September 2023 LaCarota
Ciao my fellow Club Paesano Members, as always, I hope that this month’s newsletter finds you all doing well. “Happy, healthy and safe”. Summer is flying by and it’s hard to believe that we are looking at our Labor Day holiday, and September. I hope that you are all having fun and enjoying the season. We start a fresh week and before you know it, we’re looking at the weekend! I don’t remember time flying by so fast. Is this what happens with age? Some of our older members, do you have an answer? LoL! We get to welcome some of our members back that have been on vacations or extended vacations, like our own Phil Potestio. He’s been gone since April. Back to the Mother Country again. Can’t wait to hear some of his stories of his stay in Italia. Hopefully we all have some good stories of this past summer and the year, and can share some of what we’ve done with our fellow members. It’s been a busy month for Club Paesano and Paesano Bocce, so here’s to a good rest of the summer!
Concert in the Park:
Our annual Concert in the Park was held on Saturday August 5th. The 1st Saturday of August every year. “5 Guys Named Moe” was our musical entertainment, and had the crowd up and dancing all night. Speaking of crowds, we had around 325 to 350 guests through our gates, and from the people I spoke to, they all had a great time. I would have loved to have seen more people, but we did good. Summer is a busy time for most and there is a lot of competition as far as things to do and different events to go to. Our concept worked out well with an entrance fee and the ability for our guests to purchase food when and as many times as they wanted to. Thank you to Marc Battilega, his family and our members that helped him in the kitchen that night and for those of you that came in on the Wednesday before to help create our famous sauce. A big thanks to all of you that came in that morning to help set up and get things cleaned up and organized for the event. Thank you, Doug Burchack, Kelly Barasch and Mario Pompei,for coming in to set up and staying to tear down. Our brothers John and Geno Benagni for making sure that our WIFI stayed up and running and our POS System stayed onall night. Thanks to all of you that came out to help. Jim Burch, Carlos Barajas, our VP, Jimmy Calcagno, and Treasurer John Kern. Secretary Jimmy Siri, Mike Potestio, Chris Siri, Chelle Ordway and all of our members that showed up and worked a shift or 2 at a designated position to make sure that everything ran well. We can’t do it without you all! Thank you, and here’s to making next year even better.
On Sunday August 20th, Club Paesano and Cedarville Park once again hosted the “Festa Italiana”. This has been our 3rd consecutive year being their host. As always, a special thanks goes out to Cedarville Park for allowing this event to happen again. Without Club Paesano and Cedarville stepping up these last 3 years, I hate to say it, but I think that the Festa would have not happened. It wasn’t our event, but we should all be proud and happy that we were able to step up and help out our Paesano’s at the Festa. I really feel that it’s so important that as Italians, we don’t let this event, our “Festa Italiana”, go away. If it ever does, I know that it will be tough to revive and bring it back! It’s been 32 years that it’s been a staple for our Italian community here in the Portland /Vancouver area. I hope that we can someday bring it back to its glory days of a multiple day event. Whether it’s still being held at Cedarville Park or if they decide to move it elsewhere, I feel that we Italians need our own party! Like most of the other ethnic communities that have their own celebration, we definitely need to keep ours going. Once again, I thank all of you that came in to help and volunteer at the different positions. I want to give a huge shout out to our own Greg DeMaestri, for stepping into the kitchen and putting out a fabulous menu for our guests to enjoy. It was a couple of weeks in the works, making fresh Bolognese sauce, and everything else that he created. Our guests loved it, and I heard nothing but great things from them. Thank you to all that helped in the kitchen, prepping, cooking, working the food booth and then all of the clean up after the fact. Special thanks to all of you that spent multiple hours in the kitchen helping to make it a success. Lori Bass (Greg’s fiancé) Jimmy Calcagno, Carlos Barajas, Jimmy Burch, Diane Cervi. Geno Benagni for pulling double duties, keeping the internet and POS System going along with frying Arancini (Italian rice balls). A lot of you multitasked to make it a success. All of you that stayed to help clean up later. Chris Siri who stayed behind the bar to make sure that things ran smoothly. I’d also like to thank Chelle Ordway for being our “Volunteer Coordinator” for both our Concert in the Park and the Festa Italiana. Once again, none of this could be done without the help of our members and our volunteers. This is a huge thank you to all of our CP Members and all of the other volunteers that came out to help make it great! THANK YOU!
Italian Farmer’s Picnic:
On Sunday August 6th, Joe Rossi and “Rossi Farms” hosted their 2nd annual Italian Farmers Picnic. Joe brought this event back last year as homage to the Farmers picnic of a time gone by. The Farmers and Ranchers picnic used to be held on the 1st Sunday of August and ran for many years. Unfortunately like a lot of other traditions, it went away. Joe graciously picked it back up last year, and has held it at his own house. All Italians were invited, especially Paesano’s and Joe hosted everything for us. What a fantastic host!! He had an array of food once again prepared by our own Greg DeMaestri. The Peroni beer and Italian wine was flowing along with a live musical group for our listening and dancing pleasure. What a fantastic event and one that I hope never goes away again. Thank you once again Joe Rossi for being such a gracious host and for reviving this very special Italian event. See you all next year!
