top of page

Fredericksburg-Este Association Newsletter August 2022

Dear Friends of Italy,

It’s been too long!

But we’re slowly easing back into programming. Here’s what’s happening.

And…if you’ve not renewed your membership, please do! Membership makes you eligible for travel to Italy, and for participation in local members-only activities. If you sign up or renew at the sustainer level, we have a special gift for you! Just go to

Next Up:

Adult Visit from Este

September 12-21

10-12 guests from the Este group

We have had excellent response from several of you who want to be involved in the Adult Exchange, one of our major events.

We’ve already begun with hosting our Este friends! So far, we have 10 good folks who have volunteered to host and to share in fun and friendship with Este visitors.

If you’re considering hosting, please email Bill Hatch at If you’d like to participate in one or more of our planned activities, as an event host, or driver, or organizer, we need you! Please email Kathryn Willis at Hosting and leading an event are great ways to make friends with our Italian friends and to have a great time!

At the end of this newsletter, you’ll find Host Family Information, as well as an early break-out of the daily activities. We have identified more than the 12-guest limit as hosts, because life happens. We will be working on more detailed information, for instance, smoker/non-smoker; single guest + single guest, or married/partnered guests; pet allergies, and the like.

Apologies to at least two of you! You have offered to host; I did not note it down when your kind offer landed in my message/email/text, and now I’m searching…in vain! If you’d like to add your names (and any others of you) as potential hosts, please email:

AND: If you speak Italian, we could certainly use your skills for one or two of the outings we’ve planned. It’s a challenge for non-English speakers to truly understand what they’re experiencing without a translation. Please let us know if you’d be available, or know Italian speakers who may wish to help.

WE’VE BEGUN CREATING A SCHEDULE for our Este friends. This is a working draft, and may change as we finalize details. Here is a simplified list by days:

Sept. 12 - Arrival; host greetings, welcome kit, overview of week ahead

Sept. 13 - Free day for orientation. Welcome dinner for all members + Guests

Sept. 14 - Rotary Breakfast. Trolley Tour w/ Ital. translation. Lunch downtown . Ferry Farm tour in afternoon. Henderson’s host All-American barbeque

Sept. 15 - Tour of Montpelier. Lunch in Gordonsville. Barboursville Wine (Zonin winery connection in Veneto. Perhaps a tour in Italian?) Dinner, and return to Fredericksburg

Sept. 16 - Local day. Host activity day, either with guests or in group with one or two other host families? Perhaps Museum? Marine Corps Museum? Tubing on River? Etc.

Sept. 17 - DAY: hosts in charge. 4 PM: Meet at Market Square for set-up of Pizza Palooza

Sept. 18 - Afternoon pool party and picnic at Nathalie Bullock home

Sept. 19 - D. C. Tour day. Monuments, museums, etc. Evening: Dinner Cruise on Potomac

Sept. 20 - Richmond Tour day. Museums, historic venues, etc. FAREWELL DINNER

Sept. 21 - Departure. Gather at designated meeting spot for transport to Dulles.

If you’d like to lend a hand for any of these day activities, please let us know.


2022 Artist Exchange

Cathy Herndon’s artist exchange and mural creation in Este was warmly received and was a big success! She worked with severely disabled students, and created a spectacular mural of a descending dove with words of peace and encouragement. The wall is very near a school, so it is seen by an important audience!

Cathy also mounted an art exhibit of her work, which spanned several years and included several neon pieces. She shared the exhibit space with Andrea Rimondo, an interpretive sculptor who often works with large wooden tree trunks to chisel out human figures in expressive positions.

Cathy was hosted by Franco Rubino, an outstanding Este photographer, who was very attentive to Cathy during her stay. Franco hosted lunches on his outdoor balcony overlooking the river that flows through Este, as well as seeing to Cathy’s transportation and art supply needs. In fact, the Este group extended friendship, fun, and food to Cathy, and to Bob and Barbara Antozzi, and Chip and Kathryn Willis, who made the trip to help Cathy mount and repack her artwork.

A 16th century church, no longer in use, has been repurposed as an exhibit space, and served as the venue for this dual artist exhibit. Well-attended by Este friends, the show was also well-received. Cathy sold several of her works.

When she returned, Cathy held an evening’s exhibit of her works at LibertyTown, and dozens of our members came to hear and to see. Thanks to LibertyTown for its ever-welcoming cooperation in these joint ventures!

Cathy also created three works which were awarded to three people who contributed to her GoFundMe drive. The winners are Laurie Baird Hurley, Tina Evans Zook, and Carolyn VanDerJagt. The artwork is part of Cathy’s Portholes series, and was created specifically for this fundraiser as a thank you. Congratulations to our winners.

The Fred-Este Association’s Artist Exchange program has now sent two Fredericksburg artists, Neal Reed and Cathy Herndon, for a three-week stay in Este; and Nadir Frizzarin, an Este artist, visited here for three weeks in 2018. This program is among our most successful exchanges, and we intend to continue with hosting Este photographer Franco Rubini in spring of 2023.

Cathy Herndon Art Winners

Here are photos of the three winners of Cathy Herndon’s artwork. Their lucky tickets were drawn from the bowl of names of the contributors to Cathy’s GoFundMe campaign, to help defray the cost of her travels to Este this past spring.



Annual Meeting 2022

We met at the Downtown Library in April for our first annual meeting since 2019! We had organized the March 2020 meeting, but finally cancelled it about 2 weeks prior to the date! We reviewed the activities that had continued during the pandemic: mostly low key and administrative. But we also reported on the Artist Exchange Program, on Pizza Palooza, which we held in September 2021, and on upcoming events: Adult Exchange (Sept. 12-21); Pizza Palooza 2022 (September 17, Market Square); a lecture on Italian music (October 14, St. George’s), and the Italian Composers Concert (October 21, St. George’s).

