Tim McAllister

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission holds AGM

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week and handed out some awards in the process.

The AGM was held last Wednesday night at the mission with board president Tim McAllister outlining the year that went by. He also thanked board members, volunteers and those who have supported the mission.

“We have had a good year thanks to all of you and the tremendous support from our community,” McAllister told those in attendance. “You have all made a difference through helping with donations and collecting tangible items.”

McAllister noted that the roof was recently replaced and that the hot water tank was also replaced.

“Things happen,” he said. “We trust God and He will provide.”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission will soon start fundraising for a new van.

“Changes are and will always be occurring here at the mission because it is a basic condition of life, necessary for growth,” McAllister stated.

Board members with the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission include (back row, from left): president Tim McAllister, secretary Shannon Dobson, Jim Ferrar, Paul Kascjak. Front row (from left): Tammy Pasceri, vice president, Anne Fox and Lana Talbot. Not pictured are Sheila Jaroszewicz, Violet McAllister and Kim Cabanaw. All are volunteers.

McAllister said the mission is in its 23rd year and that he will continue to serve as president. He said the board is made up of volunteers who live up to the motto of “people helping people.”

“I ask that you all stay tuned because the best is yet to come!” said McAllister. “We will continue to work diligently to build and pursue new partnerships and maintain our current ones. We will continue to modify programs to meet the needs of the community with the resources available.”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission encourages people through its Wednesday breakfasts, hot meals throughout the week, the baby food program, the emergency food bank and computer programs with McAllister stating that could only be done through monetary donations and the dedication of the volunteers and supporters.

“As we continue to partner with the Essex County court system, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission provides a placement for young offenders,” said McAllister. “We also support school students who seek voluntary hours for academic requirements. We continue to modify our system with the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association and have implemented procedures and requirements that satisfy our funders.”

Mission president Tim McAllister (left) presents a volunteer award to Inez Zapata-Fox.

McAllister added the mission’s reporting is transparent and assures that it is accountable in utilizing public funds appropriately.

“Our community’s needs continue to increase and change. As we focus on tailoring our services, our efforts will remain on meeting the greatest needs within our community,” he added. “People in Amherstburg and the surrounding communities are still finding it difficult to make ends meet and the number of people accessing our services for hot meals, both adults and children, continues to increase.”

The number and effectiveness of the volunteers is stable, McAllister reported, and events run smoothly.

“Our funding campaigns continue to be strong,” he said. “Once again, I am glad to report that we have successfully established annual events that continue to grow each year.”

Such events that the mission has presented include the brunch at Ducks on the Roof, a barbecue at Sobeys, a fundraiser at No Frills, having all 100 of their new chairs sponsored, the annual golf tournament and the tambola.

“We would like to put emphasis on our fundraising efforts as we continue to rely on our volunteers, their ideas, their efforts and their passion,” said McAllister. “At the same time, we continue to rely on the generosity of our community.”

Marilyne Fortune (right) receives a volunteer award from Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister.

McAllister added that “everyone contributes in their own way and that’s what makes the mission a special place.”

The mission’s board also includes vice president Shirley Hitchcock, John Drop, Paul Kascjak, Tammy Pasceri, Sheila Jaroszewicz, Lana Talbot, Shannon Dobson, Anne Fox and Jim Ferrar. The operational support team includes Violet McAllister and Kim Cabanaw.

“We all do what we can when we can,” said Hitchcock.

Hitchcock noted that so far this year, the mission had served over 10,000 hot meals this year and distributed 329 food baskets.

Mission president Tim McAllister blows out candles on his birthday cake. His 64th birthday was celebrated the same night as the mission’s annual general meeting Sept. 19.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission also honoured a pair of its volunteers. Inez Zapata-Fox and Marilyne Fortune were honoured this year for their contributions to the mission.

“It’s part of my daily routine,” said Fox, with Fortune added that she greatly enjoys working at the mission.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is located at 298 Victoria St. S. and their phone number is 519-736-9140. For more information, visit www.aburgmission.ca or “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmherstburgMission.

 

OCWA donates $1,100 to Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) hit the links recently and the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission benefited.

OCWA held its annual golf tournament Aug. 17 at Seven Lakes Golf Course in LaSalle and Dan Rawlins, operations manager of the Essex hub, said they raise money for a charity of their choosing every year. This year, it was the mission.

The golf tournament featured 28 participants this year, Rawlins said, with much of the proceeds being raised through raffle draws.

Rawlins added they read in the River Town Times about new chairs being needed at the mission, so that is why OCWA decided in favour of the donating there this year.

The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) held its annual golf tournament last month with the proceeds from it – $1,100 – being donated to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister said the donation from OCWA is factored into the 95 sponsorships the mission has received thus far for the 100 new chairs.

“We are thankful for this generous donation,” said McAllister.

There are still five donations that are needed to complete the chair sponsorship project, but McAllister is pleased with how it has gone thus far.

“We still can’t believe it,” said McAllister. “It was so fast how we accumulated the sponsorships for the new chairs. We are excited.”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is located at 298 Victoria St. S. and can be reached by calling 519-736-9140 or visiting www.aburgmission.ca.

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 www.aburgmission.ca, 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 www.aburgmission.ca.

 

Chili Cookoff packs punch for charities

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a milestone year for the Charity Chili Cookoff.

The cookoff, held annually at the Columbus Community Hall (formerly known as the Knights of Columbus Hall) in Amherstburg, was presented for the 25th time last Saturday night. Organizer Ron Fryer said there were eight teams this year.

Teams, and the charities they were helping, included the Columbus Community Hall (benefiting the K of C), the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, Maria’s Restaurant (benefiting Amherstburg Community Services), Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering (benefiting the United Way), the Artisan Grill (benefiting Amherstburg Community Services), Wolfhead Distillery (benefiting the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission) and Royal LePage (benefiting cancer research).

Fryer said he updated the event several years ago, got rid of the judges and allowed the people to choose the winner. While the participants served the chili, they didn’t necessarily serve their own entry as chili was poured into eight identical serving trays and dished out from those as to keep the competition as fair as possible.

The winners from the 2018 Charity Chili Cookoff were crowned at the Columbus Community Hall Saturday night. From left: Natalie Borrelli and Kirk Churchill from Maria’s Restaurant (third place), Tim and Winston McAllister from the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship MIssion (first place) and Kevin and Court Meloche from the Columbus Community Hall (second place).

“For $10, where are you going to go to sample chili?” asked Fryer. “For $10, where can you go for a night out?”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission came in first place, the Columbus Community Hall finished second and Maria’s Restaurant came in third.

Mission president Tim McAllister, who served the chili with his son Winston, joked prior to the judging that he was there to win it.

“We’ve won second and third but we never won first,” McAllister said once the results were announced. “We are excited, grateful and thankful that people came out and supported us in this event. It was a lot of fun. I’m glad we were able to win.”

“It’s for a good cause,” added Winston.

The band Rio Michaels performed after the cookoff was concluded. Final totals of what each winning team won was not available at press time.