Windsor Life Magazine Holiday 2021

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1 1 WRITERS1 Michael Seguin

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Robert E. Robinson CONTRIBUTING Matthew St. Amand

1 Ron Stang 1 Alley L. Biniarz

1 Karen Tinsley

1 Sooters Photography

1 Michael Pietrangelo

1 Bellator MMA 1 Lucas Noonan

1 Jenna Muirhead-Gould

1 Charlene Haluk-McMahon

1 Francesca Ludikar

1 Jaden D.

1 Nicki Kay Creative

1 Bonnie Monminie

CREATIVE DIRECTOR1 Carol Garant ART DIRECTOR1 Michael Pietrangelo PRODUCTION1 George Sharpe PHOTOGRAPHERS1 John Liviero,

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318-5060 Tecumseh Road East Windsor, Ontario N8T 1C1 Tel: 519-979-5433 Windsor Life Magazine is published by Campbell McGregor Garant Publishing Incorporated. Articles and art may not be reprinted without written per­mission from the publishers. The publishers assume no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic material. Windsor Life Magazine is a registered trademark of Campbell McGregor Garant Publishing Incorporated, Suite 318-5060 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor, Ontario N8T 1C1. Telephone (519) 979-5433, Fax (519) 979-9237. All rights reserved. ISSN 11955694. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 43512513.

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ON THE COVER Bellator MMA fighter, “The Rose City Phoenix”, Randi Field.


Photography by Bellator MMA/Lucas Noonan See page 18




32 LET THERE BE LIGHTS! Outdoor Displays Worth The Drive on Christmas Eve

52 THE ULTIMATE PLAYGROUND Some Adults Still Have All The Fun Toys

18 RANDI FIELD The Rose City Phoenix Always Keeps Her Eye on The Prize

36 MAKING A DIFFERENCE The Canadian Mental Health Association

54 FAMILIAR FACES Reconnecting With Old Friends For The Holidays

24 AN ALTERNATE TIMELINE Windsor Dance eXperience Films Their Own “Happily Ever After”

40 MAN CAVE LIKE NO OTHER Pole Barn Transforms Into A Private Entertainment Centre

58 ICE DREAMS Father and Daughter Elite Curling Duo

30 LEST WE FORGET Kingsville Military Museum Reminds Us Freedom Is Not Free

49 GIVING THROUGH GOODFELLOWS Sharing How We Can All Help This Holiday Season

60 NEVER STOP ADVENTURING Kevin Moore Takes A 69-day Hike


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Season’s Greetings During this difficult Holiday Season and throughout the year, we extend our thanks to our community and wish you all the best. Don Harris

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Publisher’s Note It’s that time of the year. The Holidays are upon us. Unlike the last two years we can carefully gather with family and friends and enjoy the festive season together. At last the majority of the restrictions have been lifted. Entertainment venues are reopening. Restaurants and bars are once again able to serve us seated in their establishments. We are free to gather and enjoy the season as we have in the past. I sincerely hope that all of you get to take advantage of your freedom. I also urge you to get back to doing one of the many things that make our communities so great...our charitable nature. Through the pandemic the people who work so hard to help take care of those who are less fortunate have had a difficult time keeping up. Some in the area have not fared as well as others. The food banks are stretching to fill the necessities of local families in need. The homeless population needs help. The fabulous organizations that help fund our medical and healing facilities have seen donations slow. Now it is time for those of us who can to step up and fill the voids brought on by the pandemic. Please, as you always have, give your support. Every little bit helps. Also, as we enter the gift giving season, support our local businesses. They have been through a lot of hardship in the past couple of years. Whenever you can, please shop local first. Show these smaller, in many cases family-owned businesses, that we care. Be joyful and smile when you meet old friends that you haven’t been able to see in months. Even with a mask on they can see your smile in your eyes. Ask about their families and friends and offer help if they show a need for it. Enjoy your life and theirs. As 2021 comes to an end I sincerely hope that your future is fun and bright. Enjoy the Holiday Season and put the past well behind us.

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The Rose City Phoenix Randi Field Always Keeps Her Eye on The Prize STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND PHOTOGRAPHY BY BELLATOR MMA / LUCAS NOONAN

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2021. The Footprint Center. Phoenix, Arizona. The fifth fight of the Mix Martial Arts (MMA) event saw “The Rose City Phoenix” Randi Field, a 31-year-old mother, square off against her American opponent, “the Lady Samurai” Sumiko Inaba. Randi was aggressive in the first round, taking the fight to her opponent, landing blows, even catching Inaba’s leg and taking her down to the mat. Going into the second round, Randi felt confident and in control—and then something trickled into her eye, blinding her. “I remember thinking: ‘Am I cut? When the heck did I get cut?’” Randi says. After six years competing in MMA, this was Randi’s first fight since signing with Bellator, one of the largest combat sport promoters in the world. It was also her first time competing in the flyweight, 125 lbs, weight class, which was 10 lbs heavier than her usual strawweight class.

Opposite: Bellator MMA fighter, “The Rose City Phoenix” Randi Field. Top: Randi battling “The Lady Samurai” Sumiko Inaba, Phoenix, Arizona, October 16, 2021. Above: Ready to meet her opponent in the cage.


“Blood dripped into my eye,” Randi recalls, “and I couldn’t see when she took me down. We scrambled on the ground. I was fighting blind. Then, she got me in an arm-triangle choke hold…and I just tapped.” It was a grueling end to a difficult day. “The fight actually went really well,” Randi observes. “I didn’t win, but I displayed how tough I am. My focus on gaining weight in training camp took away from my cardio and it caught me.” Usually on a Fight Day, Randi experiences a fluttery stomach, but on October 16th, scenes from her five-year journey tumbled upon her like an emotional avalanche. “I was fine all week,” Randi says. “My training was on point. Then all the emotions hit me, thinking of everything that led me up to where I was…” Randi Field’s path to becoming a Bellator fighter, ranked 2nd in Ontario, was not a straight line. Growing up in South Windsor, she ran track at school and studied judo for seven years. As she grew into her teenage years, she dropped the extracurricular activities. “I thought I was too cool for that stuff,” Randi says. “Meanwhile, it was exactly what I should have been doing.” Like any teenager, Randi thundered through her rebellious years. By the age of 23, she found herself at “rock bottom”. She wanted more for herself and her daughter. “I was drinking and felt like I lost control of my life,” she remembers. “I didn’t have the support to get on the right path.” She did, however, find her way into a gym. “One day, I decided to try a jujitsu class,” Randi says. “Wearing a gi again, reminded me of judo. It felt familiar and I had a great workout.”

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She then tried boxing, which was led by coach Manny Alfaro on Saturday mornings. “It was a challenge getting to boxing class because I was going out Friday nights,” she continues. “But I got there. It was fun. I got to punch things!” One morning, Manny paired students up for sparring. Randi’s partner was a hulking football player. “I knocked him out,” she remembers. “He had to go sit down and Manny asked me to do pads with him. He wanted to see if that knock-out was a freak thing or if I had some power. Manny said he couldn’t believe how strong I was.” Manny asked Randi if she had ever considered competing as a fighter. “It sounded cool,” Randi reflects, “but I had to get my act together. Manny didn’t specifically say I had to stop drinking because he didn’t know how bad it was.” For a time, Randi tried balancing her party life with training. Soon, the two worlds collided. Manny decided on a bold move to communicate to Randi that it was time to choose which life she wanted to live: he kicked her out of the gym. Speaking to local media on a different occasion, Manny said: “What I wanted to do was shock her. I wanted to make sure that the lesson was learned—and it was. She completely stopped everything. She changed her whole life.” Manny asked Randi’s training partner to check on her, periodically. Without prompting, Randi quit drinking entirely. She remembers thinking: “My life could be so much better and I could avoid this trouble if I just smartened up.” And she did. A month later, Manny invited her back to the gym. Although Randi was ecstatic returning, Manny organized for Randi to spar with Olympian and world champion boxer, Mary Spencer. In Manny’s words, Randi took a “whooping,” but her toughness and tenacity were evident, demonstrating she had the heart to pursue a career as a professional fighter. Manny also followed up with Randi outside the gym, phoning her, asking about her schedule. During that time, she returned to school, studying to become a massage therapist. On New Year’s Day 2017, they became a couple. Randi made her MMA pro debut in Windsor in 2019, fighting at an event at the University of Windsor’s St. Denis Center. Friends, family and supporters came


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out in force. Randi won her match. After winning her second pro fight, later in the year, she and Manny traveled to Florida for her to train. Then the COVID-19 global pandemic hit and Randi and Manny returned home. The lockdown threatened to derail her progress, but Randi’s desire to continue would not be denied. “We set up a training space in my house,” she says. “Manny and I sparred in the living room. We practiced jujitsu in the backyard.” The cursed year, 2020, however, wasn’t without its rewards. In September, Randi signed with Bellator. In an interview at the time, Randi said: “I don’t think it’s hit me yet.” In the same media piece, Manny is quoted: “She’s only been in the game for less than six years and she’s already on the biggest stage. Most fighters take 10 or 15 years to get to where she is right now…” A month after signing with Bellator, Randi suffered a catastrophic injury to her elbow: both ligaments were torn, her olecranon process and radius both broken. The injury required surgery. Months of rehabilitation followed. “I’m a go-getter, though,” Randi says. “I was doing one-arm push-ups with my good arm just after I got my stitches out. I attended physiotherapy twice a week. I regained decent range of motion reasonably quickly.” These were some of the images and memories that converged on Randi on Fight Day in Arizona. One of her many strengths is her ability to learn from the past and then move on. Through the tumultuous journey, Randi retains her clarity. She is quick to express her gratitude for her family and supporters. “And there is no way I’d be where I am now without Manny. He looked passed everything and saw who I was. He has been my rock. And my sponsors—Conquer Construction, Armando’s Pizza, Kachin Muscle, Odyssey Travel Solutions, Ezekiel Santos, Veg Tech—have been with me all the way. They’re local, Windsor supporting Windsor.” While in a tattoo parlour, recently, Randi encountered a teacher having a tattoo done, who told her: “You have so many people watching you and you are inspiring so many women!” “It made me cry,” Randi says. As for her next fight, Randi is hopeful that it will occur in February 2022. To follow her journey, visit randifield. WLM Back to Contents

