La Carota Maggio 2023

May 2023                          LaCarota

Presidents Message:

Ciao, my fellow Club Paesano members. As always, I hope that you are all doing well. Happy, healthy and safe! How fast is time flying by? I feel like I just sat down to write April’s newsletter. It’s getting to be like “Groundhogs Day”! I feel like Bill Murray in the movie. Waking up every morning just to start typing “LaCarota”! LoL! I try to keep it fresh for everyone. Sounds like we may start to move on from this wet wintery weather. The forecast is warmer and dryer. Hopefully they are 100% right this time. This part of Oregon should have enough water to last us a while. I hope that everyone has been able to get out and get things done and have some fun too. My family’s trip to California for Spring break was nice. The weather wasn’t what you would expect from Cali in the spring, but we made the best of it. Disneyland, California adventure, and Universal Studios. We covered a lot in a short period of time. Feeling the joy and the smile on my Adriana’s face, made it all well worth it! We all had a good time, but my senior really deserved it. Graduating this year and on the “Honor Roll” has made Diane and I very proud and happy!! She deserved a great “Spring Break”! I know that a lot of our members have children, grandchildren and relatives that are going through school and may be graduating too. Give them all the love and support that they need. They are our future. Our future leaders, representatives, and workforce that will keep this country running smooth. Here’s to all of them and their futures!

Heritage Dinner:

Last Saturday night we celebrated our 2nd annual “Heritage Dinner”. I have to say that it was another huge success! We had 12 more people than last year. There were close to 60 members and guests. It was a great night of socializing, eating and celebrating our Club Paesano Heritage. It was so nice to mingle and make our way around the room talking and laughing with one another. The night started with drinks and socializing followed by a fantastic dinner. Once again, our very own Greg Demister stole the show, with a magnificent 6 course meal that included, antipasto, Caprese tomatoes, tortellini, stuffed pork tenderloin, fingerling potatoes, and a cream and fruit filled tart for dessert. My goodness it was all so good! If you couldn’t make it, I feel bad that your taste buds missed it! My hats off to the chef! I’d also like to thank his brother-in-law Dennis Grieng, for helping to put the meal together. Greg’s son Gianni and his girlfriend Jania for helping in the kitchen and for serving the meal to our tables and also Greg’s fiancé Lori Bass for tending the bar for us. Special thanks to our very own Phil Potestio for sending us a video feed from Bologna, Italy. It was so nice of him to take some time out of his vacation to say a few words and to wish us well.  I’d like to thank our members that showed up in the morning to help set up, Jimmy Calcagno, Jimmy Burch, Dino Gavazza, John Kern, Debra Ceglie. As always, our member that keeps them checked in at the door, John Kern. Thank you again for all of you that came, and were involved in this. By the looks and sounds of it, our Heritage Dinner is popular and a fan favorite of our members, so I’m hoping that we will keep it going in the years to come. Let’s keep our CP history and heritage alive and well! Cheers.

Spring Dance:

This year’s “Spring Dance” is just around the corner. It’s exactly 2 weeks away! Have you purchased your tickets yet? As of today (04/21/23) we have sold 63 tickets. 63 tickets! That’s it! Come on now, my blood pressure is rising! Seriously, I know that a lot of us wait till the last minute to buy, but it’s getting to be “crunch time” now. Please invite your family and friends. The more the merrier as always! Bring anyone you know that would love to have a great time for a very low price! Our musical entertainment will be the “Big Bad Beat”. They played for us at last year’s Carnevale Dance and had the place rocking. Our Spring Dance is usually one of our bigger dances, so let’s do our best to continue that trend. Do what you can to promote and invite. Our charity partner for the dance, will be the “Center for The Arts Foundation” in Gresham. They have been helping our youth that are involved in the arts, and are local. For the last year, I’ve been trying to stick with our local charities. I feel that we need to help and keep the fundraising close, for the benefit of our nearest communities. We all need to help each other’s causes. Let’s all do our best to help them and of course, help ourselves. Let’s make it a “SELLOUT”! See you all there.

