Rick Daly

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.

 

Essex Power makes annual $10,000 donation to the town

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Essex Powerlines has continued its “Youth in Community Fund” donations with Amherstburg getting its $10,000 share Monday night.

Essex Power Corporation is making a $40,000 donation through its Youth in Community Fund with it being shared among Amherstburg, Leamington, LaSalle and Tecumseh to “advance local, youth related investment.” To date, Essex Power says it has funded a total of $160,000 youth driven initiatives in the communities it serves.

Some of the proceeds will be going to the Essex Empowerment Group, a group of about 15 girls from across the area that meet Wednesday nights at the Libro Centre. The girls are mainly from Amherstburg at this point and range in age from 10-14.

The Essex Empowerment group is newly formed, said manager of recreation services Rick Daly and “focuses on mentorship and positive role modelling. This program is unique because it was created, developed and ran by youth, for youth.”

Daly added that “Essex Power has given us the opportunity to run a program that empowers young girls to be the strongest and most true version of themselves that they can be.’

“As a father of four girls, I am glad to see that a girls empowerment group thanks to my place of employment,” said Joe Barile, general manager of Essex Powerlines.

Essex Powerlines general manager Joe Barile presents a $10,000 cheque to Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and the Essex Empowerment Group Monday night. The money is through the “Youth in Community” fund.

Essex Powerlines general manager Joe Barile presents a $10,000 cheque to Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and the Essex Empowerment Group Monday night. The money is through the “Youth in Community” fund.

Essex Empowerment Group facilitators Elizabeth Di Paolo and Mackenzie Robson said the money their group will receive will help the group grow its programming and expand its membership. Such topics they discuss include self-esteem, bullying, relationships and being a positive role model.

“They all come from diverse backgrounds,” Di Paolo said of the membership.

Robson said the group “has really opened my eyes” and that was something Di Paolo agreed with.

Barile would also tell council about other works of Essex Power. He noted in 2005, the provincial control over hydro bills was at about 75 per cent while the provincial portion of a typical hydro bill is now 81 per cent.

Essex Power tries to keep the share of the rates near the rate of inflation and works with customers on how to save energy, said Barile. He said Essex Power is on pace to meet its conservation targets for the period of 2015-20.

As for outages, Barile said many are due to tree contacting power lines. Due to maintenance, that number has dropped from about 30 in 2005 to less than five in 2016, according to Barile. They have also developed in-house technology to better manage the grid, he added.
The town’s cumulative dividend over the last five years is over $1.1 million, he added, and that the company also continues to invest in infrastructure. They are the 16th most efficient distribution company in Ontario as opposed to Hydro One, which is 66th.

Essex Power has expressed interest in acquiring more Hydro One shares in Amherstburg, with Barile acknowledging that some streets see customers served by Essex Power on one side and Hydro One on the other.

Councillor Diane Pouget said the previous council made its share of mistakes but one mistake they didn’t make was selling their Essex Power shares.

Councillor Rick Fryer said many still have difficulty paying their bills, primarily due to the 81 per cent share of the bills controlled by the province.

“That 81 per cent is hurting a lot of residents,” said Fryer.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo pointed out the money that comes back to the town from Essex Power every year.

“I can honestly say Essex Power is a partner,” said DiCarlo.

Amherstburg, St. Clair College happy with OCAA women’s soccer championship

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The big winners of the OCAA women’s soccer championship were the Algonquin Thunder but the Libro Centre came away looking good as well.

The 2016 champion Thunder were crowned Saturday afternoon at the conclusion of a three-day tournament on the Libro Centre’s turf field as they beat the Humber Hawks 3-1. Humber had defeated the host team – St. Clair College – Thursday night.

St. Clair College’s Melanie Daniel (left) has the ball taken away from her by Fanshawe goalkeeper Ali Vlasman during the OCAA women’s consolation final last Saturday at the Libro Centre. Fanshawe won 1-0.

St. Clair College’s Melanie Daniel (left) has the ball taken away from her by Fanshawe goalkeeper Ali Vlasman during the OCAA women’s consolation final last Saturday at the Libro Centre. Fanshawe won 1-0.

St. Clair managed to get to the consolation final Saturday morning but lost a close 1-0 decision to Fanshawe. Saints coach Steve Vagnini said his team didn’t put away their chances while Fanshawe was able to convert on one of their opportunities.

“I thought we played well,” said Vagnini.

Mistakes and the ability to convert on those of other teams was the story of St. Clair’s season, he added.

“We’ve paid dearly for our miscues and we haven’t been able to make the other team pay for their miscues,” said Vagnini.

Noting the season isn’t a success unless you win it all, Vagnini acknowledged the Saints have a lot of rookies on the team and there is a lot to build on.

“They are our future,” he said.

Recruiting is important for St. Clair, he added, and that he uses the college itself as a recruiting tool.

“St. Clair has been a dream to work for,” said Vagnini, adding the school gives back to its athletes and students.

As for the host facility, Vagnini was impressed with the Libro Centre, calling it an “A-1 facility” with “A-1 service.” He said that was a feeling shared by other teams and other coaches as well.

Jay Shewfelt, athletic co-ordinator at St. Clair College, said they were pleased with the facility as well.

“It’s been perfect. The facility has been amazing,” said Shewfelt.

The college is happy with how things went, he added, and that staff were receptive to the needs of those involved with the tournament.

St. Clair College’s Melanie Jubenville (right) battles Humber College’s Emily Tirabassi during Thursday night action at the Libro Centre. St. Clair College hosted the OCAA Women’s Soccer Championship at the Libro Centre last Thursday through Saturday with Algonquin winning the gold medal.

St. Clair College’s Melanie Jubenville (right) battles Humber College’s Emily Tirabassi during Thursday night action at the Libro Centre. St. Clair College hosted the OCAA Women’s Soccer Championship at the Libro Centre last Thursday through Saturday with Algonquin winning the gold medal.

“Obviously we would have liked our team to do better but we’re proud of our team and the way they played,” said Shewfelt.

While St. Clair College is considering building its own facility, there is still a chance the Libro Centre could host a future tournament. The men’s tournament is something the college may look at hosting in three years and there wouldn’t be any hesitation in bringing it to Amherstburg should a new facility at the college not be available.

Teams from the province, including the Toronto and Ottawa areas, thought the Libro Centre was a wonderful facility, Shewfelt added. The addition of volunteer ball girls from the Amherstburg Soccer Club was a welcome addition as well with referees pleased with their performance.

“It’s been a nice touch to add to the tournament,” said Shewfelt.

The Diplomats Drum and Bugle Corps help officially open the OCAA Women's Soccer Championship Oct. 27.

The Diplomats Drum and Bugle Corps help officially open the OCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Oct. 27.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the town was pleased to have the OCAA women’s championship here and the mayor credited manager of recreation services Rick Daly for working to make it happen.

“It’s a really big honour to participate with St. Clair College in hosting the OCAA women’s soccer tournament in town. I heard nothing but great comments about the facility,” said DiCarlo. “People said we have the best around.”

DiCarlo added: “If all goes well, we can continue to pull in more events. I believe (Daly) is working at bringing in a lot more. It’s important to the town. It was also a lot of fun watching my alma mater play.”