Rick Daly

ACS, town happy with first-ever Active & Aging Well Expo

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) teamed with the town’s recreation services department with seniors being the focus.

The first-ever Active & Aging Well Expo was presented last Monday and Tuesday at the Libro Centre with over 40 vendors, cooking demonstrations, financial presentations and other presenters giving senior citizens a chance to see what is out there.

“I think as far as a first year, I’m pleased,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “I’m hearing a lot of good feedback from attendees.”

“I think vendors are pleased with the set up and how they were treated,” added Rick Daly, manager of recreation services with the town.

Lou Cote (left) demonstrates pole walking with
ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

DiBartolomeo said it was an opportunity for businesses and service providers to not only show what is out there for seniors, but a chance to network amongst themselves as well. Seniors were also able to learn about some volunteer opportunities in the area.

“I think the main goal is to show how they can stay active,” she said.

Daly said many seniors were able to have issues and concerns addressed.

“If there are questions that older adults have, they were answered for them,” he said.

A Taoist tai chi demonstration was held last Tuesday afternoon as part of the Active & Aging Well Expo presented by Amherstburg Community Services and the Town of Amherstburg.

A variety of exhibitors and interactive demonstrations left a big impression on attendees of the first-ever Active & Aging Well Expo.  The event had attendees like Carol Hrycay glad they took the time to see what all the fuss was about.

“It was the best five bucks I ever spent,” Hrycay said of the event. “I was very surprised to see so many vendors with such diversity yet still all focused on seniors. It really hit home just how much is available to people like me.”

In addition to the cooking classes provided by Matthew Johnston, the owner of Amherstburg’s Artisan Grill, and Beau Velduis, the executive chef at Seasons Retirement Communities in Amherstburg, attendees were given the chance to try activities like Taoist tai chi, pickle ball and pole walking.

DiBartolomeo stated the chance to try something new was what left a real impression on the event-goers.

“We look at this event as a chance to really change the discussion around aging,” DiBartolomeo said.  “Age isn’t just a number – it’s an opportunity to experience new things and this event helped people do just that.”

Plans are already being formulated for 2019, she added.

Over 40 vendors took part in the first Active & Aging Well Expo (AAWE) held last Monday and tuesday at the Libro Centre. The event was held in partnership with Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Town of Amherstburg. (Submitted photo)

“We’re getting some feedback from vendors on what they like and what is important for next year,” stated Daly.

Daly added ACS will be an even more important service going forward as the population is aging and there are a number of services offered by ACS that can help.

The Active & Aging Well Expo brought vendors from across Windsor and Essex County to allow older adults, seniors and caregivers a chance to discover services, activities and programs specifically for them, all in one place.  Admission was $5 and included a lunch and access to all vendors and demonstrations.

 

—With information provided by Austin Tyrrell, community awareness/fundraising coordinator with ACS

Amherstburg Community Services partnering with town to deliver two-day Seniors Expo

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

Dozens of organizations, businesses and individuals will be making their way out to Amherstburg June 11-12 to help seniors in the region discover services, resources and activities specifically designed for them.

The 2018 Active & Aging Well Expo, hosted and organized by Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Town of Amherstburg, is described as “a one-stop shop for everything from home health care to yoga demonstrations curated specifically for seniors, older adults and caregivers.”

“We really wanted to appeal to as many people as we could,” Kathy DiBartolomeo, executive director at ACS said. “We all age differently and find ourselves with a variety of different needs.  Some of us are looking for activities and hobbies to keep us busy, others will be looking for services that provide support for a specific need.  We’re excited that this event will cover all of that and more!”

Rick Daly, the manager of recreation Services with the Town of Amherstburg, says he is excited by the responses seen by businesses that have been invited to take part in the event.

“Amherstburg’s population is getting older. It only makes sense that we offer programming, activities and events that cater to our older adult population,” Daly said. “With the response that Amherstburg Community Services is getting, the Expo looks to become an annual event that will educate and entertain our seniors on the many activities and services offered in our town.”

The 2018 Active & Aging Well Expo will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both June 11-12 at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg.

