The Italian American Cultural Club must be doing something right.
I said that to myself when I looked around St. Florian Hall in Wintersville Monday evening and realized it was a pretty full house - 170 people on hand - and this was just a regular monthly February meeting.
Or maybe not so regular, given 49 new members were welcomed into the club.
BALLO?COMMITTEE — Among the committee members of the Italian American Cultural Club who are planning the the Ballo di Primavera that will be held March 24 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville are, from left, seated, Rose Marie Chappano, Donna Balzano, Rita DiMarzio, Tina Piergallini, Louise Donofe, Sherry Chappano, and standing, second row, Elida Petrella, Lou Almonte, Carol Almonte, Lucia Scaffidi, Carmella Gentile, Charlie Manfresca, Bill DiMarzio, Steve Donofe, Theresa Coppa; third row, Michele Fabbro, Teresa Laman, Carolyn Klonowski, Jane Antonucci, Todd Piergallini; and back, Jackie Davis and John Balzano. Other members of committee include Barbara Crugnale, Assunta Olivieri, Mariella Pittera, JoJo Tarquinio, Teresa Zrinyi and Maria Settepanella.
-- Janice R. Kiaski
At a time when many organizations and clubs are hoping for more volunteers or members, here's one welcoming nearly 50 people. Wow.
That was just one item on a busy agenda at the February meeting I attended at the invitation of club president Carmella "Carm" Gentile, who has been urging me for a few months to come and see what a normal meeting is like.
Louise Donofe opened the meeting with prayer, and Gentile introduced the new club members: Grace Abernethy, Annette Anticole, Dan Baker, Diane Baker, Louise Ball, Rose Barsnack, Nick Bressler, Beth Bressler, Fernanda Capaldi, Betty Jo Chuma, Kathy Culler, Domenico DiBacco, Gina DiBacco, Elizabeth DiGregory, Kathleen DiGregory, Lou DiGregory, Paula Diorio, JoAnn Giralico, Henry Giralico, George Glikes, Dennis Jasper, Guirino Lancia, Guiseppe Lancia, Joseph Lancia, Phillip Lopresto, Charles Manfresca, Mary Manfresca, Nancy McCann, Isabel McCullough, Gwen Milesovich, Sam Milesovich, Ben Porco, Nancy Porco, Benny Provenzano, Rose Potenzini, Mary Jo Rinaldi, Dolly Scurti, Rich Scurti, Joseph Talarico, Marguerite Talarico, Anthony Tiberio, Jeanne Tiberio, Mark Tiberio, Tina Tiberio, Aurora Kay Tipton, Diane Vandine, Joseph Vandine and Fabiola Welch.
Gentile presided at the business meeting where the agenda included an update on the club's upcoming fundraiser, the fifth-annual Ballo di Primavera which will be held March 24 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville. Elida Petrella is event chair.
To avoid overcrowding of the hall, tickets will be limited. Bill and Rita DiMarzio will be selling tickets for $35 per person and can be contacted at (740) 264-4773.
The social hour begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner at 6:30 p.m. The event is a BYOB, an acronym for bring your own bottle.
Music will be provided by the Ray Massa EuroRhythms.
Event sponsors are needed at a cost of $150 and will be entitled to two free tickets to the event and receive advertising in both the Ballo and Una Serata programs as well as on the Campo Italiano T-shirts. The ads need to be in by March 1.
In old business, the executive board's recommendations from its Jan. 31 meeting were met with approval, including:
Renaming the investment account the education and scholarship endowment fund;
Making a donation of $500 to Ashley and Michael Vitello, who lost everything in a recent house fire;
Having a yearly memorial Mass for deceased members on All Souls Day on Nov. 2. Lucia Scaffidi and Mariella Pittera will form a committee.
Allowing a one-year grace period for new applicants who were unable to join this year, meaning they won't have to pay an additional $20 application fee. Their applications will be on file, and they will be invited to join again next year.
In new business, it was announced that Jane Antonucci has agreed to do a quarterly newsletter with members who have e-mail receiving it electronically while others will receive it by regular mail.
In a scholarship report, Vince Talarico noted the club will be awarding five $1,000 scholarships this year with applications available. They need postmarked on or before March 30 for consideration.
Mariella Pittera and Lucia Scaffidi announced plans for a "Dancing with the Stars" within the club for the May and June meetings.
Campo Italiano will be held June 18-22 at the Italian Village, Steubenville, for children from age 1 on up. Renee Walsh is the chair. Applications will be available at the next meeting, which is March 5.
It was noted that in order to continue the Campo Extension classes for children, more commitment from the students is needed. Anyone interested can sign up at the March meeting, including volunteers who are always needed to help with the classes.
At the request of Mary Grace Craig, members held a special collection to help the family of Lee West, who was killed in a recent house fire.
The evening also included some great entertainment, courtesy of the 25 singers in the Indian Creek Concert Choir who performed under the direction of Dan Bruno.