An Italian Christmas gala | News, Sports, Jobs

A FUN EVENING THAT HELPS A FESTIVAL AND SCHOLARSHIPS – Undo’s Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival Christmas Gala will be held November 27 at Undo’s West, 5113 National Road East, St. Clairsville, with appetizers at 4 p.m., table wine, a cookie table, an Italian auction, a seated dinner at 5 p.m. and then a dance party from 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 with reservations available through Tuesday by calling (304) 233-1090. Proceeds help award 12 $1,000 scholarships to area students in Jefferson, Brooke, Hancock, Belmont, Marshall and Ohio counties. and with the annual Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival, which marks its 40th year in 2023. Some of the auction items are, from left, Janice Whipkey, festival coordinator; Eric Filberto, member of the board of directors; and Michele Fabbro, Chair of the Board. — Contributed

You don’t have to be Italian to come to the annual Christmas gala hosted by the Undo’s Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival Committee.

But the Nov. 27 event will definitely have an Italian flair, according to Michele Fabbro de Steubenville, president of the festival’s board of directors.

The Holiday Gala takes place at Undo’s West, located at 5113 National Road East, St. Clairsville, with hors d’oeuvres at 4 p.m.; table wine; a table of Italian biscuits; an Italian auction; a seated dinner of Italian cuisine at 5 p.m.; and music from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. by the famous Ray Massa and the Eurorhythms.

Tickets are $40 and are available through Tuesday by calling (304) 233-1090.

“We would like everyone to come” said Fabbro. “It’s a big party. You obviously don’t have to be Italian to come, but the theme revolves around Italian food and Italian entertainment, but that doesn’t matter. You will have a great time no matter what. she assured.

In addition to having a fun night out and kicking off the Christmas holiday season with a dress-up opportunity, patrons help create scholarships for 12 students across the region and contribute to the success of the annual Undo’s Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival with overall expenses.

This is a special year in the life of the festival since it will be its 40th anniversary.

“The annual festival is held the last full weekend of July with two purposes: to promote and celebrate Italian culture and to raise funds for scholarships for students residing in six counties, Belmont and Jefferson in Ohio and Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Marshall counties. in West Virginia, Fabbro explained.

“Each year we award two $1,000 scholarships to students from each county,” she added. “Throughout the year, we sponsor events to help raise funds for these scholarships, and over the years we have awarded nearly $400,000 to local students,” Fabbro continued.

“The festival is a non-profit organization that raises all operating funds and relies on volunteers at the festival and throughout the year”, she added. “We are grateful to our loyal supporters and to all of our volunteers.”

The festival has only been canceled once in its history and that was in 2020 due to COVID-19. The three-day 2023 event is scheduled for July 28-30. It is held at Heritage Port in Wheeling.

This is the third year of the Christmas gala, according to Fabbro, who also said he missed a year due to pandemic precautions in place.

“We expect to have a large group of friends, family and festival supporters, and anyone in the valley who enjoys Italian food, wine, music, entertainment and just having a great night out,” said Fabbro.

“Everyone is welcome to attend the gala – Italian or non-Italian”, said Fabbro. “It’s an Italian meal and Italian music that you can listen to or dance to. It really is a great event.

The gala will include what organizers call a Venetian auction in addition to a separate design for a Christmas tree with around $500 worth of gift cards on it.

“And Ray Massa is truly nationally acclaimed,” Fabbro said entertainment. “He’s been voted the best Italian artist in the country for a few years I think, and he’s from Bellaire, Ohio, if you can believe that. He’s from Bellaire and went to college and needed to earn some dollars on the side and started this little band, and then that’s what it became. she says.

“It’s kind of a good thing, because he’s a busy guy, you know, it’s hard to have him over Christmas, but he always helps us,” she says.

The gala is just one of the festival’s fundraisers.

“It’s pretty big, but we too this year are going to have what we’ve never had before – a golf tournament, and it’s going to be July 9 in Oglebay, and they can sign up for that,” she says. “We have a wine tasting, and it’s usually on the second Friday in June, and it’s at Casa di Vino – House of Wine – in the market area of ​​Wheeling,” she added. It is located at 2269 Market St., Wheeling

Fabbro pointed out that some people mistakenly think that the Italian summer festival is “A Wheeling Festival.” “But every year we give out scholarships, so last year in 2022 the two Jefferson County scholarships, one went to a student from Catholic Central High School and the other went to a student from Steubenville High School so that each of the counties benefits from this holiday,” said Fabbro.

The gala is “a disguised event” and a chance to kick off the holiday season in style. “We don’t do it enough, I don’t think,” she commented.

The annual festival attracts up to 50,000 people over its three days, according to Fabbro. “If we have good weather, we had 50,000 people at the festival.”

Planning is already underway for the summer event and that includes accepting nominations for the Italian-American of the Year award.

“Our final vote will be in January on who it will be,” Fabbro said, noting, “We’ve had three people nominated so far, and we’re taking nominations from the public. If the public knows someone who they believe has had a real impact on the community, usually a very charitable and well-known person, they can send a letter of appointment to the board office at 1200 Market St., Suite 3, Wheeling WV 26003.”

Fabbro said that one year the Italian-American of the Year award went to a community nominee, not a festival board member.

Nomination letters should be sent before the first of the year to arrive in time for the festival board to consider at its January 12 meeting.

Anthony Filberto is president of the festival. Members of the board of directors, in addition to Fabbro as president, are Marilyn Messino Wehrheim, vice president; Angie Clutter, secretary; and John Balzano, Treasurer. Council members are: Mario DiBias, Gay Lucci and Vince Gianangeli, Belmont County; Anthony Filberto and Eric Filberto, Brooke County; Louis Contumelio, County of Hancock; John Balzano and Michele Fabbro, Jefferson County; Marilyn Messino Wehrheim, Marshall County; Chrissy Clutter, Toni DiCarlo and Robert Triveri, Ohio County; Tiberio Ciancone, Frankie DiCarlantonio and Kathryn DiCarlantonio, partners; Ali Bonoo, Angie Clutter, Alicia DiCesare, Adri DiLorenzo, Erik Schramm, Rose Mary Baller and Rosie Sprows, at large; Janice Whipkey, coordinator; and Benny Battistelli, Anthony Zambito, Vincent Colaianni and Anthony Iannarelli Sr., Founders.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox

Comments are closed.