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November 8, 2022
Giovanni cassano, owner of ortona in walkerville, holds half a dozen cold cut sandwiches, as his restaurant is participating in the 2022 meals for mental health, on saturday, nov. 5, 2022.
Giovanni Cassano, owner of Ortona in Walkerville, holds half a dozen cold cut sandwiches, as his restaurant is participating in the 2022 Meals for Mental Health, on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Giovanni Cassano said mental health is a cause that resonates with his customers.

Walkerville’s Ortona Cafe and Panino is among the 15 restaurants participating in this year’s Meals for Mental Health in support of Maryvale, which provides mental-health services for children and youth. 

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“Everybody has a family member or friend that needs mental health help and it’s good to encourage them that it’s okay to ask for help if they need it,” Cassano said Saturday as the campaign kicked off. 

The campaign is run by Stigma Enigma, a group of local volunteers who raise funds for Maryvale and work to increase the awareness and understanding of mental health needs in Windsor and Essex County.

Now through Nov. 12, patrons can make donations when they pay for their meal at a number of participating restaurants in Windsor and Essex County, for takeout, delivery or in-restaurant dining.

Each donation of $5 or more will enter you into a raffle for prizes including a 70-inch TV, and charitable receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more.

Maryvale is an accredited and non-profit centre for adolescent mental health and wellness, serving youth 12 to 18 years old.

With Ortona participating in Meals for Mental Health for a third year, Cassano said he believes this particular cause resonates with his customers, and sees the proof in the donations that come in during the campaign.

“This particular charity, a lot of people donate and help contribute to because they realize over the years that mental illness is a big concern in Canada,” he said.

The campaign launched with a $5,000 donation from partner Enwin, while 20 local Tim Hortons restaurants, also partners in Meals for Mental Health, will participate.

Stigma Enigma and Maryvale said they’re asking people who plan on dining out this week to consider one of their participating local restaurants in support of Maryvale.

Participating restaurants include:

  • Vittorio’s Trattoria (Forest Glade),
  • Armando’s Pizza (Riverside Dr.),
  • Pomegranate (Windsor),
  • Mezzo Ristorante (Windsor),
  • Koma Restaurant (Windsor),
  • Eddy’s Mediterranean Bistro (Windsor),
  • Tabouli by Eddy’s (Tecumseh),
  • Fourteen Restaurant (Windsor),
  • Franco’s Restaurant (Windsor),
  • Copper Branch (Windsor),
  • Vito Pizzeria (Windsor),
  • Kildare House (Windsor),
  • Ortona Café & Panino (Windsor),
  • Factory House (Windsor), and,
  • Elite Restaurant (Kingsville).

Find more information or donate online at

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