Rotary Club

Montreal Canadiens alumni opponents get ready



By Ron Giofu


The Montreal Canadiens Alumni come to the Libro Centre this Saturday night and the team that will be opposing them got ready for them last weekend.

The team comprised of area residents, emergency service workers, incoming council members and town employees were on the ice last Saturday night practising for the game that is coming up this weekend. The team consists of 23 players, including two goalies, and will be coached by Dave Wharram.

Admirals co-owner Matt Fox takes a shot on town treasurer Justin Rousseau during a Saturday night practice at the Libro Centre.

“It’s a fun practice to let the guys get together and learn from each other,” said Wharram. “Everyone I talked to is excited to play against some of their childhood heroes.”

Wharram said he is a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan but the Canadiens are his “next best team” so he is excited to be part of the event as well. The alumni team features players not long out of the NHL and others that have been retired for 20 years or more so it will be an “interesting” game,” Wharram believed.

The charity hockey game is being organized by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg with proceeds going to Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

Councillor-elect Peter Courtney playfully shoots the puck towards the camera (which was behind the glass) during a Nov. 24 practice at the Libro Centre.

“The Rotary Club did a great job organizing this,” said Wharram. “It’s all for fun and for charity.”

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.

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.

Annual bike rodeo still busy, despite wet conditions



By Ron Giofu


Even though there was rain and damp conditions last Sunday, the annual bike rodeo still proved to be popular.

The annual event was presented at Families First Funeral Home and saw cyclists dodge the rain drops as well as the objects in the obstacle course. The event was presented with many partners, including the Amherstburg Police Service, the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee, Families First, Bike Windsor-Essex, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, the Optimist Club, the Rotary Club, Little Buddies Daycare, Bright Child Montessori, Meloche’s No Frills and Lakeside Produce.

Brett Severin assists Ryan Sprague through the obstacle course at Sunday’s bike rodeo

Const. Steve Owen, the community services officer with Amherstburg police, said they had 76 pre-register and were hoping to match the 130 children that came out last year. Just shy of 100 were reported to have come out for the 2018 event.

Bike helmets were given to people who didn’t have one, lights and bells were handed out, bicycles were checked then ridden through an obstacle course and BMX rider Eric Favot also was on hand for safety talks and demonstrations of what he can do.

“It’s to promote bike safety,” said Owen. “The last thing we want to do is see kids get hurt on their bikes when they are trying to have fun.”

Not only was the bike rodeo a way to learn, but they tried to ensure children and parents had a good time too, Owen added.

Heather Lenson from the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee (dark shirt) stands with Emma, Morgan and Joshua Hadfield during the June 10 bike rodeo at Families First Funeral Home.

The Amherstburg Fire Department brought their ladder truck to the event and there was face painting and inflatable rides on hand as well. There were also handouts given to people with bicycle safety tips.

“The last few years, it has grown quite a bit,” Owen said of the bike rodeo.

“I think it’s great,” added Heather Digou, who was with her son Ryan Sprague at the event. “It shows them bicycle safety. They are giving kids all kinds of entertainment. I think it’s awesome.”

BMX rider Eric Favot performs a trick during the bicycle rodeo June 10.

“Families First is proud to work with our partners in community to bring the annual bike rodeo to Amherstburg. It is a great way to have fun and a hands-on approach that teaches children the rules of the road to stay safe on their bikes,” says Brian Parent, president of Families First. “Cycling is a great way for kids to get to school, around town and stay active. Cyclists of all ages will have the opportunity to learn how to be safer by being visible to drivers.”

Local student honoured with “Service Above Self” volunteer award



By Ron Giofu


Linden Crain has enjoyed volunteering in recent years and now has an award for his efforts.

The Grade 12 student at General Amherst High School was one of 26 students honoured recently with a Dr. Clare R. MacLeod “Service Above Self” volunteer award that was presented by the Rotary Club of Windsor 1918. Crain said all schools in the area were invited to nominate a student and he was Amherst’s nominee.

