La Carota Luglio 2023

July 2023                            LaCarota

Presidents Message:

Ciao, my fellow CP Members. As always, I hope that you are all doing well. “Happy, healthy and safe!” Well, we finally made the leap from Spring to Summer and it’s looking like we are going to have a good one this year. As much as I wanted to see Summer get here, it seems to me like this year is just flying by! We are at the end of June, looking at July. They say that time flies when you are having fun and that’s great, but if “Father Time” would like to slow it down a little, I would be good with that too! I hope that you all are getting out and enjoying the weather and are getting to do things. I know that it’s graduation season, and many of us are either hosting a party or being invited to one. Vacation season is here too. Whether you are going away, or having a “Stay-cation”, please enjoy! 

La Polenta Dinner:

In lieu of our June’s regular Membership meeting, we celebrated a great “Italian” tradition. We invited all Italian clubs, and Italians in the area to our “La Polenta Dinner”. This has become one of our annual events and traditions. It’s getting bigger and better every year. How nice is it to get together with your fellow members and others to enjoy one of the most traditional Italian dinners there is. We got to mingle and socialize, drink some nice wine, and eat! All of the things that we all love to do! The polenta was fantastic and the sauce was exceptional. Thanks to Marc Battilega for making the sauce, and to everyone that helped him in the kitchen to put the meal together. I also want to thank all of you that came early to help set up and stay later to tear down. We had members from the “IBC”,” The Sons & Daughters of Italy” and the “Portland Amici Club” come to celebrate with us. We also had some Italians who were not affiliated with any clubs show up too. Maybe potential CP Members? Claude Bonafilio from the “IBC”, presented 3 of their scholarships to 3 very fortunate students. My daughter, Adriana, was fortunate enough to receive one of them! It’s a great thing that they do and I’m hoping that Club Paesano will follow suit and set up our own to offer to our CP Scholars in the near future. All in all, a great night and a tradition that we will enjoy for a long time to come.

Concert in the Park:

On Saturday, August 5th, we will be having our annual Concert in the Park. It will be held outside in our beautiful “Fred Siri” Amphitheater. It will be in our park under our huge cedar trees. The gates will open at 4pm and our musical entertainment for the night will be “5 Guys Named Moe”.

They have played for us on numerous occasions and performed at last year’s concert. They’re an 11-piece band that has everyone up and dancing! Like last year, we will have an entrance fee and food will be sold separately. Tickets will be $10 for general seating which is lawn seating (bring your own chair) or $15 for a chair at a table, and are now available to purchase on our website at www.clubpaesano.orgWe will offer a variety of food for purchase. Please invite everyone and anyone you can. This is a family friendly event so children are welcome. Due to the fact that it’s held outdoors and is our biggest event, we will need volunteers. This is Club Paesano’s only event that we ask our members to volunteer at, so if you are coming, please be able to donate an hour or 2 for a shift. We will need volunteers to come in early that morning to help set up tables and chairs outside. We will need help in the kitchen, and at the bar. Ticket takers, security, raffle sellers etc. I will have a volunteer signup sheet out, at our next meeting, so you can pick your shift and time. I know that we all want to enjoy the party and have fun with guests and fellow members, so if we get enough volunteers, we can spread the work out evenly and you’ll have fun too. Again, let’s get out there and promote this event. Tell everyone, pass fliers out and advertise on your social media. It’s a big event and it costs us a lot of money to put on, so we need guests. Let’s try to make the biggest Concert yet! We’ll see you there!

Fun Committee:

Our last Fun Committee event at “Gather Arts” was great! Getting out with fellow Paesano’s is always fun, so we are looking to do it again! For the last 2 summers, we have gone out to have dinner together at a specific restaurant. 2 yrs. ago it was “Spinella’s” Italian restaurant and last year it was “Kuya’s Islander Cafe”. They both provided us with our own menu and allowed us to bring in several people. It was a win, win for both CP Members and their businesses. We had a chance to help out these restaurants after the pandemic and we also had a chance to get together for a night away from the club to have some fun. We would love to do that again this summer, so if you know of a restaurant owner or a place that you frequent and would like to have us gather there, let me know so that we can set something up. It’s always nice to help the community and people that we know. We are always looking for something to do, so if you have any suggestions or ideas let’s try to make it happen. Get all the information you can and run with it. It doesn’t have to be a restaurant gathering, it could be anything. It’s all about the “FUN!”

