Rotary Club of Amherstburg

Rotary Club donates $10,000 to ACS thanks to charity game proceeds



By Ron Giofu


The Rotary Club of Amherstburg teamed with the Montreal Canadiens Alumni last month and now the final results are in.

The Rotary Club donated a cheque in the amount of $10,000 to Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) as part of its meeting at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 last Wednesday night. The bulk of the proceeds came from the Dec. 1 charity hockey game with the Montreal alumni though the Rotary topped up the final amount to $10,000 with funds from their Ribfest account.

“I really enjoyed this event,” said event co-chair Susanne Bergeron. “The club came together in a short period of time.”

Bergeron said while the community enjoyed the sold-out event, they didn’t see the “bumps in the road” along the way. She also thanked Amherstburg Admirals co-owner Wes Ewer and the town’s manager of recreation programming Rick Daly for their help in assisting the club in organizing the game.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg presented a $10,000 cheque to Amherstburg Community Services last Wednesday night. Most of the proceeds came from the Dec. 1 charity hockey game at the Libro Centre.

“We know the funds are going to be appreciated,” said Bergeron, noting that ACS has programs and services for both children and adults.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo said the non-profit agency was very grateful for the donation.

“I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for being so selfless, so generous and so caring,” said DiBartolomeo. “I’m honoured to accept this donation on behalf of Amherstburg Community Services and humbled that the Amherstburg Rotary Club chose to support our small, local charity this way.”

DiBartolomeo said that the money will be utilized to help people in the community who need it most.

“This donation gives us the opportunity to take a serious look into ways we can be more efficient in providing the services people rely on and to consider new ways of helping Amherstburg residents overcome the unique challenges they may face.”

DiBartolomeo added they look forward to “continuing to work with the Rotary Club of Amherstburg to further the missions of both of our organizations.”

Montreal Canadiens Alumni thrill fans at charity hockey game



By Ron Giofu


Usually when the home team loses a hockey game 18-7, there aren’t as many smiles in the arena.

Last Saturday night was an exception.

The Montreal Canadiens Alumni came to the Libro Centre and played against the Amherstburg Rotary team, the latter made up of area residents, business owners, town employees and first responders. The charity hockey game was organized by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg and was a fundraiser for Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

The Amherstburg Rotary hockey team poses for a group photo with the Montreal Canadiens Alumni team following their Dec. 1 game at the Libro Centre. The Rotary Club of Amherstburg presented the game as a fundraiser for Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

“It was an amazing night,” said Rotary Club president Joan Donaldson. “It was exciting. It was fun. I think everyone had a good time.”

Susanne Bergeron, another Rotarian who helped organize the event, estimated they had at least 20 volunteers helping out Saturday night.

“It was a big success,” added Donaldson. “It exceeded our expectations.”

Close to 700 tickets were sold, she added. The monetary amount being donated to ACS was not known as of press time.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo was happy with how things turned out.

“I think it’s very exciting,” she said. “I think it’s great for the town and the Rotary Club. It’s great for the town to support such a great event.”

The proceeds will go into ACS’ programming, she indicated.

“We will continue to expand and develop new programs,” said DiBartolomeo. “We’re very grateful that Rotary chose us as their designated charity.”

Montreal’s Guillaume Latendresse tucks the puck behind Amherstburg Rotary goalie Justin Rousseau.

Chris Nilan, one of the Montreal Canadiens Alumni that played in the game, said it is enjoyable to travel the country and raise money for charities.

“It’s a lot of fun to get together,” said Nilan. “We are all part of the Canadiens family.”

Nilan stated it’s nice to be able to get to smaller communities as a lot of fans may not get a chance to meet pro hockey players unless they travel to an NHL city. He said he had been to Windsor before but this was the first time he had been in the Amherstburg area, though noted he didn’t have a chance to see much of the town. He joked that “it’s another nice hockey rink” and that they saw a lot of farmland travelling from Windsor to Amherstburg.

