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Annual Report March 16, 2017

Dear Este Friends,

As the Fredericksburg-Este Association completes its second full year of formal incorporation, we continue to grow and to thrive, thanks to the efforts of so many. Our good success has been achieved by strong volunteer leadership and innovative programming. But that doesn’t tell the complete story.

We now have over 115 members, and dozens of friends who attend our events, volunteer their help, offer in-kind donations, and spread the word.

Special thanks must be expressed to all our membership: Individual, Family and Sustaining Members, who do exactly that— offer sustaining financial support that enables us to continue an ambitious agenda.

And our thanks for the support from our Mayor, Mary Katherine Greenlaw; Brenda Martin, executive assistant to the Mayor and our City liaison; Jane Shelhorse, the head of the City’s Parks and Rec; and Carly Hedge and the good people at the Dorothy Hart Community Center. Their contributions to our success cannot be overstated. Their support makes it possible for us to accomplish things that otherwise simply would not happen.

So many highlights shine throughout this year.

In April, we celebrated the signing of our sister city proclamation agreement by Mayor Greenlaw and Mayor Piva during an event-filled week.

We completed the purchase of 120 Italian flags and poles, which now can be mounted in full display on light poles throughout our downtown, and which mark significant events with our Italian friends.

We continue to present free authoritative lectures about Italian topics, during which we offer wine and social time as an added delight.

We mounted a major Italian classical musical program, also free, working with the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony and featuring an outstanding soprano talent.

In May, one of our members guest-lectured in several Este high schools to English language students about American history, literature and art.

We successfully accomplished our first artist exchange, sending a Fredericksburg potter to Este for two weeks, and raising funds to offset the expense. We also successfully collaborated with LibertyTown, which co-sponsored this ambitious and exciting venture.

We began an organizational relationship with Orofino’s, an Italian restaurant in downtown Fredericksburg. They have given us a wall on which we installed a “Visual Appetizer” of photos by the Este Photography Club. Orofino’s has also offered us more display room with their new addition. Many members participate in their monthly regional cuisine tasting dinners.

In September, we also successfully pulled off the biggest pizza party that Our Fair City has ever had! Our Pizza Palooza fundraiser, complete with beer and Beetles-based rock ‘n roll, drew about 700 to Market Square, where our guests decided who made the best pizza in the ‘Burg. It was a great time!

September also saw us featured for a second time on Ted Schubel’s popular early-morning radio interview show, “Town Talk.”

In late October, we hosted a small group of Este friends, here to deepen our friendship and to explore additional avenues where we can cooperate. These include ongoing discussions with Mary Washington Hospital, with Germanna Community College, and with the Rappahannock Rotary Club.

We participated in numerous dinners and celebrations, including a Christmas party for board members and spouses. And for our second straight year, we gathered to greet the New Year and observe La Bafana, the traditional Italian feast at Epiphany.

On the administrative side of our organizational life, we also have made progress.

We examined and re-defined board member duties and responsibilities, and added two board positions—Arts and Culture, and Education, to our roster.

We re-assigned the Fundraising function from a board position to the responsibility of a Long-Range Planning Committee. The new committee is responsible for scheduling and balancing our offerings, and coordinating our planning with fundraising and manpower capacity.

We established Programming as a newly defined board position. We are examining our by-laws, and are continuing to refine and adjust our governing document. We established a straightforward accounting system, and purchased organizational insurance.

A busy year, and a good one. We are delighted that you are a part of our love of all-things-Italian!

--Kathryn Willis, President


Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw at City Council Chambers, presenting gifts from Mayor Piva and from the City of Fredericksburg, at the official Proclamation Signing Ceremony, April 13, 2017. Massimo Girodano and Mariateresa Bertoletti represented Este, and Mayor Piva joined via Skype from Council Chambers.

Joyous celebration cruise on the Potomac with Massimo and friends to mark the grand occasion of Proclamation signing!

The Association purchased and donated 120 Italian flags which now fly along old town streets to mark significant events with our sister city in Este.

In September, Cathy Herndon working hard—we ALL did!-- to prepare for the Fabulous Pizza Palooza! We had over 700 people come for pizza, beer and rock ‘n roll!

In October, Dr. Giuseppe Ieva and friends from Este presented City Council with greetings from Este’s new mayor. Continued conversations about future exchanges occurred with the Hospital, the Rotary, and Germanna.

Also in October, Neal Reed, Fredericksburg potter, was selected as our first artist exchange honoree. Neal spent two weeks in Este working with Alfredo dal Santo. We held a reception at LibertyTown in November to showcase Neal’s work.