Fun Committee:

The “Fun Committee” will be having an outing on Saturday May 20th in Brush Prairie WA. We will be going to “Gather Arts” Farm” which is owned and run by Bidgett and Mike Merrill. Their dad, Jim Merrill is one of our members. We hope to make Bridgett & Mike members real soon too! We will meet at their farm at 5pm, which is located at 16523 NE 170TH Ave, Brush Prairie, WA. 98606.  We will start at 5pm and it will go until they decide that they have had enough of us, LoL! For only $25 per person the event will be a “Wine glass painting “and “Charcuterie board” making class that will include, sipping on wine and nibbling on cheese, crackers and dellies. But wait, there’s more! Bridgett will also include a Special Italian drink that she will prepare, just for us. Now how good is that? This will be an amazing event, but the spaces are limited. She told me that they can accommodate about 36 people, maybe a few more, so if you want to be included, I “RSVP” me no later than May 15th!  Seats are already starting to be reserved. I will have to start turning people away after 36 to 38 people, so don’t delay if you want to come. Please check out their “Gather Arts” website, Facebook and Instagram sights too. We continue to have our “Monday Night Social” but are starting to wind down to our summer break. We have 6 more Monday nights left, so if you haven’t been to one yet, your time is running out. Come on out and enjoy a night of fun, food and laughs. Who knows, you may even win a little money to boot. It’s a fun time and I welcome you all to come and check it out. We still have a couple other events in the works, so please stay tuned!

Polenta Dinner:

Our annual Polenta dinner will take place on Wednesday June 7th. It will be in lieu of our regular monthly membership meeting. We’ve been doing this for the last several years now. Instead of our June’s meeting, we are inviting all other Italians, whether they are members of another club or not, to partake in this wonderful celebration of an Italian staple, wine and socializing. As we all know, Italians love to eat and celebrate for any reason. It could be the day that the sun came out, a day that the mushrooms started to grow, etc. for any reason, which is fantastic to me. Any reason to Party! So, a few years ago, the idea was born to have all of the clubs and Italians in the area come together for this dinner. A place where Italians thrive! LoL! Like all big Italian dinners and Festa’s we are all expected to participate and help out. That being said, we will need volunteers to help set up tables and chairs, to help in the kitchen, cooking & serving, and of course to clean up and tear down at the end. As I said, this dinner is open to all Italians, so if you know of any Italians that you would like to invite, please do so. Please “RSVP” back to me, so that we can have a head count and know how much food to purchase. We are always looking for volunteers to cook a roast for our sauce to go over our Polenta. 5 to 6 will be enough. If you would like to cook one for the sauce, please let me know that too. You can bring your own wine to drink and share. Club Paesano will supply soft drinks and water. Come and join us for this traditional Italian get together. It will be great! Doors open at 5:30pm (unless you are coming earlier to help in the kitchen or to set up tables).

Bocce News:

Our 2023 Bocce Season is just around the corner, just like our Spring Dance! Our league nights will be starting the 1st week of June. We are very proud to say that we will again be supporting 4 nights of bocce leagues. All nights are filling up again, in fact I believe that Monday and Tuesday are filled. We started everything off with our annual “Kick off” meeting that took place April 6th. I’m glad to say that the turnout was fantastic. We welcomed back both veteran and new players. There were actually a lot of new faces that I’ve never met before which is terrific for our league. We explained a couple of our new rule changes and answered some questions from the group. It was a nice start to the league and made me excited to see that the Paesano Bocce Club is still growing by leaps and bounds and still has more room to grow in the future. If you are interested in playing, and still haven’t signed up, our league nights are filling up very quickly, but there may be some spots that are still open. Please go to our website at or contact one of us on the board. Mario Pompei, Doug Burchak, Dino Gavazza, Kelly Barasch, or myself. Anyone of us can help you out. On Sunday, May 21st, we will be holding our 3rd annual “Meet & Greet”. This event is open to anyone who is interested in bocce and especially to those who are wanting to learn the rules and the game itself. It will be a great opportunity for returning members to play and teach some of our newer members and guests. Mario, will be out there with his microphone, telling us about the history of the game, the rules, and will probably be doing some of his famous “Play by Play”. The Day will start out at 8:30am, so if you are interested in playing, please be there by 8:15 am so that we can sign you up and get you on a team. We’ll provide coffee and doughnuts in the morning and hotdogs and chips for lunch. Please feel free to bring whatever beverage you’d like, including adult. The day usually lasts until early afternoon, or whenever you’d like to leave. If you are a current member, or interested in playing in some of our upcoming tournaments, please visit our website for our tournament schedule, rule changes, registration, donations, or anything else that is bocce related. As always, we are always looking to raise money for our future roof that we would love to build. We have plenty of merchandise, advertisements, pavers, etc. to sell and of course we will never turn down a monetary donation. If you or your company would like to sponsor the league or a tournament, we are always looking for that too. The courts are also available for rentals. Whether it be for hourly play, or an all-day company function. Let’s do what we can to support our Paesano Bocce Club!