We also reviewed the Annual Report for 2019-20 year, and reported that our balance is $32,190.13.

All board members currently serving are in mid-term of their two-year term, except for the President. The Nominating Committee had identified a candidate for president; however, the candidate withdrew from consideration two days prior to the meeting. Kathryn Willis, who has served as president since 2014, has agreed to continue serving as president until a suitable presidential candidate is nominated. We hope to have a viable presidential candidate when we meet again in March of 2023.

Our present board:

Kathryn Willis, president

Scott Walker, vice-president

Claire Simpson, secretary

Chip Willis, treasurer

Deb Newman, webmaster, and Pizza Palooza

Odile Pryor, programs

Bob Bevilaqua, at-large, and Italian composers concert

Bob Antozzi, at-large

Pat Baughman, historian

Bill Hatch, membership

If you’d like to stand for board membership, do contact us at


Pizza Palooza!

Our signature event, Pizza Palooza!, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 5-9 PM, in Market Square. Acoustic Onion will fill the air with Beatles tunes and other classic rock ‘n roll; we will have pizza vendors dishing up warm cheezy triangles at $1 a slice; Gelato cart will serve the cold smooth Italian ice cream; wine and beer at $5/ serving, and water and soft drinks will be sold.

B101.5 is once more partnering with us, and sponsors will also contribute to the evening’s success. At $250 per sponsorship, it’s a bargain way for businesses to have hundreds of viewers to see logos and learn about services. And they get a spiffy custom-made banner as a thank-you. Know someone? Again, let us know.

Lots of planning goes into this very fun event, and we can always use volunteers. Shifts are two hours long, with decoration put-up at 4, and then take-down at 9. This is FUN! And you get a spiffy thank-you gift (surprise!) for volunteering. Please email Deb Newman at, or, addressed to Deb. Grazie!!


Chamber Chorale Concert and Italian Music Lecture

Mark your calendars!

Italian Music Lecture

On Friday, October 14, Dr. Brooks Kuykendall, head of the Music Department at UMW, will be our guest speaker to share with us a general overview of Italian music. We are meeting once more in the downstairs room, Sydnor Hall, of St. George’s Church. The entrance is off George Street.

Wine, soft drinks, and finger foods will be offered. We will gather at 6:30 pm to have a chance to say hello before the talk begins. We are all so pleased to begin our popular lecture series. There is no admission fee, but donations are welcomed.

William P. Carter Memorial Italian Composers Concert

On Friday, October 21, The Fredericksburg Chamber Chorale will once more share their exceptional talents for a free concert. Both Italian and American composers are featured in this concert series, honoring Bill Carter, an enthusiastic member of our organization, who died suddenly.

The Chamber Chorale is one of the area’s premier music groups, and the quality of their performances always excels. The concert begins at 7 PM, and lasts a little over an hour. It will be held in the sanctuary of St. George’s.

The concert is free, so bring friends. Your donations are also gratefully accepted.

So, lots of events coming up! Do consider volunteering for the adult visit and for Pizza Palooza! It’s a wonderful time to make friends with your fellow Este members! If you can drive for one or more of our events, that would be great.

We need:

- A person in charge for each day’s activities. (coordinating logistics, arranging for tickets, transportation, etc.)

- Drivers for each event. (drive to location, participate, and drive home)

- Helpers at the events (set up and clean up; décor, etc.)

- Other services as needed

And…below you’ll find a summary of hosting guidelines for the adult visit.

See you all very soon!


Este Delegation Visit

September 12-21, 2022

Host Family Information

1. Week’s schedule. Please review the schedule of activities with your guests when they arrive. Some of the activities are local, and some will require travel. Please review the upcoming schedules with them, and then again go over the day’s schedule each day.

2. Transportation. Please plan to drive your Este guest to and from the week’s local activities. We will designate a point of departure, an arrival time, and a return time for the trips. You might want to arrange transportation with another Este host so you can pool the driving duties.

3. Meals. Please plan to serve coffee and light breakfast fare to your guest. Most lunches and many dinners will be provided as a part of the day’s activities. Meal schedules will be included in the schedule breakout.

4. Pizza Palooza. Our signature event is on Saturday, September 17. Este guests are encouraged to help with set-up, beginning at about 4 PM in Market Square. Please provide a folding chair for your guest.

5. Free time. We will build in several days for you, as host, to plan activities for your guests. This fun one-on-one time is great for building relationships.

6. Logistics. Guests may need your help with ATMs, internet connectivity, charging equipment for electronic devices, etc. You might help your guests to remember an ATM visit so that they will have some money for optional spending during trips and activities.

7. Tips and customs. Please share that in the U.S., tips are not included. Customary rates are 15% for lunch, 20% for dinner, for servers, guides, etc.

8. Host participation. You are welcome to join your guest on trips and adventures. When the schedule is decided, we’ll go over the activities so that we will have an accurate head count for admissions, food, transportation, etc.

9. Who pays? Fred-Este pays for Este visitors’ tours and trips. Este visitors’ food and beverages on trips, tickets, and similar fees. We will make clear the financial commitment for activities.

10. Volunteers. We need volunteers to drive on certain days. If you are able, please let us know.

Don’t forget to

- Renew your membership!

- Volunteer for the adult exchange visit!

- Take a shift at Pizza Palooza!

- Bring a friend to the Italian Composers lecture & concert!

Grazie, tutti.

Kathryn Willis



bottom of page