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HAPPILY EVER AFTER Dancing in an Alternate Timeline STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND THERE IS A SPECIAL CHALLENGE for theatre performers to live up to the age-old belief—“The show must go on!”—when it is a near certainty that the show will be canceled. This was the dilemma that faced Windsor Dance eXperience (WDX) when the COVID-19 global pandemic began in March 2020, cutting a wide swath of cancellations throughout arts communities everywhere. WDX demonstrated, however, that its art director, choreographers and performers refused to give up. “Windsor Dance eXperience is not a dance school,” explains Tiffany Chan, owner and artistic director. “We rehearse to perform in front of audiences. Ordinarily, we do two or three shows a year at the Capitol Theatre, so doing a movie was not something that ever occurred to us because we’re all about performing live.” She continues: “Around the time the pandemic started, we were working on a Greek mythology show called ‘Thread and Stone.’ Because of the pandemic, that show never made it to stage. So, we decided to remount ‘Happily Ever After’, bigger and better as a movie in September 2020.” “Happily Ever After” was originally performed by WDX in 2012. The show is a creative interpretation of classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales presented as a series of dance extravaganzas. “The different stories are tied together by a narrative about a little girl who has lost touch with her imagination,” Tiffany says. When the little girl discovers a book of fairy tales, each story comes to life in her mind through different genres of music and styles of dance. “I was so naïve when the pandemic began,” Tiffany recalls. “I didn’t realize the scale of the situation. I said to my dancers ‘I’ll see you in six weeks!’ Then it rolled into months and months! We started doing rehearsals over Zoom when I heard from parents that kids were not as physically active during the lockdown and that it was affecting their mental health. I began online sessions just to keep them dancing, get them moving.” A major reason for the decision to turn “Happily Ever After” into a movie was to motivate WDX dancers and assure them their efforts would not end in cancellation. The decision for the film version also made sense because Tiffany’s husband, John Chan, happened to possess professional calibre video production skills and equipment. John co-owns the video production company Perfect Shutter. He has made promo videos for WDX in the past and his years of filming weddings and other events, made him the ideal cinematographer.


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Clockwise from top left: Corson Fraleigh as Prince Charming. Production still by John Chan; Tiffany and John Chan at Windsor Dance eXperience Studios; Jayden Mouawad as The Frog Prince, and Emily Egbonna as The Lonely Princess. Production still by John Chan; Cameron Clark as an Evil Step-Sister at film shoot. Photo by Misha Zagorac.


Auditions took place in November 2020. Soon, it became clear that “Happily Ever After” would be a huge production. Ultimately, the cast consisted of 55 performers, including 11 parents, with dancers ranging in age from 10 years old, well into adulthood. The first order of business was deciding— with choreographers Kendra Agius, Jessica Charron, Julia Galli, Dalton Hickson, Eleanor Liebrock, Serena Maniaci—which styles of dance best told each fairy tale. “We do a 1950s version of ‘Cinderella’,” Tiffany says. “There is a hip-hop version of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ that we filmed in downtown Windsor, making use of graffiti as a backdrop. ‘Hansel and Gretel’ is done in an ’80s style. We do a jazz version of ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’ is done in contemporary. There is a musical theatre interpretation of ‘Frog Prince’ and we do ‘Snow White’ as industrial steampunk.” Rehearsals commenced, but the December lockdown delayed filming until March and forced the dancers to learn the choreography online. The spring 2021 lockdown put a further crimp in production, but the team was undaunted. Summer arrived, the weather cooperated and loosening health restrictions across the province made it possible for WDX to complete filming by the end of August. “Once the warmer weather came, we were able to rehearse outside,” Tiffany says. “We also filmed outside, which was great because we could do that without masks so long as everyone was proper distance apart. Rehearsing outside was good for the dancers too. It helped them work with no walls.” With years of experience filming weddings, John was up to the task of capturing the fast-moving action. “It was a lot of runand-gun shooting,” he says. The production is enjoying tremendous community support. The City of Windsor’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund provided some much needed funding. “We had so much help from the community,” Tiffany says. “For ‘Cinderella’ we filmed in a diner and then needed a gymnasium. The Sandwich Teen Action Group let use their gym.” An eye-popping red and white ’55 Chevrolet Bel Air also appears in the ‘Cinderella’ story. It was made available by Gino DelCiancio. The car was parked outside the incomparable Retro Suites in Chatham for its scene. “Scouting the locations was a huge process,” Tiffany recalls. “The Rock Star

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Music Hall was used in the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses.’ We filmed in a bakery for ‘Snow White.’ We filmed in Malden Park, and found a burnt out, abandoned building on Walker Road that served as the Evil Queen’s lair in ‘Snow White’. We filmed outside Mackenzie Hall and found some cool places downtown for ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.” The production also had access to a farm and used some rundown barns to act as the hideout for Snow White’s seven homeless dancers. One of the barns served as a sweatshop for Rumpelstiltskin. If it wasn’t enough working around lockdowns and other delays in filming, coming from a live theatre background, Tiffany found the film production challenging at times. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” she says. “Our first couple of shoots, I felt completely blind.” “It was a learning process,” John says. “There was a lot of time spent on YouTube, learning how to make someone disappear, for instance. It was a journey of discovery.” It’s one thing to capture all that talent and creativity on video, but it was the skill of John Chan that brought it alive onscreen with his deft touch for editing and a few special effects. “I couldn’t believe how good it looked!” Tiffany remarks. The idea for the movie was to simply keep the dance company working. Artists need to create and if the only audience to view “Happily Ever After” was the dancers and their families, all involved would have considered that a success. The response from the public, however, has been remarkable. “Happily Ever After” was premiered at Imagine Cinemas in Lakeshore and then shown twice at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor. “We had a tremendous turn-out at our premiere at Imagine Cinemas—four sold out theatres,” Tiffany says. “People haven’t stopped messaging us asking how they can see it.” John adds, “Now that the public showings are done, we’re working on getting the movie onto a streaming service.” Anyone interested in seeing “Happily Ever After” can stay on top of developments by visiting “The whole purpose of this was to keep the kids dancing,” Tiffany says. “Dance companies are suffering, many have shut down. We kept going. We kept the kids WLM dancing. We’re still here.” Back to Contents

The Suit Shop, Custom Clothiers Where Your Size Is Our Specialty! SINCE JOHN T. MOLLOY first taught us how to “dress for success” in 1975, the term has come to suggest more than simply succeeding in business. In our social media world, success means having the right clothes for the right occasion. Laz Dimitriou, owner/operator of The Suit Shop Co. Ltd., located at 593 Erie Street East, is ready to share his 20-plus years of retail fashion and suit-making experience with every client he meets. “The Suit Shop specializes in custom and readymade suits, sports jackets and formal wear,” Laz explains. “I deal with fabrics from the best in the industry, with a focus on prestigious Italian fabric mills. I carry Italian silk ties, cufflinks, belts, socks and other accessories. Ready-made shirts are from Turkey and custom shirts are crafted with cloth from Turkish, Italian, Egyptian and Swiss cotton fabric mills.” He continues: “I have expanded my custom program over the past year. Patterns now include casual pants with the same four-way stretch fabric—which has made the ABS pant a staple for every man—to denim and sporty zip-up vest, as well as the very popular swacket. These casual pants are a golfer’s dream. Made from two-way or four-way stretch, moisture-wicking fabric, they will be the most comfortable pant you own.” These come in an assortment of colours, from basic neutrals to bright summer colours, such as red and baby blue. And for anyone who thinks only wealthy tycoons can afford custom suits, a consult with Laz will quickly change their mind. “A custom suit or tuxedo shows its superior quality, but also has longevity. Also, you choose the buttons, pockets, lining, lapels-notch, peak from a slim, wide, to an extra wide. Your name is even embroidered inside.” The Suit Shop also offers a wide range of colours, shades and fabrics. “When you go custom, you’ll get the colour you’re looking for,” Laz says. “I have hundreds to choose from. Tons of shades. If I don’t have it, I will try to source it. I have made suits from the suit of a family’s traditional tartan to various shades

of greens to yellow and even full orange suits for Dutch guys going to the Grand Prix.” The Suit Shop offers several wedding packages. “I’ve had guys come in who have said: ‘I haven’t worn a suit since my prom!’” Laz goes on. “But they buy a custom suit for their wedding. People want something that will last and make them look good. When it’s tailored to your body, you look good. At the end of the wedding day, you have those photographs forever. You look at them in ten years and you see how everything looked. Everyone was tailored.” The Suit Shop offers four wedding packages that fit a range of budgets. Laz also takes the pain out of the measuring process. “At the Suit Shop, we do a ‘Groomsmen Social,’” he says. “With weddings, everything is about the bride, so I have the groom and his groomsmen come in after hours. They enjoy some beverages and food while taking turns being measured. They have a blast, making it a memorable moment.” For more information about The Suit Shop Co. Ltd., or to view their packages, or schedule a consultation, visit or email Laz directly at






As capacity restrictions are further eased for venues with vaccination requirements, The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor Entertainment Director, Tim Trombley, is excited to reopen the state-of-the-art facility to worldclass entertainers beginning Saturday, December 11, 2021. Following more than 18 months of sitting quiet, the award-winning theatre will reopen with REO Speedwagon, followed by The Tenors, Alice Cooper, Slash, Shinedown and Bachman Cummings. Many additional exciting shows are being added.

Husband and wife team, Todd Miner and Karen Crone, have recently opened Porchlight Homes Services to help seniors stay at home longer. The couple recently became certified Senior Home Safety Specialists through AgeSafe Canada when they saw a gap in the local senior care market. Porchlight offers Senior Home Safety Assessments, home modifications and ongoing maintenance plans so seniors can live independently as long as possible.



Windsor Regional Hospital has been recognized by Ontario Health’s Trillium Gift of Life Network for its outstanding efforts to integrate organ and tissue donation into quality end-of-life care in 2020/21. Dr. Natalie Malus (left), Medical Director, Intensive Care Unit, accepted the awards on WRH’s behalf. Jean Meloche (right), Staff Nurse, Intensive Care Unit, also received the Hospital Donation Champion Award, given to healthcare professionals who are exceptional advocates for organ and tissue donation. Jean is one of only nine individuals in Ontario who were recognized with the Donation Champion Award for embracing donation and leading culture change inside the hospital.


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2021 has marked the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex chapter. Many celebrations have continued throughout the year, including a $1 million fundraising campaign. They are thankful for the extraordinary generosity of the community knowing that Move the Dial will surpass this goal. These funds will support the growing needs of mental health and addiction supports in our community, including critical work in prevention. Pictured are Claudia den Boer (CEO) and Kim Willis (Director of Communications).