Chamber of Commerce Event:

On Wednesday July 12th at 5pm, Club Paesano will be hosting the “Unofficial Happy Hour” brought to you by Club Paesano and the Gresham Chamber of Commerce. This event is open to all CP Members, Chamber members and the public. We will have the Happy hour outside near our beautiful Cantina area and park under the shade of our great cedar trees. What a beautiful setting, and a great way to showcase CP, and Cedarville Lodge & Park. Hopefully the lodge can get some future bookings out of it. CP will provide a “No Host” bar and some food to purchase. Our food offerings haven’t been chosen yet. If you are free that night, or don’t feel like cooking please come. Enjoy a night out and meet some of our Chamber members as well. All are welcome, so bring your family and friends. Let’s show the Chamber and the East County how Club Paesano represents, and let’s show off our beautiful venue and what we have to offer! Something to be proud of for sure!

Paesano Bocce Club:

Paesano Bocce is alive and doing well in Gresham and our leagues have started. We are happy to be running 4 league nights once again this year. Monday through Thursday. Monday nights being for the more advanced, all the way to Thursday being our “Rookie or Beginners” night. A lot of our regulars have returned, but we also have a crop of new talent that have never played at our club before. We have some from the public and some being our very own Club Paesano Members. I’m there all 4 nights, and have witnessed some very good bocce being played. Even our newest players have been doing well. The most important thing that I see the most, is that our players are having fun and being competitive. They are getting into the game and want to learn it, but at the same time I see them laughing, talking and smiling. The camaraderie is fantastic! That is the most important thing. Come out and enjoy! We had a great “Meet & Greet” tourney, back in May and had a great turn out. Bocce is definitely a sport that is on the move and taking off in North America. The beauty of this sport is that anyone can play. Young and old, male or female, athletic or not. Everyone has a chance to be competitive. With some practice and concentration, anyone has a chance to be a very good player. Please go to our website at for all the information, instructional videos, sign up forms for our leagues and our upcoming tournaments too. I recommend checking it out. You can also purchase items to help us raise funding for our “Raise the Roof” project. As most of you know, last year we finished construction of our 4 “World Class” bocce courts. Now we would like to build a roof to cover them. This would allow us to play all year long and help to maintain the integrity of the courts. We put a lot of money into them, so it would be nice to be able to preserve them for many years to come. The roof would also make for some good, “Big Money” tournaments, attracting very good players from around the country. This would not only benefit our bocce club but Club Paesano and Cedarville Park as well. It would also bring money into the Gresham and East County area as well. If you are interested in playing, or being involved in our club, please contact one of our Board members. Mario Pompei – President / Myself- Treasurer / Dino Gavazza, Doug Burchak and Kelly Barash – Board of directors. Anyone of us will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. As always, we have items to sell. Personal pavers, advertising and personal signs of different sizes that will hang on our fence that runs along the Spring Water trail, (BTW, Hundreds of people a day would see them), t- shirts, hoodies and hats. Of course, we will always be willing to accept monetary donations too. If you own a company or work for one that would be willing to donate to a tournament or purchase an advertising sign, please let one of us know. Our next tournament will be held July 8th & 9th. The 8th will be our annual Oregon vs Washington Ryder Cup tourney for bragging rights and the coveted trophy. The 9th will be our annual Aldo Rossi tournament. We are still accepting teams for the Aldo Rossi Tourney, so if you would like to sign a team up, you still have a little time. Go to our website and register your team to play. You can also contact our “Competition Chairperson” Brad Cotton at [email protected]. There will be cash prizes and medals going out to the top 3 teams. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate as it’s first come first served and once, we get the needed number of teams we will no longer accept any more. Even if you are not playing, you can still come out to watch and enjoy some great competitive bocce for the day!

Festa Italiana:

For the 3rd year in a row, Cedarville Park and Club Paesano will be hosting the “Festa Italiana” 2023. It will be held on Sunday, August 20th. Our bocce club will also be holding our annual “Festa Bocce Tournament” that morning.  We are excited about it and are ready to dig in to help the Festa. I’ve sat on their committee for the last 2 years along with Mario Pompei. We’ve done our best to work with all that are involved to produce a great event. Our club’s goal is to help out in whatever way we can, to keep this longtime Portland tradition alive and going strong for the next 50 years. This is a big event and with all big events we will be asking for volunteers to help out to make this a huge success. This is not a Club Paesano event, but an Italian event. It’s being held at our club to help to support the Festa, but it is an “All Italian Club” and an “Open to the public” event. On that day, everyone becomes Italian!! I’m hoping that Club Paesano members will represent well and volunteer to help. Our own Chelle Ordway, will be sending out “Volunteer request” emails, and will have a signup sheet at our next members meeting on Wednesday July 5th. There will be many shifts to fill at different times as this event will start at 11 am and go till 9pm. Be the 1st to sign up and pick the shift of your liking. If you can work multiple shifts, that would help out tremendously too. The sign-up list will have the shift function along with the time slots that are available. These types of events can only happen with the help of our volunteers so let’s do our CP best to help out in whatever way we can! I thank you all in advance, and would like to thank our very own CP Members that sit on the Festa Committee and attend monthly meetings to help keep the Festa alive and moving.  Special thanks go out to Ed Ferraro – Festa President / Mirella Rizzatti Vice President / Chelle Ordway – Secretary & Volunteer Coordinator / Mario Pompei – Committee member/ Myself, Rick Cervi– Committee member. The committee is always looking for more ideas, input and help, so if you are interested in joining, please let one of us know so that we can add you to the Festa email and “Zoom” meeting invites. Like I always say, “Let’s do our best to make it a GREAT ONE!”

