SACU holds sold out fundraiser at Shooters



By Jolene Perron


A local retired teacher involved with Save African Child Uganda has held a sold out fundraiser at Shooters, the proceeds from which will go towards completing a classroom in Uganda.

Ingrid Heugh, who retired as a teacher from Amherstburg Public School, went to the Ugandan village of Buwando in late November and early December with SACU. She explained the organization was begun with a 19-year-old Ugandan man named Ivan Nsera who approached a retired teacher from Canada, Geri Sutts while she was in Uganda helping another organization.

“Ivan was brought to this village as a young boy to be raised by his grandmother, Jaja, when he lost both of his parents to AIDS,” said Heugh. “He witnessed how his loving grandmother would help abandoned and abused children in the village and take them into her home. Ivan never forgot where he came from even though he now lives in the city, Kampala with his family.”

SACU holds a wide range of fundraisers, from pasta dinner, to winter galas, murder mysteries, golf outings and more. Heugh said she thought she would throw in a totally different fundraiser and give a comedy night a try. She said Leo and Diane Dufour have been “awesome to work with.”

“I remember Leo back in high school he was funny then and continues to make me laugh hysterically,” said Heugh. “I have attended some of his shows and recently attended a Komedy Korner Fundraiser that was held by CAS which gave me the idea.”

Ingrid Heugh, a retired teacher from Amherstburg Public School held a Komedy Korner fundraiser with Leo and Diane Dufour for Save African Child Uganda (SACU) at Shooter’s Roadhouse in Amherstburg. The event sold out and was a huge success for the organization.

Heugh had a waiting list of people who wanted to be called in case someone purchased a ticket and couldn’t attend. She said she wishes she could “stretch the walls” and make the building larger to accommodate the support she received from the community. The fundraiser brought the organization over $2,000 and Heugh said it was “the easiest fundraiser SACU has ever planned thanks to Leo and Diane Dufour.”

Heugh explained the money raised from the event will go towards finishing the classroom she started while she was in Uganda. She left when the first phase was completed, and she hopes the second and third phases will be done by the time the students return to school on February.

“We have built a shelter for abandoned and abused children, built classrooms, hired and paid for caring teachers and shelter moms,” said Heugh. “We also provide breakfast and lunch for all of our school children and provide medical if children become ill. The children in Buwundo and the nearby villages had very little hope for their future. Their parents and guardians don’t have enough money to send their children to a government school or the neighbouring schools. Most of the schools require the students to pay tuition, purchase their uniforms, shoes, school supplies, and even need to pay for their government exams, which we fundraise for our SACU students.”

The committee consists of Heugh, Sutts, Betty Westfall, Cheryl Rudgers, Kathy Vriesen, Margie Anson and Elaine Johnson. Heugh said they work hard to plan fundraisers and make decisions about what is important for the children and their futures.

Over the years, SACU has grown from 65 students when Heugh got involved in 2012. This past year, they have grown to accommodate 145 students.

“2018 is an exciting and challenging time for SACU with 15 young children starting up in February and we have our first 10 students from P7 graduate from Elementary,” said Heugh. “They wrote their government exam in November and are now waiting for their results which will determine which high school they will be attending. The students understand the importance of studying hard and listening attentively to their teachers to perform at their best. They truly are grateful for what we have put into place and provided for them, so they can have a brighter future.”

Amherstburg Optimist Club hits the cold water to help kids in need



By Ron Giofu


The temperatures were cold, the wind was brisk and there were snowflakes flying through the air.

What better day for a swim?

The Amherstburg Optimist Club held its annual polar bear dip recently at Colchester Beach. Registration and a post-dip celebration was held at the Shooters Roadhouse in Harrow. Dippers were taken to and from the beach via school bus.

Optimist Club president Brandon Renaud didn’t enter the cold Lake Erie water Saturday but was on hand to help out in other ways.

The Amherstburg Optimist Club held its annual polar bear dip Dec. 9 at Colchester Beach.

“We had about 20 people register,” said Renaud “So far, we’ve raised about $1,600.”

The Amherstburg Optimist Club helped out two families at Christmas time last year and how many they help this year will be determined once an exact fundraising total is available.

“The more we collect, the more we can do,” said Renaud.

The Amherstburg Optimist Club has teamed with the Harrow Kinsmen in the past but Renaud said the Optimists did it on their own this year. He said those who participate always have a good time.

The Amherstburg Optimist Club held its annual polar bear dip Dec. 9 at Colchester Beach.

The Amherstburg Optimist Club held its annual polar bear dip Dec. 9 at Colchester Beach.

“Everyone likes to do it,” he said. “It’s fun. It’s a bit chilly but it’s worth it for the cause.”

Renaud thanked all of the participants, the sponsors and those who donated. He also thanked Keith Bridgen, owner of the Shooters Roadhouse in Harrow, for all of the work he puts into the annual polar bear dip.

The Amherstburg Optimist Club has about ten members, Renaud stated, and meetings are held in various locations in Amherstburg right now until a permanent location can be secured. Anyone interested in joining can e-mail or visit their Facebook page at

“We’re always looking for new members and new ideas,” said Renaud.