Private Financial Group (PFG), a Windsor, Ontario-based high-net-worth business has joined Q Wealth Partners after being voted into its Portfolio Management Partnership. Peter Dobrich, Principal Partner at PFG, is a published author and industry veteran, who has carefully cultivated the “Private” brand, and diligently delivered a revolutionary solution that enables PFG the ability to deliver a client technology experience that is second to none in the industry. Overall, this was a client driven decision that empowers Peter to focus on serving his clients at a scale with hyper-personalization embracing the evolution of financial planning.


Diane Shoes is celebrating 130 years of continuous business. Run by the Weingarden family from its inception and operating on Ottawa St. for the past 70 years, Diane Shoes also happens to be the oldest family-run retailer in Windsor and the oldest shoe store in Canada! Pictures from left are Isaac Weingarden (portrait), Max, Jerry and Carl Weingarden.


The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County officially concluded the 19th annual Face to Face Campaign September 30th, and this year the total raised was an astonishing $106,737.00! Over the last nineteen years of the campaign over 1.4 million dollars has been raised, with funds staying right here in our community, and directly supporting our friends and loved ones. Specifically, Face to Face has supported our Fairley Family Transportation program as it safely gets back up and running. Pictured are Len Solcz (Co-chair), Nancy Brockenshire (Hospice Executive Director), Grant Fairley, Cari Fairley, John Fairley, Patty Kristy and Jamie Henderson (Co-chair).


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The President and CEO of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Janice Kaffer, has announced her plan to retire no later than March 31, 2022. Kaffer has held the role for seven years. “I will be ever grateful to have had the opportunity to lead the team here at HDGH over the past seven years as CEO. I have grown as a person, as a leader and as a friend because of the relationships I’ve built and the work I’ve been blessed to be able to do. I look forward to not being a full-time leader and instead perhaps find new and creative ways to serve our community in the future on a more relaxed basis,” said Kaffer.


Staci Larochelle (left) opened her dream come true Cake Bakery back in April on the corner of Norman and Tecumseh Rd. called Staci Bakes. She bakes beautiful cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Staci works with her 37-year-old niece Tiffany Todd, who has special needs and is a 2-time Leukemia Survivor. Tiffany loves to put together their gift boxes, especially their new ‘Cookies For Santa’ limited time gift box for December. H o l i d a y

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THE KINGSVILLE MILITARY MUSEUM A Group of Volunteers In Kingsville Are Doing Their Part To Ensure The Military Service of Essex County Residents Is Not Forgotten STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND / PHOTOGRAPHY BY BONNIE MONMINIE

Clockwise from above: Uniforms that were worn by soldiers in World War I; Armaments used in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, backed by a book paying tribute to those who served overseas and at home; Medals from World War I and World War II; the museum’s new signage showcasing the new re-branding name.


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MORE THAN A CENTURY AGO, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, it probably seemed impossible to those who lived through the horror that memory of it might ever fade. The shock to the world’s senses was so enormous that World War I was called “The Great War.” British author, H.G. Wells called it “the war to end all wars.” It was inconceivable to people alive then that anything like it would ever happen again. A little more than 20 years later, the unthinkable happened: World War II. To those of us who have grown up in peace, these historical events often seem remote, pigeon-holed by dates, exotic names of far-flung battlefields. Though the numbers of dead and wounded are staggering, they are more than any person can really wrap their head around. The Kingsville Military Museum, located at 145 Division Street South, was established 30 years ago to educate and remind citizens of Essex County of the sacrifices people from the area made through our history with their military service. “When people think of veterans, they think World War I and World War II,” says Bonnie E. Monminie, the museum’s volunteer administrator. “There are still Korean veterans, Afghanistan veterans and those are the ones we should include. I was interviewing one gentleman, who served in the navy in Korea, for The Kingsville Times and he said: ‘Korea is the forgotten war.’” Quite a tragic sentiment for a veteran of that conflict to feel. The Korean War was fought between North Korea and South Korea from June 1950 to July 1953, according to Wikipedia. Approximately 3 million people died during the conflict, the majority of whom were civilians. A coalition of United Nation forces comprised of 16 countries, including Canada, made up the front line in the Korean War. More than 1,200 Canadians were injured or missing in action in Korea.

The exhibits in the Kingsville Military Museum span centuries of military service beginning with the United Empire Loyalists. The museum possesses artifacts and information on the Fenian Raids (which occurred in 1866 and again from 1870 to 1871), the Boer War (October 1899 to May 1902, fought in Southern Africa), World War I, World War II, Korea, the Cold War (1947 to 1991), Canada’s role in peacekeeping, as well as Bosnia and Afghanistan. Families of veterans in Essex County are welcome to donate artifacts from their military service to the museum. “What always amazes me about these World War I uniforms,” Bonnie continues, “that 100 years ago, I could understand why many returning soldiers got rid of them, not wanting to be reminded of their war experience. But I am so grateful to those who kept their uniforms.” Just the other day, Bonnie had a woman visit the museum to donate her father’s keepsakes from World War I. He had served in Mesopotamia—which includes present-day Iraq, parts of Iran, Turkey, Syria and Kuwait. “She brought in his desert tunic, shorts, stirrups from the horse he rode,” Bonnie says. “He even saved a half-eaten biscuit, a piece of a bar soap, along with two medals.” In a previous incarnation, the Kingsville Military Museum was contained within a donated 65-foot transport trailer that went to fairs and schools around the county. Among the people who traveled with the mobile museum was a veteran of World War II named Charlie Campbell. Bonnie tells the story of a man visiting Charlie at the mobile museum at one of its stops. “The man said: ‘I have something for the trailer,’” Bonnie recalls. “Charlie didn’t think twice about this and eventually went on his break. When he returned, Charlie found a 15-foot torpedo next to the trailer. He transported it back to Kingsville, parking the trailer at the Royal Canadian Legion. Only then did Charlie call the bomb squad. The torpedo proved to be inactive. It’s now in our yard.” The motto for the Kingsville Military Museum was written by Charlie Campbell: “We do not glorify the acts of war but remember the consequences and the cost of freedom. Future generations must learn about man’s inhumanity to man so they in turn will value man’s humanity.” For more information about exhibits and hours of operation, visit the museum WLM online at Back to Contents




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MERRY AND BRIGHT BRILLIANT FESTIVE HOLIDAY DISPLAYS STORY BY KAREN TINSLEY / PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL PIETRANGELO IT’S A TIMELESS TRADITION that colours many a fond childhood memory: piling into the car on Christmas Eve to take in all the splendour of lights twinkling in the snow; coming home to steaming mugs of cocoa, sitting around the tree in p.j.’s, singing carols and maybe opening just one present. When did the practice of putting up holiday lights begin? Before the advent of electricity, people lit candles on their Christmas trees. When Queen Victoria’s German-born husband Prince Albert brought this tradition to England, a magazine published an illustration of the royal family gathered around their towering, flickering evergreen. Then an American magazine republished the illustration and the practice gained traction—lo and behold—lit Christmas trees became all the rage. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1879. A few years later, Edward Johnson—the vice president of Edison’s General Electric company—had a brilliant idea. After stringing different


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coloured bulbs together, wrapping them around his Christmas tree and attaching it to a rotating base (powered by electricity of course), Johnson positioned it in the street-facing window of his Fifth Avenue, New York City townhouse. He knew in this highly trafficked area; many passersby would stop and stare. One of those passersby was a visiting reporter from The Detroit Post and Tribune, who wrote: “Last evening I walked over beyond Fifth Avenue and there, at the rear of the beautiful parlors in Johnson’s home was a large, most picturesque Christmas tree, brilliantly lit with white, red and blue globes, each about the size of a walnut and encased in dainty glass eggs—producing a continuous twinkling of dancing colors.” In 1895, U.S. President Grover Cleveland had a huge Christmas tree—with electric lights—put up in the White House to please his young daughters. Just as the illustration of Queen Victoria and her family gathered around their Christmas tree had made waves, a nationally published newspaper photo of the White House tree helped spread the practice of decorating Christmas trees with electric lights. This was a significant occurrence, because the general public was still wary of electric lights—even though candle-lit Christmas trees posed a much greater risk of catching fire! Plus, decorative electric lights were out of reach for all but the wealthy. General Electric’s first Christmas light kits, cost $12.00 for a single strand—the equivalent of $300 in today’s dollars! Fast forward to today, when hundreds of spectacular holiday light displays are starting to pop-up all over Windsor and Essex County. Last year, we took our own evening drive to discover some of the best.


Star of Royal Beauty Bright Tony and his wife have been creating stunning holiday light displays for 15 years. “We started out small, but we’ve added to our display every year, and every year is different,” he says proudly. “We now have four young grandchildren, who can’t wait until they’re old enough to help their Grandpa put them up,” Tony laughs. Tony tricks up his house for Hallowe’en on just as grand of a scale. “I try to come up with something new or different each year,” he adds. “This year, for example, there will be an angel on top of the house instead of a Christmas star.” What inspires Tony year after year? “I do it because I like how it makes me feel. I do it for the joy it brings to children and adults alike. Especially the way things have been the past couple of years because Opposite: This East Windsor display has something for everyone. This page, clockwise from left: Both fun and whimsical, Santa and Olaf are sure to delight kids of all ages; The only display entirely comprised of non-LED mini-lights; Four adults and five days transformed this home into a seasonal showpiece. H o l i d a y

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of COVID. This is something I can do that makes me, my family and other people happy.” Climbing, Swinging and Sliding into Christmas! Mark designs and builds playgrounds for a living, “so my theme was kind of a no-brainer. I also admit that I love the movie Frozen just as much as my daughter does, so putting Olaf in the swing was also a no-brainer. Last year, I just wanted to do something creative and fun for Christmas, since so many other things were altered or just cancelled altogether.”