“It recognizes student volunteerism in the school and the community,” said Crain, who is also student parliament prime minister at General Amherst. “It’s an honour to win that award.”

Linden Crain (centre), a Grade 12 student received one of the Dr. Clare R. MacLeod “Service Above Self” volunteer awards that was presented by the Rotary Club of Windsor 1918. (Submitted photo)

Crain said winning the award “feels good” and that it has been in recent years where his volunteerism increased. While he was in Grade 9, Crain said he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do and what he liked but started getting involved towards the end of that school year.

In addition to student parliament, Crain’s involvement at General Amherst includes being a peer mentor and helping with various fundraisers. Outside the school, he is the volunteer co-ordinator for the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals, assists soccer players with disabilities through the Italian Canadian Handicapable Association (ICHA), helps Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) with their Stuff-a-Stocking program at Christmas time and also helps with the “Angels in the Night” homeless shelter program.

“I enjoy being able to create an impact,” he said. “I just love helping people.”

One of Crain’s future goals is to get involved with an organization that builds homeless shelters in Third World countries.

Crain credits his father Greg for being one of the people to put him on the path he is on in life.

“My dad really, really helped me. He persuaded me to get out and help others,” said Crain. “He’s a really good role model so I use him as my role model for everything I aspire to do.”

Linden Crain (centre) stands with Julia Sloan and his father Greg Crain after receiving a Dr. Clare R. MacLeod “Service Above Self” volunteer award. It was presented by the Rotary Club of Windsor 1918.

Noting he probably will never stop volunteering, Crain said living in Canada makes him want to give back as people are much more fortunate in this country than many others.

“I enjoy seeing how it helps others,” he said of volunteering.

Upcoming fundraisers at General Amherst High School include a can drive for the mission and a teddy bear drive for the pediatric floor at Windsor Regional Hospital.

Two new members join Amherstburg Rotary Club



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Rotary Club welcomed a pair of new members last Wednesday night.

Ann Marie Favot and John Sutton were officially inducted into the service club at their meeting at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157. Club president Dan Hunt pointed out that with the two new members, the Amherstburg Rotary Club now has 13 members.

“We’re still growing,” said Hunt.

Surrounded by his family, John Sutton (centre) was welcomed into the Amherstburg Rotary Club Feb. 28.

Sutton, who was sponsored for membership by Rotarian Bob Pillon, said he had been thinking about joining for roughly one year and started coming out to meetings in January. Community service was the main reason he wanted to join.

“I think it’s the whole idea of service and giving back to the community,” said Sutton.

Sutton pointed out the Amherstburg Rotary Club has a long history of giving back to the community and indicated he will do what he can to support the club’s goals. Among the projects that the Rotary Club has spearheaded include the Ribfest, the clock in the Navy Yard Park parkette and the Miracle League baseball diamond at the Libro Centre.

“It’s a great way to stay connected and give back to the community that has given so much to me,” said Sutton. “I’m looking forward to getting officially involved.”

While Favot is a new member, she is no stranger to helping the Rotary Club.

“I’ve always been part of the Ribfest committee,” she said. “I’ve been helping out with Ribfest for seven years.”

Noting that her children are getting older, Favot said she is now able to join the Rotary Club itself. She was sponsored for membership by Hunt and fellow Rotarian Tony Ross.

Ann Marie Favot (left) officially receives her Rotary pin from one of her sponsors Tony Ross (centre). Her other sponsor was club president Dan Hunt (right).

Favot said she is looking forward to supporting the Amherstburg Rotary Club’s goals and objectives and “coming up with ideas of my own.”

The Amherstburg Rotary Club meets every Wednesday night at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157. When inducting both Sutton and Favot, Hunt said Rotary is a non-political organization open to everyone.  There are 1.2 million Rotarians and 33,000 clubs worldwide.

For more information on the Amherstburg Rotary Club, visit