Members Appreciation BBQ:
This year’s Members Appreciation BBQ, will be held on Sunday September 10th, starting at noon. We have a special menu this year. It will be a roasted rotisserie pig that we are getting from Kuya’s Islander Cafe in Gresham. Fred Asa the owner will be preparing it and bringing it in for our lunch. I’ve had it from his restaurant before and trust me, you’ll be in for a treat! We’ll also have Hawaiian Mac with a veggie side. I’m sure that none of you will walk away hungry. I’d like to have a head count so that we know how much of our side dishes to order so please send me an “RSVP” with how many of you will be coming. As always, this appreciation dinner is for members and their spouse, partner or a friend only. It’s not for the whole family. We will allow you to bring in your own wine as well if you would like. If the weather is nice, we will hold it outside under the Pavilion, if not it will be inside the lodge. Please let me know if you plan on being there. Email, call or text me at [email protected] or 503-891-7374
Monday Night Social:
Our Monday Night Social will be making its return on Monday September 11th. The Monday after Labor Day. As always, we will have food, drink, football, Left, Right, Center and a whole lot of laughs! If you haven’t been to one yet or it’s been a while since you’ve been there, make a plan on checking it out. We always have fun and you never know what gourmet meal you will be enjoying that night. All of our participants take a turn at preparing or bringing in a dinner to feed the group. Trust me, we’ve all been treated to some fantastic dinners. Sometimes it’s a collaboration of a couple different members combining their talents to serve us a masterpiece of culinary magic! How does that sound? LoL! This isn’t a mandatory night that anyone has to attend, but it’s voluntary and a great chance for you to get to know and spend time with your fellow CP members. You’ll be surprised what you’ll get to know. A lot of good history of the club, but more important, the chance to really spend time and converse with some of your fellow friends. We welcome everyone and nothing is set in stone, we can do whatever we want. Mondays are for members only, but we welcome you to bring a nonmember in on every 1st Monday of the month. This includes spouses, partners and friends, hopefully potential new members too. Hope to see you there!
New Members Applications:
It’s that time of the year again. If you have a potential candidate that is interested in becoming a member and that you feel would be a good fit for CP and us for them, then please have them fill out a membership application and turn it in to me by the end of September. That is the cut off day, but I may make an exception depending on the circumstances. I already have 3 turned in. 2 of them were in May. These people are serious and want to be a part of this special place. I’ve had the chance to speak to each of them and made it clear what we expect from them to be a CP Member. They have all agreed. We really want to make sure that our potential members are quality people who want to participate and want to really be a part of this. We don’t need any more members that are “Part time” members. We want members who love the club and want to be here. We want members who will participate and promote the club wanting to take it to that next level. We want members that will work hard, but will also take the time to come out and have fun with us too. Out of club events, ideas and new ways of thinking are more than welcomed. These are the type of people that we need and I would love to have as members. If you have someone in mind, that’s great, but please take all of these characteristics into account, and please make sure that they have a majority of them. We have plenty of room to grow and if we start to get near the 100-member mark, then maybe we can consider getting that bylaw changed to accommodate more members, but we need to get there 1st. Get your apps in soon. Thanks
Members’ Dues & Payments:
“Same as last month”
Cedarville Lodge & Park Shares:
“Same as last month”
Cedarville Lodge & Park Rentals:
“Same as last month”
Saturday October 21st will be the night of our popular “Halloween Dance”. No time like the present to start planning on what costume to wear, and how many people you will be inviting. Our Charity Partner will be the “Pink Sista’s” and our musical entertainment will be the “Design Band”. I’ll have more info on next month’s newsletter, but why not start to plan?