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LaSalle Luminescence When Joe and his family moved into their LaSalle home 20 years ago, they too, “started out small” with their outdoor holiday light display. “But each year, we’d just add a bit more, the next year a bit more, and now here we are today!” he laughs. It takes Joe, his wife and two sons “one whole weekend and a few days” to create and complete their award-winning magic. Joe says they were particularly inspired last year because COVID social distancing restrictions meant pulling the plug on Bright Lights Windsor, as well as many other festive gatherings. “It’s a family tradition for us, and we all love it. It’s how we help make the season bright for everyone.” Walking in a Winter Wonderland! In 2019, Kim and Annette’s magnificent Amherstburg home was one of the designated stops on the Annual Holiday House Tour—a self-guided stroll inside some of the town’s most breathtaking private residences and historic buildings— all spiffed for the season by professional local decorators. Annette says, “We’ve always gone all out on holiday décor in every room of our home—putting up several Christmas trees, wreaths and special keepsakes. But seeing what the decorators did was really something special! We were just thrilled— especially when the tour organizer told us we could keep the decorations for the duration of the holidays.” The couple bought the home in 2000 and Kim, an electrician by trade, recalls, “We got to know the previous owner quite well and learned that lighting up the house for Christmas had been happening since her late husband built the home in the 1950’s. We’re proud and happy to continue the tradition. Just another reason why we love it here!” WLM Back to Contents

The Dream Team at Stillwater Skin Centre & MedSpa Inc. THE TREATMENT parameters of Stillwater Skin Centre & MedSpa are at once simple and complex: “If you weren’t born with it, we can treat it,” owner-operator, Sarah Rivard, explains. “Conditions such as acne, hyperpigmentation and even skin tags, to name a few.” During the bumpiest 20 months businesses Sarah Rivard around the world have known in living memowner ory, Stillwater continues to live by its mantra: “Correction in a beautiful space.” In December, the medspa celebrates its second anniversary. “And this was during a pandemic where we were closed 14 out of the last 24 months!” Popularity and perseverance ensured that Stillwater survived. It continues to flourish and is busier than ever. “You could say that the pandemic had a silver lining,” she continues. “I used that time to bring my team up to speed. While we were closed, I ensured that each member of my team completed their Clinical Skin Health studies online, which certifies them to work clinically.” It’s worth noting that Stillwater already operates at a very high standard: only Ontario accredited practitioners are brought on board. “Now, every member of my team can look at pigment on the skin, for instance and know if it was caused by sun damage or if it’s hormonal,” Sarah says. They know the questions to ask. Every condition has a reason why it happens and we have a solution. My team doesn’t just look at a condition and slap some cream on it. They explain to each guest what’s going on, and what options are available.” Stillwater Skin Centre & MedSpa is different from other spas. Many of their treatments are vitamin based, going past the lipid barrier in the skin. Few products do this. “Most treatments on the market don’t go that deep,” Sarah explains. “Ours have nano molecular content—nano vitamins. We feed nutrition into the skin where there is depletion. Our guests see the healing. If you think of it, our skin is our shield of defense. When it’s impaired or raw or dry, it stings, tingles—it tells us something is wrong. At Stillwater, we feed it the nutrition it needs to bring about healing. Now, my entire team can provide this.”

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Sarah adds: “We don’t sell anything. We recommend.” On a regular basis, guests come in with ailments that they have lived with for years—often feeling hopeless and discouraged— saying they have tried everything, but with few results. “We recently saw someone who has lived with serious acne scarring for the past 16 years,” Sarah says. “After she underwent six treatments with us, the positive change in the health of her skin was night and day. The treatments involved feeding nano vitamins to the effective area. She experienced zero downtime.” Now that Sarah’s team is fully trained, there are even more opportunities for people suffering with skin conditions to find help. “One of my staff said the other day,” Sarah notes, “‘I just feel on top of the world! I didn’t know I could get this far so quickly!’ It’s been an incredible journey.” Men and women, ranging in age from teens to people in their 70s, visit for treatments. For more information about Stillwater Skin Centre & MedSpa, visit their website at

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AHEAD BY A CENTURY Camille Quenneville Heads the Ontario Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND / PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNA MUIRHEAD-GOULD


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THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS of Canadians have changed since 1918, when the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) was founded, but the goal today remains the same as it did in the beginning: helping those in need. Windsor native Camille Quenneville is the CEO of the CMHA’s Ontario Division. She came by her public service naturally, growing up in a politically active family in St. Clair Beach. “I graduated from the University of Windsor,” Camille says, “and was lucky enough to get my first job at Queen’s Park in a minister’s office, which is where I really began to understand public policy and how it impacts people’s lives.” The minister was Charles Beer who headed the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for Ontario, overseeing services to children and youth, social services, such as welfare, the Ontario Disability Support Program and community service programs to address homelessness, domestic violence, spousal support, adoption and assisted housing for people with disabilities. “Working in a political office helped me understand a number of issues in the social services world,” Camille continues. “The first was on children’s mental health. I struggled to understand how so many kids in Ontario could have mental health issues and sit on wait lists.” The subject of children’s mental health became a focus for Camille and led to her working with the Ontario Public School Association. Her career path next took her to Children’s Mental Health Ontario. Camille sums up her feelings about this work, saying: “I feel this is a social justice issue that has not gotten the attention it deserves.” Based on her passionate advocacy and ability to navigate the bureaucracy that makes public programs possible, the CMHA recruited CaCamille Quenneville, CEO of the Ontario Division of the CMHA. mille and in December 2012, she was named CEO of the Ontario Division of the CHMA. The CMHA was created in April 1918. At the time, World War I was just coming to an end and a sea of “shell shocked” war veterans were returning home, adding to the numbers of citizens in society who were already living with a mental illness. Methods for dealing with mental illness at that time ranged from the barbaric to the ineffectual. Oftentimes, the solution amounted to little more than housing them in jails and asylums. Dr. Clarence M. Hincks, one of the original founders of the CMHA, later commented: “I’ll never forget it as long as I live. That asylum had 900 patients and only one doctor. There was not one trained nurse in the entire institution.” Since that time, the CMHA has a been a pioneer and innovator in mental health reform. Under Dr. Hincks’ plan, nurses and social workers began receiving training. Care of individuals living with a mental illness slowly improved. History, though, has a knack for getting in the way of progress and the outbreak of World War II stalled the CMHA’s efforts. By the 1960s, the CMHA published its policy blueprint titled “More for the Mind”, for mental health reform. However, as the Scottish poet Robert Burns once

wrote: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft a-gley”—the government of the time took action of a different kind closing overcrowded psychiatric hospitals, leaving many people with mental illness alone and without adequate care. A video recounting the history of the CMHA states: “People with mental illness are full citizens, so CMHA created community services and promoted the mental health of all Canadians.” “We’re able to reach more people than anyone else because we are a 100-year-old health charity with infrastructure across Ontario, across Canada,” Camille notes. “We’ve been beating down doors and having these conversations with anyone who will listen—elected officials, opinion leaders, service clubs, employers—about mental health issues. The fact is, we all have mental health—hopefully it’s good, but that’s not always the case.” Although strides have been made to destigmatize mental illness, the work is not done. “Maybe one of the positive take-aways from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Camille says, “is that it’s caused some people who ordinarily are fine, to struggle and has made them realize that having poor mental health can happen to anybody. Maybe there is more empathy now. People don’t bring depression onto themselves.” The promotion of good mental health is the historical core of the CMHA, but its methods have evolved over the decades. This occurs most tangibly in the lives of Canadians through CMHA programs: “For instance, there is BounceBack®, a cognitive behavioral program delivered by phone,” Camille says. “It was developed by a physician in the United Kingdom. We license the program through CMHA BC and have scaled it across the country. The government of Ontario adopted it several years ago.” BounceBack® is a free, guided self-help program aimed at helping people aged 15 and up who are experiencing mild-tomoderate anxiety or depression or may be feeling low, stressed, worried, irritable or angry. Participants receive telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos. Typically, it takes three to six months to complete the program. “We also created ‘Talk Today’,” Camille continues, “which provides mental health and suicide prevention to the OHL (Ontario Hockey League). This is a unique program that began in 2014.”

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The program’s origin sprang from tragedy, when hockey player Terry Trafford died by suicide after being cut from the Saginaw Spirit. “The OHL reached out to CMHA,” Camille explains, “and said: ‘We have 300 players in our league and others may be struggling.’ Within three months all people were trained: players, coaches, parents and billet parents. The NHL became interested and has funded the expansion to the Canadian Junior Hockey League, using the program in other sports.” The effectiveness of the program came to light when a player on the Peterborough Petes was in his high school class and observed a student near him scratching a message into a desk. The player read it, was troubled by the content and alerted the school’s principal. The person who carved the message was brought to a nearby ER and was evaluated as being acutely suicidal. The program “Resilient Minds” works with first responders. The CMHA has also teamed up with several partners including the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to address mental health issues among the province’s farmers. “Farmers have unique needs,” Camille observes. “Their home is often their workplace. They rely on Mother Nature for their financial health, which can be precarious at times. So much is out of their hands.” As an example of how CMHA Ontario makes use of its infrastructure and long list of partners, an insurance company approached the organization in 2020 seeking to donate toward a program to help farmers with their mental health. Within 24 hours Camille and her team learned that the University of Guelph had developed curriculum to support farmers but had no way of disseminating it. “That’s what we do at the CMHA,” Camille says. “We offer the leadership, knowledge, experience and infrastructure to see that services are delivered.” Regarding the future leaders of CMHA Ontario, Camille is hopeful: “One of the things I’ve found watching the next generation is how much more willing they are to embrace their mental health and talk about it without embarrassment. The future of mental health is in good hands. They embrace the important issues.” This year is also the 50th Anniversary of Windsor’s CMHA branch. For more information about the Canadian Mental Health Association, visit WLM or Back to Contents

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MAN CAVE ON STEROIDS An Upscale Fun Zone for Friends and Family STORY BY RON STANG / PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL PIETRANGELO SCOTT LAWSON WASN’T EXACTLY planning to build a $2 million pole barn “man cave.” The owner of Expressway Trucks got the project in his head and came up with some ideas for what he otherwise calls a private “entertainment centre.” Mix in government Covid lockdowns which left the semi-retired businessman with more than a little time on his hands—and voila!—a domain par excellence for family


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and friends to gather for an experience that would surely rival many professional bars and family entertainment spots. “I don’t know why I did this, it kept growing as I was doing it,” he laughs. Lawson, whose sons now mostly run the business, bought a piece of land on Howard Avenue near Fox Glen Golf Club. With his sons now all back in Windsor and seven grandkids—all under nine years of age­—Scott thought it would be the perfect time to build a space where family could reunite and have fun. He had invaluable help from his brother-in-law. “My brother-in-law is one of those kinds of guys who can do anything,” Scott says. “His talent is unbelievable.” There were no formal architect’s plans. “I don’t know anything more than you about pole barns, I’ve been a city kid all my life,” he says. “I didn’t draw anything up, we just kind of built it as we went along.” Meanwhile, he smiles, his wife Kathy, “thinks I’ve lost my mind.” Sure, Scott says, he knows of a few other personal pleasure places. “I know there are a few guys in Windsor that have built some pretty fancy stuff.” But that didn’t influence him one way or the other. Overall, he says, “It’s been fun” despite other things getting in the way. “It’s been a nightmare with Covid so at the end of the day it’s worked out well.” This over-the-top man cave will actually be part