Thoughts & Prayers:

The Club would like to send out our deepest condolences to our Mario Pompei and his family. Unfortunately, his mother, Theresa, who was 96 yrs. young, passed away. A beautiful woman with a lot of energy and a love for life and family. Fortunately, Mario and his siblings, Wayne, Gary, Patricia and Francine, were able to be by her side as she passed into heaven. Rest in Peace. I’d like to send out some prayers to my in-laws, Jim and Gerry Sells and to my wife Diane, who continues to amaze me in everything that she does on a daily basis. Taking care of my in-laws, making sure that Adriana’s on point for school, work and anything else that may come up. May God continue to give her the strength. Joe Castellano, continues to amaze, in his recovery! The cancer is in remission, and he is looking and feeling awesome. The power of prayer folks! Here’s to all of us CP members, both present and past. May God keep us all safe and healthy. If you have anyone that you would like me to add to our prayer chain, in the future, please reach out and let me know.

Club Paesano Dues: 

June is fast approaching, and our CP Membership dues need to be paid by the end of June. Try to stay ahead of the game, and if you can, send a check, or pay John Kern, the next time that you see him. He takes cash and credit cards. Please don’t make him chase you. He’s a busy man, and has a lot of other things to take care of. Our annual dues are still $100.

Cedarville Shares:

If you are interested in owning a piece of this beautiful Lodge and Park property, please contact Steve Petruzelli at [email protected] or 503-620- 3447 to purchase Cedarville Shares. Property located at 3800 W Powell Loop, Gresham, OR 97030. Cedarville Share.

Cedarville Lodge & Park Rentals:

If you or someone you know are in need of a beautiful venue to rent for an event, please think Cedarville Lodge first. The club’s bookings are finally starting to pick up again, after this pandemic, but we can still use a little help. Please contact our Venue Director, Maria Duong, at 503-577- 8471 and she will be more than helpful and gracious in getting you all the info that you may need, and to also help you with coordinating your event. 

LaCarota Question:

Congratulations goes out to Chris “Superfly” Siri for answering last month’s question. Chris has been answering on a regular basis, and it’s been paying off for him. I believe he’s won 2 out of the last 4 questions. Not bad! Once again proving that if you don’t play, you can’t win! Seeing that our annual Polenta dinner is coming up in June, my question will refer to our traditional dish. It’s a 3-part question: “What was the year that the grain came into use, what was Polenta originally cooked for, and in what part of Italy was it originated in?”. Pretty easy eh? Answer those 3 questions correctly, and win this month’s coveted bottle of vino! All correct answers will be entered to win. Good Luck.

Final Thoughts:

With all of the negativity and divisiveness that has surrounded us in this great country and world of ours, I’m hopeful that we can all stay together and not let our differences get in the way, or divide us as a nation and as a people. We have always strived to be a powerful nation and for the most part tried to run our lives in a way that showed respect, humility and a deep caring for our fellow citizens and nation. I hope that one day we get back to a “normal” sense of being and that all of these devices go away. I know that we have our club and that our members care deeply about it. That is one of the reasons that I go and partake in being a Club Paesano member. It’s the comfort of being together like a family and the sense of being with people that you like, love and respect. As I’ve said probably 100 times, you are involved in a great thing here. It’s a fantastic membership of beautiful people that bring so much to the table. Everyone brings something a little different, but all in all, things that we can use and take advantage of in our everyday lives, and with our own families. CP is my 2nd family and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Please be proud and get involved. You have a fantastic club here, don’t take it for granted. 

Take care, God bless, and te Salute!