In November, Soprano Toni Maxine performed at our first Italian Composer concert, in coordination with the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony. The free concert was well attended and received rave reviews from an appreciative audience.

In January, we gathered for our second celebration of La Bafana, the traditional Italian feast on Epiphany, where the world is swept clean and the new year begins afresh. Lovely buffet at Renato’s, and well attended.

In February, we joined with our Frejus friends in celebrating Mardi Gras/Carnivale, for which many of our members took up the challenge for the traditional costume revelry.



Spring 2016

March 16 Annual Meeting - Headquarters Library, 1201 Caroline Street.

March 18 First 2016 Fred-Este Lecture

Dr. Rusty Neal An Evening of Religious and Political History.

St. George’s Episcopal. 6 PM.

These lectures begin with a social moment, including wine and small bites. Then, an authority in an Italian-related topic speaks. These evenings have been quite successful and well-attended. They are offered free, and are open to the public.

The lecture series is organized and run by Rene Rodriguez, Program chair.

April 8-13: Fredericksburg-Este Proclamation Signing Week

Italian visitors Giuseppe Ieva, Mariateresa Bertoletti, Marcello Pistorio, Massimo Girodano, and Elisa Sette arrived to represent Este during the week’s festivities. A welcome reception for our visitors and their host families was held at the home of Laurie Baird Hurley. Host families included Earl and Pat Baughman, Laurie Baird Hurley, and Bob and Barbara Antozzi.

The Official Signing Ceremony, held April 13 in City Council Chambers, included a Skype Connection so that Mayor Giancarlo Piva could sign the documents simultaneously with Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw. A reception was held immediately after the ceremony. That evening, a formal Proclamation Membership Dinner was held in elegant Fredericksburg Square, and signed copies of the Proclamation were given to our Founding Members.

The week also included a reception at LibertyTown; an all-member party at Ashley Bevilaqua Anglin’s home; a DC tour day followed by a fun dinner Potomac River cruise aboard the Dandy; an invitation from the Rappahannock Rotary Club breakfast meeting for our Italian guests; and an Italian feast held at the home of Bob and Barbara Antozzi.

The delegation continued to explore possibilities for joint endeavors. Mariateresa Bertoletti: toured the birthing simulation center at Germanna Community College, and the obstetrics department of Mary Washington Hospital. Giuseppe Ieva discussed physician visit and exchange possibilities with Mary Washington Hospital staff. Lauretta Spada, a preschool teacher, observed several area preschools with Montessori-based programs.

Our Este friends also toured many Virginia historic sites, including Richmond and Charlottesville.

The week’s celebrations were rounded out with a membership cocktail party at the home of Cathy Herndon, a dinner at the home of Doug Gately, and a farewell breakfast at the home of Jim and Susan Pates.

Of note: The Association purchased and donated 120 Italian Flags for display during Italian visits, events, and programs in the City. This project was spearheaded by Vice President Bob Antozzi. Bob Antozzi also has led the effort to import wines from Este’s Monte Fasolo winery for distribution through Total Wine. In addition, Bob also served as head of a committee charged with redefining board position descriptions, and effectively manages the interface with the Association and the City’s Parks and Rec department.

May 2016—One of our members volunteered as guest lecturer in Este area high schools to English language students, in American history, art, and culture, for two weeks. Scheduling was coordinated with Mariateresa Bertolletti in Este area schools.

Summer 2016

Planning for Pizza Palooza, the Fred-Este fundraiser in Market Square. Pizza by the slice, supplied by multiple vendors; judging of the best cheese and specialty pizza, and voting by the crowd for people’s choice. Rock ‘n roll cover band, festive patio tables and umbrellas, and Italian décor in Market Square. Set for September 2016. The Pizza Palooza steering committee members were Bob Antozzi, Rene Rodriguez, and Chip Willis.

Arts and Culture position was added to Board. The board voted unanimously for Lisa Durham to head this new endeavor. She was charged to work with LibertyTown to plan for artist exchange for fall as well as to plan for Este Photo Club exhibit, through which the work of Este photographers will be displayed in 2017 in Fredericksburg.

Fall 2016

Sept 12-Ted Schubel Town Talk: Fredericksburg-Este and Frejus sister city activities highlighted in this hour-long morning radio show.