Opposite clockwise from top: The professional bar’s LED lights change colours; Scott and sons’ vintage motorcycles; the barn includes three pinball machines; a living room for chilling. This page clockwise from top: A pool table is also on the first floor; the 1947 “Knucklehead” spins on its axis; a second-floor stage for live music; a dual lane bowling alley. H o l i d a y

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of an indoor-outdoor private recreation complex. Scott is also installing a five-acre pond—“we’re going to stock it with fish” —as well as a go-cart track. “It’s just going to be a fun farm kind of thing.” Scott, who still lives in Windsor where he grew up, will eventually move to the 27-acre rural site, tear down a house on the property and build a new one, where he and Kathy will live. The two-storey 12,000 sq. ft. barn has taken more than a year to build and “we’re just finishing up now.” Though he adds jokingly, “I’ve been saying that for four months.” Nor is this just your bare bones pole barn. Though you’d never know that from looking at it from the outside. As Scott says, “It doesn’t look like it but once everybody walks in, they can’t believe how big it looks, it’s definitely deceiving.” But that wow affect encompasses all the interior finishes and fixtures. It really does have the look of a professional entertainment centre. As we spoke, Scott was having a muralist finishing up the wall decor. Upstairs in the barn there is a stage and dance floor. “I’ve got a few buddies with bands,” he says. Scott also plans to host fundraisers. He has friends who are handicapped. “We really want to raise some money” so he envisions holding charitable benefits. The space can hold as many as a hundred people. “We can raise money and we can also hold birthday parties!” he says. Scott has long hosted NASCAR parties with hundreds attending at his truck dealership. Now they’ll just come out to “the farm.” The second-floor bar area is also impressive. You’d never know you weren’t in some swanky lounge downtown. With tall chairs around it and high bar tables, with a wood top—oak flooring from a transport trailer—and a glistening base, the look is more than professional. “Everything lights up,” Scott says. “I’ve chosen to use LED lights all through the building.” So, he can plan themed parties—green for St. Paddy’s Day, red and white for Christmas. “With today’s technology it’s unbelievable,” he says. “I’m learning stuff I never knew existed.” And there are TVs—a 98-inch screen and a 65 inch one. Then there are active playthings all on the first floor. Such as I-Racing. He’s installing a module where the player straps on a headset. “You can race against anybody in the world,” Scott says. It’s a cockpit where

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someone has the feeling of being in a race car. “It’s a sophisticated computer where you’re sitting up in a car and you’ve got a gas pedal and a clutch and a shifter and you’ve got three 32-inch screens that wrap around your face and you sit in the cockpit of a real NASCAR,” he says. Not a simulator because that would be completely enclosed. “Let’s put it this way,” he says. “A simulator would cost 50 grand this is 20 grand.” If your mood is low tech but tried-andtrue, Scott has also installed a dual lane bowling alley, three pinball machines, air hockey and bubble hockey table games and a shuffleboard. Oh, and don’t forget the pool table. As for the general decor, besides the wood brick finishes and studio and Edison lights, along with the murals including a big Harley-Davidson logo, look no further than the array of motorcycles that add even more atmosphere. Scott used to restore old motorcycles. “I’ve been riding motorcycles since like I was seven years old, since minibikes were invented, I guess,” he says. With his sons, he’s now collected about 20 bikes all on site. But the piece de resistance is an old 1947, a beautiful machine. “If you collect motorcycles or Harleys, it’s called the Knucklehead and it’s kind of your prize motorcycle,” he says. The machine is displayed like a museum piece, sitting atop a decorative pole slowly spinning on its base. Scott admits part of the delay getting the barn up and running has been obtaining parts, especially electronic ones. “With Covid it’s been hard getting all the parts we ordered, all these things ordered months ago,” he says. But final assembly is now coming together. Scott is a guy who self-admittedly gets carried away. So as fantastic as this pleasure place is, there will soon be a 3,000 sq. ft. addition. And what would a two-floor pole barn be without an elevator? As Baby Boomers age “there’s a lot of older people now, one of these days I might need that elevator myself.” Plus, he says with a wink, “we can bring the beer up without carrying it up the stairs.” This labour of love wouldn’t be complete with, well, a quiet area—you know, just for relaxing; a comfortable living room with leather couches and fireplace and a 75-inch television. “It’s a place where we can talk a little bit more,” he says. But with all the time he’s been spending working to get the barn completed “that’s where I wake up some days.” WLM Back to Contents


installed in one job was 109 piles for a 3,600 square foot home. The

Finding the Right Solution Often Requires Drilling Down fewest number of piles they have installed is one. Home builders have discovered in recent years what commercial builders have known for more than a century: that helical piles are sturdy, scalable and ready to build on immediately. “It’s new tech for residential home building,” says Greg Geml, owner of Geml Construction and Techno Metal Post WindsorEssex. “It was mostly used for elevator shafts and machinery presses. I was talking to a builder this week who didn’t even know about it.” Techno Metal Post is a worldwide leader in helical piles installation, with over 150 dealers around the world. Helical piles were first described in a paper published by civil engineer Alexander Mitchell in 1848. They have been used since then in the construction of lighthouses, bridges and extensively used for piers in harbours. Greg bought Windsor-Essex Techno Metal Post because Geml Construction builds custom homes, additions and renovations, using helical piles. “I tried other companies’ helical piles and got tired of waiting on their sub trades,” Greg explains. “I wanted access to the best, so I purchased the Techno Metal Post (TMP) Windsor Essex franchise, which extends from Windsor to Sarnia.” The most immediate advantage helical piles offer is that they can be built upon immediately after installation. They are also removable. For instance, TMP had a job building school portables. When the portables were no longer needed, the school board called and TMP removed the piles after the portables were taken out. “I have just installed six piles for a customer’s sunroom,” Greg says. “As soon as my guys got their equipment out, the builders went to work. If you pour a foundation with concrete, you have to wait for it to dry. Then it needs to be inspected before building on it. Helical piles don’t require an inspection. The builder gives our engineering letter to the building inspector/plans examiner and helical piles are already noted on it.” Also, the helical pile installation equipment can fit almost anywhere. “If you want a sunroom or a deck, you don’t want to bring an excavator into your back yard,” Greg explains. “That means possibly removing your fence. Existing concrete might be damaged. I have drilling machines that fit through openings 30 inches wide. We’ve driven them into people’s homes to install piles in basements.” The helical piles come in seven-foot sections. If installation requires going deeper than that, an extension is welded on and another seven-foot section attached. The longest pile TMP Windsor-Essex ever installed was 86 ft for a boat dock. The most he has

“That was for a clothesline,” Greg says. “The homeowner didn’t want to drill down, so they called us.” When the drawings for a new home are completed, the engineer gives a spec to TMP to follow. Each helical pile goes down to a certain torque, a minimum of four feet below the frost line in undisturbed soil. The engineers determine the number of piles needed based upon the varying loads the structure will bear. “Sometimes homes are built over old structures that were backfilled,” Greg says. “That means the foundation has to go deeper in order to reach undisturbed soil. The helical piles are the most efficient way to reach those depths.” Helical piles are proving to be a game-changer in home building. To learn more, visit

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APPETIT! dining & nightlife guide

Antonino’s Original Pizza - South Windsor, Tecumseh, LaSalle. Multiple-award winning pizza with the money back guarantee! Fresh salads & authentic Sicilian Cannoli that even your Nonna will love! Google our menu. Capri Pizzeria - Check out our take-out menu and be tempted by our famous pizzas, great pastas, fresh salads and much more! Penny more, penny less, Capri Pizza is still the best! 3020 Dougall Ave. 519-969-6851

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Casa Mia Ristorante - Experience authentic Italian food, local wines and homemade desserts served in a casual, completely handicap accessible setting. For many years, chef and owner Frank Puccio has been making lunch and dinner fresh to order. Gluten free options. Takeout available. Closed Sunday and Holidays. Follow us on Facebook. 519-728-2224 523 Notre Dame St., Belle River. Cheesecake On A Stick - Dessert shop offering gourmet cheesecake dipped in chocolate and various toppings. Take out or delivery offered with Open Thurs-Sun 12-9 pm. Kingsville location open Sat-Sun 12-9 pm. 13300 Tecumseh Rd. E., Tecumseh 519-999-9116. 460 Main St. E, Kingsville 519-999-6024 Frank Brewing Company - FRANK is pure, straight-to-the-point, old-fashioned beer crafted with dedication and pride. Beer-loving folk enjoy FRANK’s small-batch brews made with only four natural and simple ingredients: water, hops, grain and yeast; and foodies enjoy the small plates, pizzas and sandwiches for pairing, and all the peanuts you can shell. 12000 Tecumseh Rd. E., Tecumseh, ON 519-956-9822 Fratelli Pasta Grill - Offering flavour drenched “woodfire” grilled steaks, seafood and pasta dishes. A fresh and healthy selection of modern and time tested classics. Located behind McDonald’s on Manning Rd. in Tecumseh. Take-out, catering, private parties. For reservations call 519-735-0355. The Hungry Wolf - The Hungry Wolf serves up Windsor’s best Greek, Canadian, Mexican


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Carrots N’ Dates - A health-forward restaurant & bake shoppe that offers delicious meals made with whole foods. Full-service bar, coffee, juices, baked goods, breakfast-dinner menu items and more. Famous for our Pad Thai Sauce! Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm. 519-735-0447 1125 Lesperance Rd., Tecumseh

OLD WORLD CHARM WITH A MODERN VIBE SPECIALIZING IN THE ART of Mediterranean cuisine, SONA is poised to become Leamington’s premiere culinary destination. 25 year old entrepreneur Katie Radford is thrilled to announce her first major development and restaurant endeavour, featuring Chef Giuseppe Piruzza (of The Chef ’s Table) as the Executive Chef for SONA. Italian upscale dining is Chef Giuseppe’s forte. The newest iteration of the space offers guests an impressive old-world ambiance, paying homage to the Mediterranean experience and serving tasty, authentic dishes for guests to enjoy. SONA is the ideal space for corporate functions, Ladies’ Nights, private parties or romantic dinners. Their upbeat, professional team is there to cater to your evening. Seasonal firsts and interactive table-side service is featured in the upscale Ristorante, while pizzas, panini and small bites are served “al fresco” style on the patio Taverna. Highlights include Mediterranean Trout “En Papillote” grilled with fennel carpaccio, olives, capers and tomato pesto; Pollo Supremo served with cremini mushrooms, orange segments, Pernod liquor and citrus cream; Half Moon Pasta Pillows with wild mushrooms and clarified sage butter; Arancini; Mussels Zingarella and many more unique menu offerings.

