When I was growing up on Long Island in New York, in the ’50s and early ’60s, it was very cool to be Italian.Joe DiMaggio bombarded Yankee stadium with home runs. Singers Frankie Valli and Dion Dimucci gave us songs and Annette Funicello was everyone’s’ beach babe.Problem was, my heritage isn’t Italian and that rendered me slightly “less cool.”Recently, information about the newly formed Waxhaw Italian Club began to appear on my computer, and I learned there was a second chance.Waxhaw’s John Cannamela Sr. was the source of this newfound opportunity. I asked him how the club got started.Cannamela said, “I had an idea for a club and fest so I posed a ... survey. I had many jump in and my gift of getting along with people took over.”He said about 30 people attended the inaugural events and the number has continued to grow.“We are working on a minifest this October. I didn’t anticipate the amount of support and the amount of paisans that showed up on the Waxhaw Italian Club page,” Cannamela said.“Who knows how far it will go? We have been invited to many restaurants and places of business in our great little town. I would think as we grow and help out that it could expand to Union County.”Information about upcoming events can be found on Facebook by searching for Waxhaw Italian Club.Then Cannamela said the words I longed to hear.“We welcome anyone. If you aren’t Italian we will teach you to speak with your hands,” he said. “Buy a T-shirt if you would like and you’re in, or show up.”The tone of the Waxhaw Italian Club page on Facebook reflects a bit of Cannamela’s philosophy that I happen to share: “ Life is too serious to not have some fun. Ciao.”Rotarian projectI learned from Alicia Campbell, service chair for the Waxhaw-Weddington Rotary Club, that the local Rotarian chapter performed a service project Aug. 21 at South Providence School.“Rotary’s key focus is serving the community both locally and globally,” Campbell said. “South Providence is an alternative school in Waxhaw that does not have a large amount of parent involvement and the building they are in is older.“We reached out to the principal, Barry Ross, and talked through some of the needs they had. We wanted to do something that benefited the school as well as the teachers and staff. To accomplish the project, Larry Hook, a local business owner and Rotarian, worked with Josh Burch, who owns a custom cabinetry business in Waxhaw.“Josh told us what supplies would be needed as well as the dimensions. Larry worked to cut and paint the doors and the team …, in addition to about 10 other Rotarians, came together at the school to install the doors and the hardware.”First FridayWaxhaw Assistant Events Coordinator Natalie Jackson said Waxhaw’s September First Friday will be a “Serenade to Summer,” 5-9 p.m. Sept. 6.“Visit and find street musicians sprinkled throughout our downtown historic district. Attend a Jam Session with Turnbuckle Jones at Burch Studios or take your family on a complimentary carriage ride,” Jackson said.There will be children’s activities, ribbon cutting ceremonies and discounts at local shops and eateries. Waxhaw United Methodist Church will have a Christian concert with Refresh, and the town will be bustling. Make plans for a night out on the town with your family in downtown Waxhaw. Visit www.waxhaw.com for more information.
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
New Italian Club formed in Waxhaw
John Anderson is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for John? Email him at email@example.com.
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