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Fredericksburg-Este Association Newsletter, February 2023

Ciao e Benvenuto in un nuovo anno di divertimento italiano! Hello and welcome to a new year of Italian fun!

Annual Meeting 2023

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 29, at 6 PM, for our Annual Meeting. We’ll gather in the theater of the downtown library at 1201 Caroline Street. Wine and nibbles will be offered, as well as a review of 2022 and a preview of our upcoming activities.


We will be electing board members, so you’ll want to renew your membership so that you can vote. You can pay online via our website, Or send in your check to Fredericksburg-Este Association, PO Box 157, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. Individual memberships are $25; family memberships are $35; and sustaining memberships are $100. Sustaining members will receive a pair of Italian espresso mugs with our Fred-Este logo on them—our exclusive design for sustaining members!

Board member elections.

Returning for the 2023-24 term are:

Kathryn Willis, president

Chip Willis, treasurer

Bob Antozzi, At Large

Deb Newman, Communications/Website

Odile Pryor, Program

Bill Hatch, Membership

Scott Walker, Vice President

Pat Baughman, serving as Secretary

Vacancies for the 2023-24 term are:

At Large position

Arts and Cultural Exchange

Rotating off the board are:

Bob Bevilaqua

Billy Chestnut

Claire Simpson

Our board positions allow for up to 13 members. If you or someone you know would like to serve, please contact Bob Antozzi or Bob Bevilaqua, our Nominations committee. We generally have 5-6 meetings per year, and conduct much of our business via Google Chat. Visit our website to review our activities, and to decide if you’d like to come on board.

Other Board Notes:

Our dear friend and secretary, Claire Simpson, suffered a serious stroke in late 2022, and continues in rehab. If you’d like to send her a card, the address is Claire Simpson, Charter Senior Living, 20 Heartfields Lane, Fredericksburg, VA 22405.

Our dear friend and at-large member, Bob Bevilaqua (who has valiantly chaired the fall concert series), reports that his granddaughter Gemma (daughter of our former board member Ashley Bevilaqua Anglin), is suffering from a return of her cancer, and will be undergoing experimental therapy in the near future. The Anglin address is 7716 Ashley Farms Drive, Fredericksburg VA 22407.

Kathryn Willis, president, has had a hard winter, dealing with a prolonged bronchial and sinus infection caused by inhalation of particulates in forest fire smoke, which occurred in early October 2022, during a visit to the Seattle, Washington, area. She continues to recover, but it’s a long, slow process.

Upcoming Events

Joint Sister City Pot Luck Dinner:

Planning is underway for the annual joint sister city pot luck dinner. Our sister cities’ leadership will be meeting on Feb. 23 to discuss the planning. We will send out information when the details are available.

Artist Exchange:

Franco Rubini, a talented and personable Este photographer, will be visiting Fredericksburg from April 1 to April 20 as this year’s Artist Exchange honoree. His work will be displayed in at least one venue in the city (we are working on others). Regional photographers will be working with Franco for photo shoots and other ventures. We will have several events for members to participate in this three-week visit, and will send updates with specifics as plans become finalized.

Cathy Herndon, last year’s Artist Exchange honoree, spent three weeks in Este last spring, and is organizing Franco’s visit as well as hosting. If you would like to help and/or host Franco and/or another Italian visitor during this April stay, please contact Kathryn Willis at or Cathy Herndon at

Adult Visit in October:

We are planning to host our Este friends for 10 days in October 2023, as it is time for an adult visit! (The adult visit should have occurred in 2022, but for many reasons, that visit was postponed.) This is a fun and event-filled program and we need many people in making it as success! The dates are not yet finalized, but it will be most likely early October. If you’d like to host a visitor or help in planning this fun activity, please contact Kathryn Willis at We’ll be sending out details as this planning becomes more concrete.

Pizza Palooza!

Our annual big pizza party is now slated for Saturday, October 14. The Palooza committee is already at work planning this event, and our adult visitors will be here for the fun! Please consider helping! It’s worth the effort! Contact Bob Antozzi at and Chip Willis at

Fall 2022 in Review:

Pizza Palooza!: Emerging from the Covid era, we once more successfully held Pizza Palooza on September 17! With new co-chair Deb Newman, and returning committee members, Bob Antozzi, Barbara Antozzi, and Chip Willis, the event was well attended and lots of fun. We netted $7496.00, a goodly sum for our motley crew!

Fred4Ukraine: Joining with the German, Nepalese, and French sister cities, and with several area artists, we produced Fred4Ukraine on September 24, a fundraising event that auctioned and sold artwork and also solicited donations from individuals and businesses. We raised $24,000, which we held back for donating on Giving Tuesday in November. We equally divided the funds between Doctors without Borders, Save the Children, and World Food Kitchen. With donor match programs, the collective impact of our efforts totaled $72,000.

Fall Lecture: Dr. James Kuykendall spoke on “The Idea of Italy in Music History” at a well-attended lecture on Friday, October 14 at St. George’s Church. The program, organized by Odile Pryor, was paired in content with the Carter Memorial Concert.

The Carter Memorial Concert: The Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg presented Italian and English choral works on Friday, October 21, in the nave of St. George’s. Attended by nearly 200 patrons, “A Musical Journey to Italy” was well received. Again, thanks to Bob Bevilaqua for his chairing this event.

Other Este Program Notes

Fall Concert Series:

Bob Bevilaqua has headed up this program for many years, and he is rotating off our board in March.

La Befana:

Our association has gathered several times for dinner and fun to celebrate this Italian Epiphany celebration. This event did not happen this January.

Wine and Cheese tasting:

We have offered this fun event several times, working with CityVino and Frazier Wood. This event did not happen this winter.

Arts and Cultural Exchange:

This well-received offering is now in its fourth cycle. Kathryn Willis has filled in as chair for the past three years, with the able help of Cathy Herndon.

Lecture Series:

Our fall and spring lecture offerings are educational and well-attended, attracting a varied audience. The series is ably led by Odile Pryor.


Getting the word out about our organization is part of the duty of our membership chair, currently filled by Bill Hatch.

Advanced Planning:

Keeping track of events and offerings now falls under the duty of our vice-president.


Filling in for the remainder of Claire Simpson’s secretarial term, which will conclude in 2024, is Pat Baughman.


Many of our board members have served since the organization was founded in 2015, and many worked for two years prior in organizing and establishing our sister city group.

The terms of service for all our board members are coming to a close in 2024.

We need new volunteers to step up to help! While several of our board members have extended their terms of service so that our activities will continue, they are ready to move on to other volunteer and personal activities.

Please consider stepping up in 2023 and joining in these efforts, so that these activities can continue past the 2024 roll off dates of these board member chairs that are now established.


2023 Annual Meeting

Wednesday, March 29

6-8:30 PM

CRRL Theater

1201 Caroline Street

Fredericksburg, VA 22041


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