All plates are skillfully and lovingly prepared with the finest fresh, locally sourced ingredients by Chef Giuseppe. And of course, Katie is proud of the fulsome array of domestic and European bottled wines, craft beers and spirits. “We are thrilled to bring the dining experience in Leamington to a new level,” Katie says. “Put your evening in our hands and we’ll take care of the rest. We’re committed to hiring, purchasing and supporting local in every way possible.”

SONA prides itself in offering a variety of selections to meet your dietary needs in their 80-seat Ristorante that can accommodate guests for special events in any season. Katie and Giuseppe believe success comes down to serving top quality cuisine in a friendly, pleasant atmosphere, where old world dining meets modern elegance and guests are treated like family. To reserve your table, special occasion event or view our menu, we invite you to visit

Owner Katie Radford and Executive Chef Giuseppe Piruzza.


11 Queens Ave, Leamington


and Lebanese food. Home of the best gyros in Windsor! 3422 Walker Rd., Windsor 519-250-0811. 25 Amy Croft Dr., Tecumseh 519-735-0072. Joe Schmoe’s Eats N’ Drinks - Family friendly restaurant in LaSalle. Handcrafted burgers, sandwiches and salads. Fresh ingredients and house made sauces. Local wines; 12 Ontario craft and commercial beers on tap. HDTVs. Fast, cheerful service. 5881 Malden Rd. (behind Rexall). 519-250-5522 Johnny Shotz - Tecumseh’s #1 roadhouse and home of the Chicken Deluxe. Serving Halibut every Friday. Everything cooked from scratch. 37 HD TVs, 15 beers on tap. Follow us on facebook. 13037 Tecumseh Rd. E. 519-735-7005 Neros Gourmet Steakhouse - Indulge in the finer things in life at Neros where modern upscale dining meets traditional steakhouse fare. Fresh, local ingredients, an incredible wine selection and superb service. 1-800-991-7777 ext. 22481. Nola’s, A Taste Of New Orleans - Located in Historic Walkerville. Cajun and Creole cuisine with the New Orleans Twist. Lunch dinner and lots of parking. 1526 Wyandotte Street East. 519-253-1234. The Parlour Ice Cream Co.- Satisfy your sweet tooth with premium Canadian made ice cream. 24 flavours, 15 Belgian chocolate dips to drizzle, ice cream cakes, milkshakes and so much more! Open Year Round. 5881 Malden Rd. Unit D3, LaSalle 519-970-9665 River’s Edge Tap & Table – Discover what is so delicious in the Harbour District of Riverside. Relaxing patio on the water, wine bar lounge, dining with private room available. Enjoy seafood, steaks, chops, pastas, burgers and more! 494 Riverdale Ave. 519-915-0200

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2150 Ambassador Dr., Windsor • 519.969.1919 Monday to Friday 8am-5pm; Saturday 9am-4pm


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SONA Ristorante & Taverna - An upscale casual dining experience inspired by cliffside restaurants of the mediterranean. Spend an evening in our ristorante, featuring seasonal cuisine and international wines for your enjoyment. 11 Queens Ave, Leamington. 519-974-7664. Vito’s Pizzeria - Rustic Italian restaurant serving woodfired pizza, fresh pasta, veal, chicken, grilled steaks and seafood. Wonderful wine selection. Private party spaces. Food truck and portable pizza oven for offsite catering. 1731 Wyandotte St. E., Windsor. 519-915-6145. For information on listings and advertising in Bon Appetit! please call 519-979-5433. Back to Contents

Left: New Goodfellows President Jennifer Wells. Above: Goodfellows spreading good cheer and the spirit of Christmas. Photo courtesy Windsor Goodfellows.

JENNIFER WELLS Newly Appointed Goodfellows President Shares Her Devotion To The Charitable Organization STORY BY ALLEY L. BINIARZ / PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICKI KAY CREATIVE


JENNIFER WELLS FEELS HONOURED to be the first female President of Windsor Goodfellows in its 111-year history, but she wants to be recognized for more than that. “I hope that at the end of my term, it’s my dedication to Goodfellows that people remember, not my gender. There are so many talented men and women that belong to the club and it’s their acts of kindness and generosity of spirit through volunteerism that I will spend my time working towards,” she says. Jennifer first volunteered with the charitable organization after working at Families First Funeral Home. The owners, Brian and Mary Lynn Parent, were incredibly dedicated to community involvement and had been supporters of the Goodfellows Breakfast Program which serves and supports over 3,000 children daily. They encouraged Jennifer to dig a little deeper with her volunteerism and eventually she was helping run the Goodfellow’s Golf Tournament as well. “Being involved in the community has been an important part of my life,” Jennifer says about having roots in volunteerism and recounts her upbringing where she watched her hardworking parents’ devotion to their community. Her father, now a retired police officer, volunteered for various

charities, coached basketball for 20 years and taught VIP in the local grade schools; leading by example, he instilled a sense of responsibility to their community in Jennifer. When first appointed Vice President of the organization, Jennifer didn’t take on the duties lightly. Since she also accepted her role as General Manager at Family First Funeral Homes, she wanted to be sure she would have the time to dedicate to the organization, especially since it would eventually lead to being President. The entire Goodfellows team knew that Jennifer would do the position justice and gathered their support to her in heaps, showcasing that infamous Goodfellows devotion. “As soon as I started thinking about it, so many volunteers and board members reached out and said they were here to help. Since day one, I knew I could call on any of the board members and volunteers to ask for help and they would be there,” Jennifer adds. With zero funding from the government and no formal employees, it’s the team that makes up the backbone of the organization. Goodfellows works based on community service and Jennifer jokes that they survive on the 5% admin costs and the other 95% is made up of the blood, sweat and tears of volunteers. The charitable organization has four major programs, one of which is their year-round food bank open on Tuesdays and Fridays 12 months of the year. During that time, they give out a food box consisting of both non-perishable and perishable items. The value of the box is around $150 and includes everything from peanut butter, bread, eggs, carrots, potatoes, beef or chicken and milk. “The last few years The Goodfellows have worked on improving the offerings in the food box that now include many fresh options,” Jennifer says about the evolution of the box. “In our box today, we also support multiculturalism and new Canadians who had given us feedback on some items they weren’t able to use and we answered back with this,” she adds about the incorporation of specific types of lentils and Halal chicken. Once again listening to their community’s needs, the Lunch Bag Program was born of the pandemic and serves clients who are experiencing homelessness. Goodfellows has made up the lunch bags to incorporate disposable knives and forks and accessible foods that don’t require a can opener, a microwave or oven and are able to serve over 150 people monthly. Along with food donations, Goodfellows also hosts a Boots and Shoes Program where they provide new H o l i d a y

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footwear to children in grade eight and under. Goodfellows’ former manager Colleen Renaud, who experienced Goodfellows as a child, knew the importance of providing a pair of individually chosen shoes for a child to feel special and normal. This program allows parents to go into Karen’s for Kids once a year to access runners or boots for their children for the school year and is just a small way to support the parents who are doing their best and the kids who are having a difficult enough time. “Colleen Renaud was the GM for over 40 years and was a part of the organization until her passing,” Jennifer adds. “She was one of the reasons I was involved; she could attract people, teach you about humanity and why we need to do these things. She would tell us that there’s somebody somewhere who needs your help and it’s your turn to help them.” Finally, Goodfellows hosts their annual Paper Drive and Christmas Box donations, which is what the organization is best known for. Around the Holidays, the volunteers collect funds for the Christmas box which is the regular food box amped up with goodies for the Christmas season, including a gift card to a local grocery store. This way parents can pick up their chosen Holiday dinner items, treats for their family or just a little something extra to make this time special. “The whole purpose behind the Drive was the message, ‘no child without a Christmas.’ That’s the reason people support the Paper Drive, to help make sure that nobody has an empty plate and no family is left behind for the Holidays,” Jennifer says about, once again, making families feel normal, loved and special during the Christmas season. “The reason we give now is to make sure that when we’re all enjoying our Holiday, we know in our hearts that we’ve helped someone in another family. It’s the feeling of ‘settledness’ and knowing that you contributed to that in some small way; that you did something to make someone else’s life even better for a moment. That’s why we’re all here.” Jennifer wants to continue being a tool for the organization and to look back and know that she has done a good job and helped Goodfellows over her two-year Presidency. After that, she says she looks forward to seeing what is sparked from her term. “The nice part is in two years, there will be an opportunity for new ideas, a new turnover and a fresh look at the issues but also the opportunities that can keep movWLM ing Goodfellows forward.” Back to Contents

YOUR ONE-STOP AUTOMOTIVE SHOP YOU MAY KNOW them for their high-quality, reliable collision repairs—but what you may not know is that they are also one of Essex County’s most comprehensive automotive care facilities. Mechanical Manager Sam Ferrarelli wants to change that! “At CSN Emeryville, we offer a complete range of automotive services, including—but not limited to—safety checks, radiators, tires, transmissions, wheel bearings, tune-ups, fuel pumps, batteries, brakes, oil changes, exhausts, alignments and diagnostics,” says Sam. “We take tremendous pride in the quality of our work and our commitment to investing in equipment and specialized training for our technicians. Not only are we enthusiastic about earning and keeping your business, but we also seek to serve you to your complete satisfaction,” he promises.

your car and are identical quality. They’re specifically designed for your exact make and mode—by the people who know it best.” “Aftermarket parts are made by other manufacturers (not automakers) and often designed to fit more than one kind of vehicle. Since they’re a more universal part, they tend to be less expensive than OEM, but they can also be of lower quality. Many may not have the same level of rustproofing as OEM, the fit and finish may not be a perfect match, or they may not align properly.” Another important consideration: aftermarket parts can potentially interfere with the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which controls safety features such as forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection and more, through technology designed to work with your vehicle’s original parts. Depending on the age of your vehicle, you might be considering used parts. These usually come from a salvage yard and are normally much cheaper. The main issue is that they come with wear and tear, so it’s important that they are inspected and warrantied.

CSN Emeryville owners: Robert Labonte, Sam Ferrarelli and Dan Labonte.