Paesano Bocce Club:
Well, it’s hard to believe, but our 4 nights of bocce leagues have come to an end, with our championship Sunday that took place on Sunday August 13th. It was really 4 nights of enjoyment, challenge, improvement, winners, losers, and a whole lot of fun! The most important thing was that everyone had fun but also learned the skill of bocce. From our most skilled night on Mondays to our “Rookie” night on Thursday, it was on! Our competitors were for the most part, in it to win it! They had a great time, but took the game seriously when they needed to. It was fantastic to see the improvement of everyone’s game, even some of our most challenged players came through and added skill to their game. So many players are coming back next year, with a lot of them already signed up and going to play in our Fall league coming up on Sunday morning, September 10th. Sign up at 9 am. August was a busy month for our bocce club. We had our annual “Gresham Ford” sponsored “Mixed Doubles” Tournament, which I’m very happy to say that my partner Stephanie Kyle (Domenic Giusto’s Fiancé) and I took 1st. It was the 2nd time in two years! We had our Championship Sunday for all 4 league nights. Our annual” Festa Tournament” was held last Sunday the 20th and we are holding our “Singles” Championship for both Men and Women this coming Sunday the 27th. As I said, a busy month. On Sunday September 10th at 9am we will start our “Fall Season”. It will be played as an “Il Sacco” format which means that you will be randomly selected to teams which will include all skill levels. Every week you will be on a different team, but your points will be accumulated on your wins for that week. We will also give you a chance to learn or hone your shooting skills. At the end of your 3 games played (each to 12) you will get the opportunity to shoot or “Hard Lag”, 4 times to accumulate even more points for your day’s tally. The cost will be $25 for the league and we will play until the weather tells us that we can’t anymore. Too wet or too cold. If you are interested in coming out to play and want to join, please contact our Competition Chair, Brad Cotton at [email protected] by Friday September 8th. We now have an official Paesano Bocce Club Facebook page that you can go on and join to check out what’s happening in our bocce world. Upcoming and past events. Pictures, videos of games, etc. It’s really nice. Go on to join and check it out. Of course, we have our website too where you can go to check out standings, league and tournament outcomes, and you can sign up and pay your dues as well. We also have pavers, apparel and advertising signs for sale too. You can also make monetary donations to our “Cover the Courts” campaign to raise money to put a roof over our courts. Anything will help. Check it out. www.paesanobocceclub.com. Thank you to our Bocce Board of Directors for all of your hard work this season and for making it a complete success! President: Mario Pompei / Treasurer: Rick Cervi / Competition Chair: Brad Cotton & Kelly Barasch / Officers: Doug Burchak & Dino Gavazza. Special thanks to “IL Capitano” Larry Cereghino for all of your back breaking work around the courts especially laying all of our pavers. Thank you all for all that you do!! We will continue to have meetings on the off season and throughout the winter. If you would like to become involved, please contact any of us for info or questions. The more ideas and help, the better. Here’s to some more BOCCE!
Thoughts & Prayers:
Our thoughts and prayers this month go out to Becky Cereghino who just had a successful knee replacement surgery and is now at home recovering. Please keep her recovery in your prayers and reach out to give her a call to let her know that you are thinking of her. I know that most of you know Becky. Also let’s give a prayer to Debbie Calcagno, Jimmy’s wife, who is having some hip issues and just went in for a shot of cortisone to help ease the pain. Many of you know Deb as well so I’m sure that she would love to hear from you too. If you have anyone else that needs an extra prayer, please let me know and I will mention them in this segment. Of course, many thoughts and prayers to all of our members and their families, past present and future.
La Carota Question:
Once again, Jimmy “Bam Bam” Burch was the winner of last month’s bottle of Vino. Jimmy has been a constant in answering the questions. His tenaciousness and his “Never give up” attitude have put him on the map for winning the “Holy Grail”. I really think that he is catching up to the all-time winner, Mario “The Punisher” Pompei, that’s “Pom-pei”! I’ll have to look at my records to see how close Jimmy is getting. It’s got to be close! Jimmy is just proof that, “you can’t win if you don’t play”! Way to go J.B.
Seeing we just got done with the 32nd Festa Italiana Portland, I’m going to stick with the Festa theme. This month’s question is, “What major Italian Festival is held in September?” This should be another easy one as this Festival is also huge in the Italian communities of the United States too. All winning answers will be entered to win the coveted bottle of Vino. Let’s see if anyone can knock the “Tenacious” one off of his winning ways!
I want to dedicate my “Final Thoughts” segment to two very special people who have been instrumental and very involved with all things “Italian” in the Portland area. These two have been involved with the Festa Italiana for so many years helping them to fundraise and have been on their committee, to keep the wheels from falling off of said bus. 2 years ago, they joined our club and became members. They’ve helped us and have done a lot of promotion for us too. I got to know them a lot better since they became members and consider them both friends and friends to many of you. These two friends are Anna Salanti and Frank Cook. Anna and Frank exemplified being part of our Italian community and did whatever they could to try to help and make it better for all of us. They really enjoyed our Italian family and wanted to be around it. When they asked to join CP, I was more than happy and honored to have them come on board and join our Famiglia. It’s been great having them with us as they are great people. Unfortunately for us, Anna and Frank have decided to move out of Oregon and will call Texas their new home. They will be moving in the next week. If you didn’t know and you’d like to wish them well, I’m sure that they would love to hear from you. I know that with the days of social media and all, it’s easier to stay connected, but it’s never the same as being in person. Anna and Frank, I want to wish you all the best in your new home and state, and want to thank you for all that you both did for the Italian community in our area. You will truly be missed, but you will always have a home with us here and our CP Family. I hope that you will come to visit us when you come back to Portland and please don’t forget about us. We will always be here for you both. Hopefully I’ll get to see you in November! Lots of love to you both and all the best from your Famigla!
Ciao & Ti Salute!
Rick & Our CP Famiglia