Among the great things about the month of December are the many Christmas parties on the calendar and being invited to attend them.
I can't possibly get to all of them, but I did honor a very early, early invitation extended by Barb Crugnale for Better Half and me to be a part of the annual Christmas party and dinner-dance held Dec. 11 by the St. Agnes Church's Catholic Women's Club at the church's fellowship hall.
I certainly came away from that evening happy to have enjoyed Mingo Junction hospitality as well as an event that included a terrific meal courtesy of Bonomo Catering operated by Vinnie and Marianne Bonomo of Yorkville.
St. Agnes CWC officers, from left, Clara Sue Milewsky, secretary; Joanne Raha, president; and Barb Crugnale, treasurer. Rose Giampolo is vice president.
-- Janice R. Kiaski
We sat with Barb and her husband, Richard Crugnale; Tony and Mary Ellen Colabella (Tony shared some of his terrific homemade wine); Father James Dunfee, decked out in his T-shirt that read: "You're a Sly One, Mr. Grinch" (not that he's a Grinch at Christmas, but he's not a fan of the commercialization of it; Donna Chichick; Dolly McCormack; Rose Barsnak; and John and Mary Nessler.
Joanne Raha, CWC president, welcomed everyone and extended appreciation to her fellow officers for their efforts to make the event special, including Barb Crugnale, treasurer; Clara Sue Milewsky, secretary; and Rose Giampolo, vice president.
Dunfee offered the blessing.
The event included two new features this year - a visit from Santa, portrayed with enthusiasm by Tony Colabella, and the crowning of royalty as everyone's name went into the hat for a drawing to determine who would reign as the king and queen.
Those honors went to Francis DiLoreto and Velma Cilli.
Entertainment was provided by the Vinyl Classics, the trio consisting of Bob and Rita Cline and Rita's brother, Fred Postlewait.
They do a good job getting people up on the dance floor, excluding me and Better Half, whose toes I have too much respect for. I'm more at home taking pictures anyway. More than three years into the job as community editor, I keep thinking I have photographed nearly everyone in Jefferson County by now, but found two smile-and-say-cheese newbies in the church custodian, Vicky Bish (she and I enjoyed a chat about her 100-pound weight loss - wow!) and Chris Bracone, the church secretary of 25 years.
The CWC, which meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m., averages about 25 to 30 women to its sessions and makes its presence known in many positive ways - by serving funeral dinners to the bereaved; making delicious pumpkin rolls as an annual fundraiser; organizing an annual card party; contributing at Thanksgiving and Christmas to Mingo Social Services led by Sophie Schoolcraft, who was on hand with many of her distribution "elves;" and responding to the varied needs and requests of their pastoral leader.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2013 to our Mingo friends.