Art in the Park in Windsor saving lives
Theo and Jen Rallis, Art in the Park vendors in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (Michelle Maluske / CTV Windsor)
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 5:03PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2019 8:49PM EDT
A touching story to kick off preparations for the 41st annual Art in the Park in Windsor.
Organizers on Wednesday highlighted a new shuttle service for the event that will run from Devonshire Mall to Willistead Park in Walkerville on June 1 and 2.
The event will use the area near the Sears hardware location.
“So we're going to have parking spots available for well over 600 vehicles,” says Randy Winters, Art in the Park committee member.
The annual event is special to Art in the Park vendors Theo and Jen Rallis.
They say chatting with one of their customers at the 2017 event actually saved Theo's life by finding a kidney donor.
“Right there on the spot she made the very, very generous decision to go get tested to see if she were a match for Theo and it turns out that Sharon was an identical twin match,” says Jen Rallis.
The Rallis’ say the Art in the Park is about meeting people, not just the art.
“That totally changed our lives and families and now we're all connected,” adds Theo Rallis, who encourages people to go online and register to be a donor. “Who knows who’s else life you could save.”
The shuttle buses from Devonshire Mall will depart every 15 minutes from the north east corner, near the old Sears store, starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
There is also a shuttle planned from the Windsor Regional Hospital parking lot at 1591 Kildare Rd. and from the Hiram Walker and Sons parking lot on Riverside Drive East.
More than 260 arts and artisans will be at the 2019 Art in the Park, including 30 new vendors.
Proceeds from the event will be shared by the Willistead Restoration Fund and charities supported by the Windsor Rotary Club.