Pagano family reunion celebrates 65 years
The Pagano Family celebrated their 65th reunion at Willow Creek Winery on July 27, among the grape vineyards where many of them were born years ago. The weather was bright and sunny. Family members came from California, Arizona, Nebraska, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and many local villages and cities.
The event was started with a welcome speech by Masters of Ceremonies Michael T. Pagano, Joseph Bowers, and Emily Bowers. A short business meeting was held after dinner. A moment of silence was given for all the deceased members of the family, and for those who passed away since the last reunion including Rose Ricotta, Peter Bifaro, and Gerald Williams. The following guests were welcomed, including Melina Homsi, Jason Wilson, Nick Kavanaugh, Zander and Tyler Czajkowski, Tom Feldman and Pat Newberry. A catered dinner was served at 1 p.m. and pizza and wings were enjoyed at 3 p.m. Ron and Marianne Bowers took the family picture.
As is tradition, a “rotation of birthdays” was celebrated. This year, all members and guests with birthdays in July and August were announced as the crowd sang “Happy Birthday.” July birthdays included Bruce J. Valvo, Shelbi Restivo, Kevin Heaney, and Frank Pagano. August birthdays included Samuel Bowers, Kimberly Caine, Terry Nelis, Lauren Dolce, Dick Dolce, Johnny Pagano, Charlie Pagano and Christine Pagano.
Prizes were awarded to Frank Pagano, Charles Ricotta, and David Gizzi Sr. for a three-way tie for the first reservations received. Prizes were presented to the oldest male family member present (Tom Tedesco) and the oldest female family member present (Nina Tedesco). Prizes were presented to the youngest male family member present (Isaiah Restivo) and the youngest female family member present (Isabelle Mendez). The farthest-travelled prize went to Kathy Buresh, with honorable mention to Sam and Steve Pagano. Michael Caine kept the children busy with all kinds of games, prizes, and a pinata. Christine Caine officially volunteered to take over the children’s games for next year. Many raffles were held and prizes were won. Joseph, Emily, and Sam Bowers were in charge of the ticket selling and prize calling. The winners of the 50/25/25 raffle were Sam Pagano and Emily Bowers, who both donated their winnings back to the reunion.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was the presentation of the winners of the horseshoe contest. First place winners were Michael T. Pagano and Christine Caine, who received a trophy and cash prizes. Second place winners were Ron Bowers and Jenn Pagan Kimbler, who received cash prizes.
Mary Lou Pagano recognized the following people for assisting with the reunion: Beverly Pagano (chairperson), Linda Williams, Michael T. Pagano Sr. and Jr., Dick and Joel Dolce, Joe Dolce, Jenn Restivo, Michael G. Pagano, Michael Caine, and Ron, Marianne, Joseph, Emily, and Samuel Bowers. Nearing the end of the reunion, Mary Lou Pagano announced that due to health issues she will no longer be able to coordinate the reunion. After a request for new leadership, Kathy Dolce and Lauren Dolce came forward and agreed to take it over. Mary Lou thanked all the members who have helped her in the many years she coordinated the reunion.
The committee members who will assist with the 2020 reunion are Jackie Pagano Miller, Benedette and Romer Mendez, and Dick Dolce. The next reunion will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Michael T. Pagano closed the reunion with a big thank you to all those present, and all those who helped to make this another successful Pagano Reunion.