said she started out at the barbecue but said she wanted to be a “buddy” to some of the athletes.

“It’s very rewarding,” said Ferguson.

Bondy said he enjoys announcing the games every Saturday during the Miracle League’s spring and fall seasons, noting he sees the excitement in the players’ eyes.

“When they get a home run, it’s beautiful to see,” he said. “Without the volunteers, that wouldn’t happen. It’s an amazing thing.”

Duhart said when he sees people with disabilities, he understands what they go through thanks to Miracle League. Dawson agreed, and quoted the Miracle League motto “Everyone deserves a chance to play baseball!”

“I agree with that,” said Dawson.

Bondy said whenever he or his family sees someone with challenges, they refer them to Miracle League. Ferguson added that Miracle League athlete Bryan Dzombak grew up with her son Chase and still know each other.

The four volunteers describe their experiences with Miracle League as inspiring, amazing, motivational and rewarding with Dawson stating it has opened his eyes to people with disabilities and what they can accomplish.

“You are playing the game through them,” added Ferguson.

All four agree that there is no one player that makes the days special, with Bondy saying the list of positive experiences is “endless.” He added that it is nice to see people young and old attend games, noting it’s not just for Amherstburg residents but all of Windsor-Essex County.

Chuck Bondy, president of the Miracle League’s board of directors, said it is the volunteers that make things happen every week. He added that the public is very generous with donations and credited them for generating the money to fund Miracle League operations.

“All we do is steer the ship,” said Bondy. “It’s the volunteers that make it go.”

Local dental office holding fundraiser for Miracle League

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

A local dental office is hoping to spread the love in two different ways this Valentine’s Day.

Fort Malden Dentistry is holding a “Share a Smile” fundraiser where people can purchase packs of Valentine’s Day cards with all of the proceeds benefitting the Miracle League of Amherstburg.

“We have six different designs of Valentine’s cards that we’re selling in packs of ten,” explained patient care co-ordinator Lou-Anne Shust.

Shust said they talked about what types of fundraisers to have and no one could think of a Valentine’s Day card fundraiser.

Lou-Anne Shust shows some of the Valentine’s Day cards and the flyer promoting them at Fort Malden Denistry. The local dental office is selling the cards as a fundraiser for the Miracle League of Amherstburg.

Lou-Anne Shust shows some of the Valentine’s Day cards and the flyer promoting them at Fort Malden Denistry. The local dental office is selling the cards as a fundraiser for the Miracle League of Amherstburg.

“It’s an idea we hadn’t heard of,” said Shust.

Supporting Miracle League was an easy choice, Shust continued.

“Dr. Slipchuk is an avid supporter of Miracle League,” she said. “He supports different events they hold.”

Fort Malden Dentistry will match whatever is raised through the fundraiser, she added.

“Anyone can come in,” said Shust. “It is open to anyone who wishes to come in. We appreciate anyone’s support.”

There is no specific dollar amount goal in mind, with Shust saying the more money they raise the better. If they have the fundraising event next year, they will look to beat what they do this year, she added.

The cutoff for card purchases is Feb. 14 with Shust saying they want to have “twice the love” with people sharing cards with their Valentines as well as helping the Miracle League of Amherstburg at the same time.

For more information, call 519-736-5295 or visit their office at 201 Crownridge Blvd.