Pizza Palooza. Sept. 17 4-8 PM, Market Square. Pizza, beer, and rock ‘n roll were winning combinations for our first big fundraiser, held in Market Square. B101.5 helped

promote our big bash, which featured Beatles cover band Acoustic Onion, and pizza by the slice by Vocelli (judge’s choice winner for both best cheese and best specialty); and Primavera (people’s choice winner). Orofino’s and Domino’s filled out the pizza service, and the City Parks and Rec crew contributed hugely in set up and take down of tables, chairs, and décor. We estimate that 700 folks came out to party. A great success!

Sept 28-Oct 11: Neal Reed, long-time accomplished potter, was chosen as Fred-Este’s artist representative to participate in an artist exchange. Neal lived and worked in Este alongside their accomplished potter, Alfredo dal Santo. Funds for the exchange were raised through a Go-Fund-Me campaign, which earned contributors the opportunity to win an original Neal Reed work. Lisa Durham, Arts and Cultural Chair, worked with LibertyTown to co-sponsor this very successful program. Upon his return, Neal displayed works from his Italian visit and talked about his trip, at a LibertyTown reception on Nov. 6.

Oct. 14-Second Fred-Este Lecture

Dr. Preston Thayer La Biennale de Venetia

St. George’s Episcopal, 6 PM. Free.

Oct 24-Nov 6—Small Este visitor delegation:

Giuseppe Ieva, Lauretta Spada, Catarina Gallante

At the October 25 City Council meeting, Dr. Giuseppe Ieva presented a letter of congratulations and welcome to Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, to mark her re-election, and to confirm the continued Este friendship from Roberta Gallana, Este’s new mayor, at City Council meeting.

Among activities for the small delegation were a tour of Fredericksburg, a tour of Chatham and other historic sites, annotated by Scott Walker, and a guest breakfast by the Rappahannock Rotary Club. Dr. Ieva continued conversation with Mary Washington Hospital. Members hosted a tour of Charlottesville and Richmond, and Lauretta Spada, a Montessori preschool teacher, observed at several area preschools. Cathy Herndon hosted an all-member cocktail party, and a pot-luck farewell dinner was hosted by Vicki and Jim Lewis. Another highlight was the LibertyTown reception and talk by Neal Read, spotlighting his artist exchange visit.

Nov. 4: First Italian Composer Series: Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony, with conductor Aaron Noe, featuring soprano Toni Maxine, was held at St. George’s, free and open to the public. The works of Verdi, Puccini, Bellini, and area composers were featured. A wonderful evening, well attended. This performance was organized and run by Rene Rodriguez, board member for Program.

Nov. 4: Our Italian visitors and a small delegation from the Fred-Este Association were guests at the Italian Embassy for their National Day celebration.

Nov. 11 –Third Fred-Este Lecture

Dr. Kevin McCluskey Fashion and Clothing Production in Renaissance Italy

St. George’s Episcopal, 6 PM. Free.

Winter 2016-17

Dec. 13: Board Christmas party. We gathered at Lisa Durham’s home to celebrate the season and to toast a great year.

Jan. 6: La Bafana at Renato’s. A buffet dinner featuring Italian selections, open to all membership, marked the celebration of this Italian traditional feast, when La Bafana visits homes and sweeps away misfortunes, readying all for a fresh new start. Organized by Rene Rodriguez, Program chair.

Feb. 10: Fourth Fred-Este Lecture

Dr. Rusty Neal, An Evening of Science and Discovery—Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei

St. George’s Episcopal. 6 PM. Free.

Feb. 15: International Night at Walker-Grant

Fred-Este was represented at a booth so that middle school students could explore international opportunities in the Fredericksburg area.

Feb. 24: Mardi Gras/Carnivale

Many of our members joined with our Frejus sister city friends to celebrate this “Fat Tuesday” tradition that marks the beginning of Lent. Costumes, revelry and the traditional menu of jambalaya, red beans and rice, and King Cake were highlights.

Spring 2017

March 10. Fifth Fred-Este Lecture

Nancy Heyward, Giotto and the Scrovegni Chapel, Padova

St. George’s Church, 6 PM. Free.

March 16. Annual Meeting

6 PM. Central Rappahannock Regional Library

1201 Caroline Street.

Scott Walker, Guest Speaker

Thank you to all our Sustaining, Family, and Individual Members!

Your support makes all these things possible!


Thank you, also, to our hard-working board.

2016-17 Board Members

Kathryn Willis, President

Bob Antozzi, Vice President

Carolyn Van Der Jagt, Secretary

Chip Willis, Treasurer

Cathy Herndon, Membership

Rene Rodriguez, Program

Laurie Baird Hurley, Historian

Ashley Bevilaqua Anglin, Communications

Lisa Durham, Arts and Culture


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