At CSN Emeryville, you can count on: • Convenient shop hours • Affordable services • Wide selection of replacement parts • Knowledgeable and courteous team of salaried auto repair specialists • Accurate estimates and turnaround times • Reliable, professional precision and value • OEM certification

What is OEM Certification? It means all work is approved by the manufacturer. Certification requires numerous stipulations, including: • Having the necessary certified equipment to complete the highest standard of work • Thorough manufacturer-specific training and professionally qualified auto technicians • Exclusive use of OEM parts

The truth about OEM, Aftermarket and Used Parts Sam shares how these types of parts differ and how you can make the best decision for your vehicle: “OEM parts are made by your vehicle’s manufacturer. They match the exact parts that came with

Sam concludes, “We hold OEM certifications for all makes and models. This means that not only have we been acknowledged to use only factory-approved parts, but that our facility is correctly equipped and uses only factory-approved repair procedures.” Family-owned and operated with more than 40 years of experience, we live and work in your community, striving to be Essex County’s most trusted and preferred automotive shop. Stop in or call today!

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Clockwise from bottom: Choose your weapon—the rink is ready for use 24/7; sitting area with island and big screen tv; home gym and training center; the ultimate backyard ice rink.


SOMETIMES A BARN IS NOT JUST A BARN. When a local homeowner and long-time construction industry owner, bought his house more than a decade ago, it came with a full-sized barn on the property. He and his wife mulled over what to do with the space. They could have taken up farming and used the barn for its original purpose. The homeowner could have filled it with classic cars or turned it into the ultimate man cave with a big screen TV and an electric guitar alcove. Instead, he turned it into the ultimate playground—re-imagining and upgrading the space every few years, so it could retain that title. “Being in construction most of my adult life, I like to think outside of the box about everything,” the homeowner explains. “I look at every possibility, weigh every option. It’s like what we do in our business.” The first incarnation of the Barn—as it quickly became known, and the moniker remains today— was, of all things, a playland. For anyone unfamiliar, a popular fast-food chain incorporated a range of indoor playgrounds in a number of their franchises around North America, featuring slides, roundabouts, climbers and statues. For his son’s sixth birthday, the homeowner had a 40 x 70 foot rink area installed, surrounded

by NHL calibre boards and glass. “The rink is not quite the size of a NHL regulation rink,” he says. “We started with the boards, then added the ice later. Just before the pandemic, we upgraded the ice. The gym was added, along the way, as well as a living area. My son is at an age now where he wants to hang out with his friends, rather than his parents. This is a safe place for him and his friends. The work has been a large investment spread over several years. You do that kind of thing for your kid.” Traditional ice rink ice requires that oil be added to it in order to give it “glide.” Separate, expensive equipment is required to do this. For that reason, the homeowner upgraded to CAN-ICE, which is a synthetic ice surface that looks, feels and performs just like real ice, whether it’s indoors or outside. According to the CAN-ICE website, its goal is “to provide greater and easier access to ice time for skill development. We are passionate about skating and hockey and in giving more people the opportunity to experience the joy and thrill of both. CAN-ICE gives young players and skaters a synthetic ice surface on which to play and practice 365 days a year.” “Hockey Canada endorses CAN-ICE,” the homeowner goes on. “It’s cost effective and less maintenance. I mean, to build a real ice rink, the ice alone would cost in the neighbourhood of $375,000.” Although the homeowner did not grow up playing hockey, his son is very involved in the sport. Having his own space to practice and workout has definitely had its benefits. “When you consider, renting ice can cost between $220 and $260 per hour, and then bringing in a trainer on top of that,” he says. “We just have the trainer come here to the Barn. He and my son workout for an hour in the gym, then go out onto the ice for an hour. It works out for everyone.” The homeowner’s son’s game has improved immensely having the dedicated training area available 24/7. In the warmer months, when the weather is cooperating, practice can take place on the “sport court,” which can be used for rollerblading, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and badminton. For his own part, the homeowner says: “I love the opportunity to do this for my son and his friends. Our house is very unique. I’m happy to provide the kids with these entertaining things. My outlook is about the kids, to provide them with as many activities that will keep them active and away from those video games!” WLM Back to Contents


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2139 Huron Church Rd. • Windsor, ON • 519.966.1520 •

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WRITING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Windsor Life Revisits Some Very Interesting Stories From Years Past STORY BY MICHAEL SEGUIN AHHH, THE HOLIDAYS. A time of giving. A time of togetherness. A time to immerse ourselves in a sea of familiar faces. So now, as 2021 lumbers to a decisive conclusion, we’d like to take this opportunity to catch up with some old friends…

Throughout the last year Brian and Terry have busied themselves with building their organization’s infrastructure, allowing them to better serve their community. “We assembled all the tools and equipment we’d need to create a mobile bed-building process,” Brian reports. “After that we were able to establish a core team. There’s about 67 of us. Amassing a team of people who see and believe in the need has been extraordinary. We’re all committed to ending child bedlessness.” More information about the Windsor chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace is available on their Facebook page on @SHPWindsor and the website

Left to right: Jeff Mailloux, Christine Lucier, Jeff Loewen (sitting), Brian Cyncora and Terry Cyncora.

SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE Approximately 2-3% of all children in any community sleep on the floor. “We have 95,000 children in Windsor and Essex County,” Brian Cyncora, Co-Founder of the Windsor chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, reports. “If you take 2% of that, that’s 1,900 kids in our community without a bed.” Sleep in Heavenly Peace is an international organization that maintains that all children deserve a safe, comfortable space to lay their heads. The various chapters of the organization are composed of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering beds to all families in need. Brian and his wife Terry formed the Windsor chapter after the couple moved to Windsor last year. “We serve any child between the ages of 3 and 17 who does not have a bed,” Brian states. “We build them. We donate them. And we deliver them. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Our team goes out there and we have the good fortune to see kids receiving their new beds.” The importance of a bed for a developing brain cannot be overstated. “We’re providing them a place of comfort,” Brain explains. “A place of safety. A place they can call their own. A bed gives them that security.”


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Musician Christee Palace.

CHRISTEE PALACE If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground, chances are you’ve heard of Windsor’s Christee Palace. Formerly Christie Palazzolo, the young musician’s work blends a unique combination of musical styles into a sound that is wholly her own. “Genre-wise, I describe myself as pop rock,” Christee states. “I’ve always loved and written pop music. I’ve also come from that classic


The Tea Party (l-r): Jeff Burrows, Jeff Martin and Stuart Chatwood.


rock background, thanks to my Dad. I’ve always loved the sound of electric guitars and the heaviness that comes with rock music. And all of my biggest musical influences have been pop rock artists, the biggest being Avril Lavigne. I just loved the idea of a girl on stage rocking out with a guitar!” And now, after years of delighting listeners and audiences everywhere, Christee has secured a major foothold in the music industry. “I recently signed a publishing deal!” Christee exclaims. “The deal allows me to submit any songs that I write to Atrium Music, which is based in California. They basically blast my music out to all major movies, commercials, TV shows and anything that needs music. This gives me amazing opportunities for exposure. Not to mention the ability to make a living off my music!” Now, still glowing from this momentous achievement, Christee takes a moment to offer some advice to aspiring musicians. “Work very hard,” Christee stresses. “There’s nothing else I can say. If you love something, work your butt off to get it. Even if you don’t quite reach your ultimate goal, you’re always going to end up doing something that’s relevant and something that you love. And make sure you believe in yourself!”

they connected with Jeff Burrows and the three decided to meet up at The Coach and Horses. “The Coach” was having a tough time drawing crowds so the manager asked the three of them to form a band. The old friends agreed. Back in Toronto after their first jam session together, they immediately knew they’d captured something special. “That first day we rehearsed until we had blisters!” Stuart states. “We had these big Cheshire Cat grins on. The excitement was palpable. We took a break for some lunch at the Knob Hill Farms lunch counter and immediately began plotting world domination.” The Tea Party has now been one of Windsor’s favourite homegrown bands selling over 2 million records over the course of their 31 year career. The band has brushed elbows with numerous legendary bands over the years, including Pearl Jam and Oasis. Most notably, in 1995 they opened for Led Zeppelin alumni Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in Montreal. And in 2003, The Tea Party played at the Molson Canadian Rocks For Toronto, also known as “The Rolling Stones SARS Benefit Concert.” There, the three played for a massive crowd of 490,000 people. And now, on their 31st anniversary, The Tea Party has released a remastered version their self-titled 1991 album on double-vinyl. In tandem, they have rereleased a CD containing the new mastering and the original album on CD so that dedicated fans can compare the two. Looking forward Stuart muses, “Now, more than ever, you don’t need to worry about radio air play.

Newly elected President of Rotary International, Jennifer Jones.

THE TEA PARTY Thirty-one years ago, The Tea Party, one of Windsor’s most beloved local bands, performed their first show at the Coach and Horses. And local history was made. Although, according to Stuart Chatwood, The Tea Party’s bass and keyboard player, the history of the band stretches back much, much further. Stuart met his future bandmates, Jeff Burrows and Jeff Martin, in Grade 10 at high school and the three formed the short-lived band called Modern Movement. Many bands came and went in the years to follow with Jeff Martin and Stuart finding themselves in Toronto playing in a group called The Stickmen. This band started to fall apart in the early months of 1990 and Jeff Martin and Stuart took a break with a trip back to Windsor where H o l i d a y

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You can afford to be more unique. Your audience is the world now. You can zone in on a sound that will draw people to you. And as soon as you do something appealing to a small group, they will become your disciples and spread the word. You will grow organically.” JENNIFER JONES How did you spend the last year? Many of us have (admittedly) spent the better part of the pandemic cooped up indoors, dressed in our finest sweatpants, scarfing down bags of Cheetos. But Jennifer Jones? Jennifer Jones has been busy. A graduate of the University of Windsor, Jennifer started her own television production company, Media Street Productions Inc., which the Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce once recognized as “Company of the Year.” It has also received 26 international awards for broadcasting excellence. But perhaps most significant is her contributions towards Rotary International. So great was her acts of service, that Jennifer, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, was elected as the President of Rotary International for the 2022-2023 term. Now, as the President-Elect, Jennifer has spent the last year preparing to lead Rotary International to grand new heights. “This has been an intense time,” Jennifer admits. “With regard to planning for the 2022-23 term. We’re planning how we’re going to interface with Rotarians across the globe. We’re making plans for different events we’re going to be hosting. Over the last two years, we’ve planned a lot of events 2017 Space Technology Proudly Designed, from a virtual perspective. Now, we’re startHall of Fame Inductee Developed and Engineered rates In the USA. ing to transition back as vaccination Assembled In P.R.C. increase and the world begins to open up.” Fittingly, Jennifer and her fellow Rotarians have emerged from these unprecedented times with a greater appreciation for the ties that bind us together as a community, both locally and globally. “These past two years have taught us a lot in terms of how we can connect,” Jennifer explains. “For a global organization like ours, we’re taking advantage of the lessons we’ve learned. And bringing people together through virtual platforms has allowed us to be more flexible. It’s certainly opened the opportunity to be more inclusive.” Jennifer is set to take office on July 1st, 2022. She will be the first female President WLM in Rotary’s 116-year history. Back to Contents

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Phil Daniel and daughter Laura Beneteau finally got to play together at this fall’s Ontario Mixed Provincial Curling Championship.