Yvon Lambert, a Habs’ legend from the 1970’s and coach of the Alumni team, liked what he saw Saturday night.

Police chief Tim Berthiaume drops the puck for the ceremonial faceoff between Councillor Peter Courtney and Habs legend Chris Nilan.

“It’s always well organized. It’s a good cause,” said Lambert.

The Alumni tour gives the retired NHL stars a chance to get together, have a good weekend and have a few laughs all the while helping local charities, he added. Lambert said the Alumni has about 30 players or so on the roster with about 10-11 of them travelling at one time to cities and towns to play. It was his first time to Amherstburg as well, and he stated he was impressed with the Libro Centre and the community as a whole.

For more photos from the Dec. 1 charity hockey game, visit our Facebook photo album.


Montreal Canadiens Alumni lineup set for Dec. 1 charity game



By Ron Giofu


The Montreal Canadiens Alumni lineup is set for the Dec. 1 charity game.

The Alumni will battle a group of police officers, firefighters and business owners from around the community who will be representing the Rotary Club of Amherstburg. The Rotary Club is presenting the game at the Libro Centre with proceeds going to Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

The Canadiens’ lineup will feature players from the 1980’s, 1990’s and the 2000’s, some of whom have won Stanley Cup championships with the team.

Former Vezina Trophy winner Richard Sevigny will be in goal for the Montreal alumni with other players set to include one of the first Russian-born players to play for the Habs, Oleg Petrov. Keith Acton, who played part of his 15-year career with the Canadiens, is also scheduled to be in Amherstburg that Saturday night as is Pierre Dagenais, who called Montreal one of his homes during his NHL career.

Gilbert Delorme, the Habs’ top pick in the 1981 draft, is also scheduled to appear, as is Sergio Momesso, a member of the 1986 Stanley Cup championship team and current colour commentator for Habs’ games on TSN 690 in Montreal, is also listed as one of the players scheduled to attend.

Another 1986 Stanley Cup champion and TSN 690 personality, Chris Nilan, is also scheduled to play that night. Nilan, a renowned enforcer, holds the NHL record for most penalties in a single game with ten during a 1991 contest.

Mike Weaver, who played the final two seasons of his 14-year NHL career in Montreal before retiring in 2015, is also scheduled to be at the Libro Centre that night. Another former Hab defenseman, Marc Andre Bergeron, is also listed as coming to town.

Patrice Brisebois, the recipient of the Jean Beliveau Trophy in 2009, spent 18 seasons in the NHL, most of them with the Canadiens where he won a Stanley Cup ring in 1993. Brisebois is also scheduled to attend, as is Guillaume Latendresse, who played four of his seven NHL seasons with the Canadiens and is now a hockey analyst on the French sports network RDS. Latendresse was also part of the gold medal winning Canadian team at the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship.

The coach of the team that night will be Yvon Lambert, who scored more than 200 goals in his eight seasons with the Canadiens and won four Stanley Cups. Perhaps his most famous goal was the overtime winner in Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semi-finals to eliminate the Boston Bruins.

Tickets are available at and will be available at the door, unless the game is a sell-out beforehand. Tickets are $20 each. There is a family pack (four tickets) available for $70 and $75 VIP tickets are also available.

Rotary Club chips in for the fight to eradicate polio once and for all



By Ron Giofu


The Rotary Club of Amherstburg marked World Polio Day last Wednesday night with a presentation and some music.

The service club’s regular meeting featured a presentation from Peggy Little, a Harrow Rotarian and also the assistant district governor. Little travelled with a group of other Rotarians in Pakistan and India earlier this year and plans to return to help conduct more polio immunization clinics in January 2019.

“I’m a student of polio,” said Little. “I’m learning all the time.”

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg accepts a $300 cheque from Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 Oct. 24. Legion Br. 157 president Laurie Cavanaugh made the presentation to the Rotary Club.

