Shirley Hitchcock

Mission’s call for chair sponsorships gets positive results

By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission put out a call recently for sponsorships for their new chairs and the community responded.

The first 50 of the new black chairs, which replace the aging second-hand chairs they’ve had for seven years, arrived last Thursday. When the call went out in the Aug. 15 edition of the River Town Times, the mission had already picked up 27 sponsorships. As of last Thursday afternoon, they had 95 of the 100 chairs sponsored.

The second shipment of 50 chairs is due later this year. They will be stored and used for special events.

Shirley Hitchcock, vice president of the mission’s board of directors, said they are thrilled with the new chairs.

“We are so excited,” said Hitchcock. “There is not any other community like ours. It’s unbelievable.”

The old chairs will be donated to a parish that one of the board members attends.

Members of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission’s board of directors and volunteers celebrate the arrival of new chairs last Friday afternoon. Seated (from left): Lana Talbot, Inez Zapata-Fox, Violet McAllister and Liz Foslett. Back row: Tim McAllister, Kim Cabanaw, Shirley Hitchcock and Jon Hitchcock.

“We have a church that really does need them,” said Hitchcock.

Mission president Tim McAllister noted the people who come to the mission are excited and happy to get the new chairs.

“I think this is the first time we’ve had new chairs,” said McAllister. “We have always had used chairs.”

McAllister added they have been able to paint and fix up under the tabletops at the mission as well with volunteers and those who use the mission helping out.

“Everyone stepped up and made the job easy,” he said. “This place is like home to them. Everyone wants to play a part in the success of the mission.”

The fact that others are joining in to help out allows McAllister to “sit back and smile.”

Hitchcock added the volunteers at the mission have been tremendous with the volunteer board of directors also being very active.

If anyone wishes to sponsor a chair or donate to the mission in any way, visit, call 519-736-9140 or stop by the mission at 298 Victoria St. S.

Mission trying to raise money for new chairs



By Ron Giofu


Faced with the cost of having to replace their chairs, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is hoping the community can help them out.

The current chairs at the mission are becoming damaged and worn out, so the mission’s board is replacing them with 100 new ones. They are looking for people to sponsor the chairs at a cost of $50 each, though vice president Shirley Hitchcock says that covers not only the cost of the chairs but upgrades to the tables as well.

Hitchcock said the mission got the chairs seven years ago from a restaurant that was going out of business.

“We have golf balls on the legs so they won’t wreck our floors,” she said. “These chairs are terrible to sit on. You feel like you are going to fall off.”

“The vinyl is cracking,” added mission president Tim McAllister.

The new chairs are built to hold 400 pounds and have a seven-year warranty. The first 50 come later this month while the second 50 arrive early next year. The mission is searching for a place to store the extra 50 chairs, which will be used on holidays and for other special occasions such as the mission’s tambola event.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister (left) and vice president Shirley Hitchcock show the board where people have their names posted after sponsoring a chair.

“Tambola is a big event,” said McAllister. “We fill all the chairs.”

Hitchcock said the order for 100 chairs was based on the estimate of McAllister and his experience in knowing what the mission requires.

“Whatever he needs here, it’s based on his needs,” said Hitchcock.

The mission has roughly one-quarter of the chairs sponsored, she added. Hitchcock said Amherstburg and surrounding areas are “second to none” when it comes to helping charitable causes and people in need.

“There’s no community that supports people like the Amherstburg area,” said Hitchcock.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission offers a specialized service that is hard to find in the area, with both a food bank and hot meals among the services it offers.

“We are unique,” said McAllister.

“There’s nothing like us in the area,” added Hitchcock.

Some people, Hitchcock continued, just come for the fellowship and to speak with McAllister and the other volunteers at the mission.

“The mission is for everyone,” she said.

While the mission is run by volunteers, even those that are helped by it have adopted tasks that they call their own from clearing tables to helping with the dishes.

“We’re all the same here,” said McAllister. “Respect is what we require. We want people to be happy here. It doesn’t matter what they look like.”

To sponsor a chair, people can visit the mission or mail a cheque to it with the address being 298 Victoria St. S., Amherstburg, ON, N9V 2K5. People can also donate through their website at


Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission celebrates updated website



By Ron Giofu


It was a two year process, but the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission has an updated website.

Formerly maintained by a Windsor resident who has since relocated to western Canada, the old website became out-of-date and tough to maintain locally. After offers to create a new one didn’t pan out, mission vice-president Shirley Hitchcock turned to her son to create a new website.