CURLING MAGIC Father-Daughter Duo Plays at Elite Levels

STORY BY RON STANG / PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLENE HALUK-McMAHON IT WAS ANOTHER KIND OF DREAM on ice when father-daughter Phil Daniel and Laura Beneteau teamed up during the recent Ontario Mixed Provincial Curling Championship. The event, held at Beach Grove Golf and Country Club, was the realization of a long-sought desire by the St. Clair Beach family members to play together in a major competitive event. Curling has been in the Daniel family, well, for pretty much forever. Phil’s parents played this, Canada’s other winter sport and Phil got bitten by the curling bug as a teen. It all started in 1965 when Beach Grove—celebrating its 100th club birthday this year— added a curling rink. “From there everybody in our family gained interest in the sport,” Phil says. Phil, 58, who worked in IT at Hiram walker and Valiant TMS and is now retired, starting when he was eight and qualified for various Ontario junior men’s championships. He played at the University of Windsor. He has curled competitively for many years from juniors through seniors (50+). Laura, 27, started at Beach Grove in the juniors’ program at age 5. She began curling competitively from age 13 until university and played in various Ontario championships. In 2011, Laura’s Bantam Mixed team won the Ontario Championship, with Phil as her


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coach. Laura, now living in Mississauga, is a civil engineer with Canadian construction giant EllisDon, currently working on renovations to Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital. In fact, not just Laura but Laura’s three sisters all played the game. But Laura was the one who extended her career most competitively. What’s fascinating is how Laura picked up the sport, almost by osmosis. Phil’s wife Wendy would take the family to Phil’s competitive tournaments. Laura attended her first Ontario Mixed Curling Championship in 1994, in Smiths Falls, when she was three months old. One day during the Ontario Mixed Curling Championship in Whitby in 2003, one of his competitors was playing with his two daughters. Laura, just nine years old, watched and said, “I want to do that one day with my dad.” The next year Phil’s team won the Ontario Mixed Curling Championship and went to the nationals in Prince Albert, SK. “And so again interest grew,” Phil says. Competitive teams at this level can be made up of members from throughout the province. Finally, this October, playing in his fourth Ontario Mixed at Beach Grove, Laura joined him. “So, we were able to realize Laura’s dream and we got to play together at a provincial championship,” he says. When Laura started playing at age five it was under the guidance of her dad. “They wanted dad to coach, and he would only coach if they let him bring me out on the ice with him,” she says. She curled in junior’s locally and then began curling outside the club and got more involved competitively, from age 13 until university. But after university, where she got her engineering degree and an MBA, curling “took a bit of a backseat.” Phil’s curling career originally took off when he qualified for the first time for the Ontario (Men’s) Provincial Curling Championships in 1988. The event is important for its level of play and Championships take place in OHL arenas. His first was in Peterborough where his team lost the final to Wayne Middaugh, who went on to win the world championship that year. Phil qualified again in 1999 and made it all the way to the championship final before losing to Richard “Rich” Moffat of Ottawa, another big name in Ontario curling. Phil’s team didn’t qualify in the intervening years but did in 2002 and lost the final to John Morris, two-time Olympic gold medalist. Future competitions continued with Phil’s team playing at

a high level against the likes of Mike Harris, who skipped (captained) Canada’s Olympic team in the late 1990s. What is it about curling that’s so intrigued Laura and Phil? “Curling looks easy on TV but making a curling shot is really hard,” Laura says. The object of the sport, of course, is for players to slide a 40-pound polished granite “stone” along a sheet of ice to the “house” or target. “Simplified, you just need the right weight and the right line,” Laura says. “But the number of factors that go into what the right line and the right weight are, is tremendous.” Especially under pressure and you make a great shot, “there’s no better feeling.” Phil calls the sport “a very mental game.” It’s often called “chess on ice” as teams try to outplay opponents by best positioning the stones or knocking the opponents’ out. Phil plays skip or captain of the four-member team. “Half the fun for me as a skip is trying to outwit the other skip,” he says. “You want them to be chasing you, you want to be dictating the pace of the game as opposed to chasing the other team. If you can get the other guy chasing you, you’re already ahead of the game.” Curling has traditionally been more popular elsewhere in Canada than in Windsor, perhaps because of our very atypically Canadian milder winter climate. And popularity in the sport is waning. Only three local clubs are left—Beach Grove, Roseland and Leamington. And there is concern Roseland may eliminate its rink under major renovations. Laura says there are fewer teens entering the sport. Perhaps it’s because of more entertainment and personal options. And those who do play tend to drop out when pursuing post-secondary education and careers. Both Phil and Laura agree that something has been lost in efforts to professionalize the sport in tandem with giving it Olympic status. Says Phil, “More funding is going into it for training for the elite athletes and the rest of us have careers and jobs and families that we could not just dedicate the time to.” The days may be gone when “four guys from Essex County” could be good enough to “beat a world champion twice in one day” such as his team did to two-time world champion Russ Howard in 1998. “But that’s the way the sport was at that time,” he adds. “You had that chance. You always had that chance that you could win that one game.” WLM

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HIKING THROUGH GRIF After the loss of his mother, Kevin Moore Takes to New Zealand’s National Long-distance Trail STORY BY ALLEY L. BINIARZ


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sections eating and drinking as much food as possible to catch up on calories.” Kevin says that the amount of energy used to hike up and over mountains for upwards of 10 days was unbelievable. Most sections took five to seven days and there were a total of 12 sections...all of which, Kevin says, consisted of eating the same, boring dried foods. “If I never see muesli, peanut butter, or lentils again, I would be a happier man.” Together, they were able to cross the Rangitata River, which is considered dangerous and impassable, but they had the perfect conditions to do so. They had the opportunity to see the setting for Realm of Man from Lord of the Rings and then reached the highest point of Te Araroa, which at 1925 metres, is an incredible accomplishment. They carried the weight of ten days of food; Kevin with an injury to his right foot. He didn’t think he’d complete the trail, but in 69 days, he did. He had to. While hiking, Kevin kept a journal. He says that he always writes in a journal while traveling so that he can remember every moment, but this time putting words to paper helped him process his emotions. Writing and reflecting kept him motivated long after the hike was done and once he was back in his hometown of Chatham. This is when he decided to convert his words into a book about his adventurous trek and grief. “Being back home was especially difficult as my siblings and I had to sort out my mom’s estate and go through a lifetime of her things.” Kevin says that having a project that he was dedicated to finishing helped him from falling back into old habits. “I never meant it to do anything other than just help me process what was going on in my head,” Kevin adds about his surprise that his now released book, Dude, Where’s My Walking Stick?


“NEVER STOP ADVENTURING.” This was one of the last things that Kevin Moore’s mom said to him while he was living in New Zealand. She was visiting him, as she often did while he was backpacking across the world. “While she was there, I talked about the Te Araroa a lot as we drove through landscapes that the trail passed through,” Kevin describes the pull he felt to climb the over 3000 km hike that stretches from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island to the Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. From untouched old growth forests, never ending sandy beaches, and the mighty Southern Alps, New Zealand’s national long-distance tail is considered one of the wildest and most accessible hikes on the planet. Kevin had the privilege of hiking a few of the popular sections before but never believed he would have the time, let alone the finances, to walk all or even half of it. When he’d suddenly lost his mom to cancer, it felt like nothing could pull him out. Kevin was left lost, devastated, and angry as he fell into a depression of drugs, alcohol and food to soften the hurt. “I lost the most important person in my life and I didn’t know what to do.” Kevin says that’s when her words, never stop adventuring, started ringing through his head. “I needed to do something to give my head and heart a bit of clarity, and what better way than to wander into the bush, alone and terrified, with only my thoughts?” At the time Kevin felt unhealthy and completely unprepared, even though he’d been hiking all over the world, he’d never done anything like a thru-hike. Even though he didn’t think he’d make it, he decided to attempt the South Island/Te Waipounamu section. “I only hiked a couple of kilometres and I was destroyed. Carrying over 25 kilos of old, worn out gear and dry boring food was the most difficult part. Every single part of my body was in so much pain, but physical pain was nothing compared to how I felt inside.” Still, Kevin pushed on. Day after day. Section after section. Injury after injury. Continuing the hike meant that Kevin was able to experience views and terrains of a lifetime, and he was able to do some of it with newly met friends along the way. “I ended up meeting some amazing people along the way and we formed incredible bonds. We would spend our rest days between

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has hit the #1 bestseller list on Amazon in multiple countries, as well as in multiple categories. “I think it’s selling so well because it’s an adventure and travel story that any regular person could relate to. Plus, with travel restrictions, I think more people are getting their taste for adventure through books and other forms of media.” As much as this book was written as something to keep him on track to process his loss, it has also been a way to relive and share his adventure with others. Dude, Where’s My Walking Stick? is filled with humour, as we can see through the title. Kevin explains that he best processes emotion through humour, and in this book, it’s done through the addition of the character of Richard, Kevin’s personified walking stick. He was the only person on the trail who used an actual stick rather than hiking poles. “Everyone thought I was crazy; the stick weighed more than ten walking poles!” Kevin says that rather than just being a piece of equipment, Richard (aka Dick) ended up being a bit of a celebrity on the trail, which is why he’d given him a place in the title. Anyone who picks up the book will learn all about the infamous titled walking stick. Kevin says that so many people spend their entire lives waiting until they’re ready to travel and experience the world, and this hike prompted him back into a life of exploring. He says that he feels like he’s always on an adventure, and recently just spent the last five months travelling around Canada in a van that he built into a camper. He’s put 25,000 kilometres on his van since June and has summited Ontario’s highest peak, ventured into northern Saskatchewan, hiked Section E of the Great Divide trail, toured around Vancouver Island, taken a ferry to Port Rupert through the Inside Passage/Alaska Marine Highway and driven some of the most incredible roads that BC has to offer. Now we can find the former Chatham-Kent resident as far from the area as possible. He’s not sure what’s next for him, but currently he’s staying in The Kootenays at a hot springs resort for the winter, and once spring hits, we may find him wandering down to South America. One thing is certain — he’s stuck to his promise to never stop adventuring. You can find Kevin Moore’s book, Dude, Where’s My Walking Stick, on WLM Amazon. Back to Contents







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