Little noted the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was celebrating its 30th anniversary and that countries impacted by the disease have dramatically decreased in the last three decades, though it was still a problem in countries in Asia and Africa. According to Little, who obtained much of her statistics from The Rotarian magazine, 17.4 million who are currently healthy would have been paralyzed by polio without Rotary’s eradication efforts since 1988. She noted that Rotary and its partners worked to reach 430 million children in 39 countries during polio immunization days in 2017.

Little said if a football stadium were filled with 100,000 people infected with polio, 90,000 of them would not suffer any symptoms. Another 5,000-10,000 people would suffer from mild symptoms while 0.5 per cent would experience muscle weakness, atrophy, loss of muscle tone and muscle twitching.

There is no cure for polio, said Little, but there are “safe and effective” vaccines. Those few nations where polio is still problematic are also difficult to get to, she indicated.

“It’s a long road to get to that one per cent in the world,” she said.

Peggy Little, assistant district governor, shows an article on polio in a recent issue of The Rotarian magazine. Little, who is a member of the Harrow Rotary Club, was part of a group of Rotarians that went to India and Pakistan in an attempt to immunize citizens there.

Little said that the group flew into Karachi, Pakistan and stated that country has made it their mission to eradicate polio. She said the Rotarians visited community centres where volunteers work to gain trust of the citizens before they immunize the people in the village. Little noted that families are “very mobile” and the clinics are busy.

The group also went to Lahore, Pakistan and, like in Karachi, visited schools where they also distributed materials to the students.

“They were so happy with everything we gave them,” she said.

Some of the schools were directly adjacent to slums that the children were living in.

“When we saw that, tears came to our eyes,” said Little. “These children try so hard.”

The group also travelled to Chennai, India where they visited maternity wards and made donations there.

Little noted she met Rotarians from around the world and found they share the same goals.

Members of the Amherstburg Rotary Club sing “We Are The Champions” during a karaoke fundraiser Oct. 24.

“We are trying to improve the lives of others,” she said.

Following the meeting, the Rotary Club of Amherstburg held a karaoke fundraiser at the Legion to raise money for the fight against polio. Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 also presented the Rotary Club a cheque for $300.

For more information on the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, visit, “Like” their page on Facebook by searching “Rotary Club of Amherstburg” or follow them on Twitter by searching for their Twitter handle @RAmherstburg.

Rotary Club celebrates Park House’s National Historic Significance status



The Rotary Club of Amherstburg has stepped forward again in the public interest, most recently achieving for the Park House Museum the federal designation as a structure of National Historic Significance.

The Park House pre-dates the American revolution in 1776 as a former trading post and was relocated to Amherstburg in 1796 when the British forces decamped from Fort Detroit to Amherstburg. Its design typifies a trading post with numbered logs for disassembly.

The building survived the American invasion during the War of 1812 and later acquired the Park name from prominent merchants.

In 1972, the building was slated for demolition when rescued by the Rotary Club led at that point by then-president Hazen Prize and it was moved to King’s Navy Yard Park. Ownership was given to the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, presently led by president Bill Wark. Annual funding comes from the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.

Bill Wark (left), president of the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, stands with Rotarians Terry Hall and Hazen Price. The latter have saved the Park House so that it is a site of National Historic Significance.

To seek federal funding, Rotarian Terry Hall proposed an application to the Government of Canada for designation as a National Historic Site, similar to Fort Malden. The application’s success required extensive assistance from the Park House curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak.

At the Rotary Club’s meeting last Wednesday night, Wark thanked Hall and Pouget-Papak for their work in ensuring the success of the application.

“We’re certainly thankful for their good work,” he said.

Wark noted that Hall helped lead efforts to apply for the National Historic Significance designation while Pouget-Papak did a lot of research to support the application.

The Park House Museum is located at 214 Dalhousie St. Their phone number is 519-736-2511 and their website is