Thoughts & Prayers:

Please keep Terry Thorud in your thoughts and prayers. He’s been a long-time member and informed me of the passing of his wife ChrisChris passed away on May 13th. He would like to invite us all to her “Celebration of Life” which will be held on Saturday July 1st between 1:30pm and 4:30pm at the Gresham Elks which is located at 3330 N.E. Division St. in Gresham. Please help support both Terry and his family if you can. Let us also keep our own Kelly Barasch in our prayers. Kelly went through a major back surgery about 3 weeks ago which was a success. She is currently recovering and is gaining positive momentum. Kelly is a warrior and a trooper, so this will only help her to get stronger and to have a better well-being without all of the pain that she has experienced in the past. We miss you Kelly and can’t wait to see your smiling face and brilliant personality back at the club and on our bocce courts! Thoughts and prayers to all of our Club Paesano members, past, present and future!! If you have anyone that you would like to add to our “Thoughts & Prayers” list, please let me know and I will make sure that they are included in our newsletter.

LaCarota Question:

Due to last month’s meeting being our La Polenta dinner, June’s question winner will be selected at July’s meeting next week. We will see if we can get a new winner or will Chris Siri continue his new found domination over the coveted bottles of wine. I think that he’s stocking his wine cellar at home with all of these wins. Can the “Comeback Kid” Mario Pompei sneak in to regain his dominance, or will we have a new winner. Will we have a fresh face, an up and comer, someone who can get their name in there with the elites of this game? We will wait and see. You can’t be in the “Winners Circle” if you don’t play, so let’s see how many of you will be in the running for July’s “Holy Grail”. This month’s question is another easy one. My question is this. What annual Club Paesano Event was canceled and replaced by the “Concert in the Park”? Simple. I should receive tons of correct answers for this one! As always, you can’t win if you don’t play, so email me with your answers before our next meeting. Good Luck!

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. 

Final Thoughts:

As we move into the summer season, we have also moved into “Graduation Season”. Many of us have celebrated one for a child or been invited to relatives or friends’ graduation. They are fun and exciting not only for the graduates themselves but for the proud parents, grandparents, relatives and friends. It’s a look at our new leaders, CEO’s, government powers to be, and our future workforce. The future is in their hands as a lot of us get ready for the next chapter of our lives, “Retirement!” As we have raised them and nurtured them to become the best that they can be, I can only imagine that the best is yet to come. The future is bright and we will depend on them to take over the reins and lead us into the next dimension of our lives. We will continue to support and give guidance as most of our parents did with us, but soon they will be leaving the nest and carving out their own destinies and careers. I’d like to take this segment of the newsletter to recognize some of our families who have graduated this year and what their goals are for the near future. I apologize if I missed anyone, but these are the Kiddo’s that I know about. Bryce Vandervort. Grandson of Mario & Jayne Pompei. Bryce just graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Marcom and a minor in business. Bryce is planning on heading down to Ashland to study at the Shakespeare festival. Perhaps acting or production is in his future. Skylar Benagni, daughter of John & Monica Benagni. Skylar just graduated from Tigard High school and plans on going to PSU & PCC to acquire a business degree. Skylar would love to own her very own Event planning business in the future.

 Adriana Cervi, Proud Mom, Diane Cervi and extra proud Daddy, ME! I’m very happy to say that my “Babes” Adriana just graduated Central Catholic with straight A’s and made the “Honor Roll”. Adriana is planning on starting at PCC and would like to start a career in multi-Media. We are all proud parents, relatives and friends of all of our graduates. Here’s to their futures and here’s to them! Let us all give them the strength and support that they need. Hopefully most of them will become Club Paesano members some day and help to keep us going well into the future and beyond. Te Salute!