The mission had further hurdles to get the name back but once that was done, the website can now be updated locally with the aid of Hitchcock’s husband Jon.

“Our website has an entirely new look ,” explained Hitchcock. “It now contains updated information, photos and bios of our board members, a place to make a donation, a listing of what we need most, how we support the community and how they support us, upcoming events, when we’re in the news, etc.  Most importantly, all of the information is current.”

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission Tim McAllister surfs the mission’s new website.

Mission president Tim McAllister was thrilled with the results.

“Shirley and her team started almost two years ago putting the website together,” said McAllister. “It was a lot of challenges, tears and frustration but it’s beautiful. It’s well done. The mission board of volunteers is very thankful to Shirley, her husband and her team for the efforts to put the website together.”

McAllister said such dedication is nothing different for the mission, as all board members and volunteers are committed to making the mission a better place.

“Everyone gives their dedication and commitment to the work,” said McAllister. “As president, it makes me feel good I have that support.

Seasons donates 100 turkeys to Mission in time for Christmas



By Jolene Perron


At each of their properties across Canada, Seasons donated 100 turkeys to food banks and missions in their respective communities.

“This is a great day for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission,” said Tim McAllister, president. “We are so very blessed that Seasons has chosen to donate 100 turkeys to us this holiday season. Their generous support has allowed us to continue serving our community and those in need. You have blessed us, and now we can share that blessing with others.”

Initially there was discussion about all the area Seasons donating their turkeys to the Windsor Essex County Food bank, but dining services manager at Seasons Amherstburg Beau Veldhuis explained each of the area Seasons wanted the opportunity to keep their donation in their respective communities.

“We try to help out whenever we can, if we’ve got things that we can bring over and help out, that’s what we try to do,” said Veldhuis. “There are plenty of needy families right here in Amherstburg, so we are all going to our individual missions and food banks to donate our turkeys.”

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister (left) and vice president Shirley Hitchcock (right) accepted a truck load of 100 turkeys from Beau Veldhuis (centre) on behalf Seasons, which launched a company-wide program to give back to their communities.

Shirley Hitchcock, vice president at the Mission said some of the turkeys will be cooked for the annual Christmas dinner, while others will be given to those who go to the Mission to receive assistance regularly. Those people, she said, know who they are.

“Everybody here knows. People that don’t need it in this area don’t ask for it and people that do need help that’s why we’re here so if they come and they need a turkey they’re having a turkey,” said Hitchcock. “When people have a number of children it’s easier for them to cook the turkeys at home and just get the trimmings to go with it.”

Seasons dropped off 100 turkeys to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission last Thursday afternoon as part of their company-wide program to give back to their communities.

Veldhuis, explained they worked with their grocery partner, Sysco Canada to work out a deal with them to be able to provide 100 turkeys to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission. All of the turkeys across all of the Seasons properties were donated to the area food banks and missions Dec. 14.

“It’s great to be able to help,” said Veldhuis. “I know it’s not me personally but it’s Seasons as a company that’s helping and it’s a great initiative so I hope we continue to do it because we sure can do it. I think we lose track of how many people are out there that need the help.”

Mission’s annual Tambola proves to be a successful fundraiser



By Jolene Perron


What started in 2002 as a way for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship mission to raise money for food and supplies, has turned into an incredible event packing the building each year.

“People of the community donate almost everything,” explained mission vice president Shirley Hitchcock at the recent Tambola. “All our fundraising events are very important so we can keep operating.”

The event had between 300 to 500 items to be won. Participants bought one envelope with fifty of the same numbers in it. They got a chance to look around at all of the tables set up with the prizes, and put their number in the cup to win specific items.

Hundreds of items were up for grabs at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Missions annual Tambola, which allows the Mission to raise money for food and supplies, and also allows participants to win gifts for their families.

“The money for the Mission is important, but the most important part is that the people who are buying all of the tickets are the ones who are using them for Christmas gifts so it’s very important to them,” explained Hitchcock.

Hitchcock said the event does good for everybody in the community because people donate goods to the mission throughout the year, and then they put them all out for their Tambola, and it allows people to come in and give back to the mission with a benefit to themselves as well.

“Amherstburg has got to be the neatest community in Canada,” said Hitchcock. “I have lived a lot of places and I’ve never been anywhere like this with people who care and look after other people like Amherstburg does. I was looking for a place to retire that was a family community and that sure is what this is.”

Tim McAllister, president of the mission’s board of directors added, “the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission would like to thank the community and surrounding area for t heir great support and turnout at our annual Tambola. We hope all had a fun night. Again, thank you to the community.”