Over 35 different vendors will be at the event, with demonstrations and presentations taking place throughout the day.  Admission will be $5 at the door and will include a boxed lunch and access to various raffle prizes.

For more information, please contact Amherstburg Community Services at 519-736-5471.

 

Essex Powerlines makes annual $10,000 donation under Youth in Community Fund

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Essex Powerlines has maintained a tradition it started several years ago to help youth in its shareholder municipalities.

Joe Barile, general manager with Essex Powerlines, attended the April 9 town council meeting and presented the town with its $10,000 share of a $40,000 donation the corporation makes through its Youth in Communities fund. This is the fifth consecutive year for the donation, with similar donations also made in LaSalle, Leamington and Tecumseh. The goal is to advance local, youth related investment. To date, Essex Power has funded a total of $200,000 youth driven initiatives in the communities it serves.

Barile pointed out the attendance of Essex Empowerment Girls Group members Natasha Kitka and Mackenzie Robson. They are organizers and facilitators of the group with that group able to utilize some of the funding.
Robson indicated they mentor girls from Grade 4-8 and the funding will be used for guest speakers and to help fund the operation of the group.

“It runs for ten weeks, once every season,” said Robson.

Essex Powerlines made its annual Youth in Community Fund donation. From left: Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale, Essex Powerlines GM Joe Barile, Mackenzie Robson from the Essex Empowerment Girls Group, manager of recreation services Rick Daly, Essex Empowerment Girls Group member Natasha Kitka and board member Bill Wark.

Kitka pointed out it is a free program, but girls do have to register for it at the Libro Centre.

“It’s beneficial for the girls,” said Kitka, with Robson adding she wishes the program was available when she was younger.

Manager of recreation services Rick Daly said the money will also be used for youth programming and day camps offered at the Libro Centre. He said there is a gymnastics program that is offered there that uses a portion of the proceeds as well.

“Along with providing reasonable rates, consistent power quality and reliability and local accountability, Essex Power is committed to being a good corporate citizen and being socially responsible. The events and programs receiving our Youth in Community funding have elements of education, fitness, art-cultural, or social responsibility.” said Ray Tracey, president and CEO of Essex Power. “At Essex Power, we truly believe that our youth are the key to our future and that investing in young people is an investment in our future.”

ACS teaming with town’s recreation department on “Seniors’ Expo”

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) is teaming with the town’s recreation services department to bring a “Seniors’ Expo” to town this spring.

The Seniors Expo will be at the Libro Centre June 11-12 and ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo said they are presenting the event due to Amherstburg’s population getting older. Currently, 18.1 per cent of Amherstburg residents are 65-and-over. When those 55-and-over are factored in, the senior population could increase to 25 per cent in five years, she noted.

“This is our first year doing it,” explained DiBartolomeo. “We’re partnering with the Town of Amherstburg. We’re hoping to showcase services that are in Amherstburg and Essex County. There’s many different services. We’re looking to promote Amherstburg and Essex County.”

According to a letter sent out by DiBartolomeo and manager of recreation services Rick Daly, the expo is inviting vendors who may have products or services geared towards the over-55 population. Those could include retirement or assisted living facilities, barristers and solicitors, doctors, optometrists, wineries, sports clubs, barber shops or hair salons, education institutions, service organizations, insurance and financial services, hearing centres, pharmacies, dance and fitness facilities, clothing stores, beauty and nail salons, financial institutions, dental offices, medical therapy, museums and galleries, golf courses, health food stores and pet stores.

“People can visit the booths and talk to vendors one-on-one,” said DiBartolomeo.

They also aim to have pickleball demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and food sampling and guest speakers and presentations.

“We want seniors to see what is out there and know what is available to them,” said DiBartolomeo. “We’ve been approached by seniors looking for different services in the area.”

DiBartolomeo said they want seniors to “stay active, healthy and informed.”

For more information on the Seniors Expo, contact DiBartolomeo at 519-736-5471 or execdirector@amherstburg-cs.com. People can also contact Daly at 519-736-5712 ext. 2122 or rdaly@amherstburg.ca.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said DiBartolomeo.

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.