24th annual Italian Heritage Festa rated 'super-fun'

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The 24th annual Italian Heritage Association Days Festa was a super-fun and exiciting weekend, said Carmy Buttice, one of its organizers.

The event held forth at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds. Even with 'coolish' weather, the turnout was good and "everyone enjoyed all the events," she said, including music, dancing, craft and food booths and the Bob Deccio Band from Yakima.

Vince Cannone oversaw the Saturday evening dinner, as he has for numerous years.

"Barbara Buttice and her great students of the Walla Walla High School Culinary Class made the dinner. They are really super talents, and already professionals."

There was an overflow crowd for the meal and some were turned away at the door. "We emphasize early ticket purchase so next year I believe we'll have even more attend," Carmy said.

At dinner, recognition was given to the 2009 IHA Member of Year Catherine Anderson and 2009 Festa honorees Pam Elia and John Hopkins. They were recognized for their work and dedication to IHA, Carmy said.

David Destito again won the Best Red Pasta Sauce First Place award and Chantelle Martuscelli's recipe garnered second. "It was a close contest as both are well known for their pasta sauce," Carmy said.

Prior to the Grape Stomp competition, the 5- through 10-year-olds enjoyed squishing their feet through the grapes. They received complimentary T-shirts for their efforts.

"The Grape Stomp competition was very intense again. It was, I believe, the loudest and best crowd ever supporting the teams," Carmy said.

First place went to "The Melting Pot," sponsored by Eric Martuscelli with Jim Sanders and Louie Murray filling a five-gallon jug with 93/4 inches of juice.

Second place went to "We're Grape," sponsored by Castoldi Farms, with Andrea "Andi" Bughi, Nathan Castoldi and Doug Eaton, who filled a jug with 8 inches of juice.

Third place went to "The Buttice Bashers," sponsored by Emilio and Carmy Buttice with Anthony W. Buttice, Brandon Buttice and Melissa Buttice filling a jug with 5 15/16 inches of juice.

Paul Castoldi continued as general chairman of the event, which he has done for numerous years. Paul's wife, Pam Castoldi, helped and printed the complimentary one-of-a-kind Grape Stomp T-shirts that went to each participant.

Announcers were Roy Elia and Kris Keller. "They were the inspiration to get the crowd going and hollering," Carmy said. "Kris and wife Sherri Torretta Keller have been doing this since their late father (/in-law) Louie Torretta was chairman of the Stomp prior to his death," Carmy said. Paul Castoldi was assistant and has been chairman.

"The Kellers are proud to honor the late memory of Louie by carrying on this tradition. It brings many families together. Already we have reports saying the above teams will return again next year."

Plans are already in the works for IHA's quarter-century celebration. For more details, contact Pam Elia, IHA president, at 629-2866 afternoons.

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Be ready for thrills and chills with a trip through the Temple or Terror, sponsored by members of Phi Beta Lambda, a student business organization at Walla Walla Community College.

Hauntings will be from 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 29-31 inside the Old Country Store on East Isaacs Avenue, across from Kmart. Admission is $8 and then $4 for each additional trip.

The recommended ages are from 12 on up. A free children's section will keep young ones occupied and supervised while the older ones roam through the Temple.

"Without giving too much away, some of the things that can be found are demented wanderers, a hall of oddities, two unique alternate routes through the first section of the maze and plenty of gore," said Joshua Conley, PBL chapter president.

Proceeds will be used for future club activities, including state and national events for business students, professional development activities, community service and other projects that further the abilities of business students, Joshua said. And a portion of the benefits will go directly to the March of Dimes foundation.

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Walla Walla High School Class of 1991 almuna Susan Yaw received a state award Oct. 9 at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development conference in Seattle.

Nominated by fellow teachers and her principal, Susan was recognized for enhancing instructional leadership and professional growth in her district.

She passed her national boards as an early childhood generalist in 2008 and teaches first graders at Mountain View Elementary in Quincy, Wash.

She graduated in 1993 from Walla Walla Community College, earned a bachelor's in 1996 from Eastern Washington University and a master's in education, curriculum and instruction in 2001.

She loves teaching, according to her parents, Bob and Helen Yaw of Dixie. Susan was a substitute teacher for two years in the Walla Walla School District, Dayton and College Place schools and is in her 11th year at Mountain View.

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At day's end Tom Vandenberg proved to work colleagues that he is tough enough to wear pink. In fact the maintenance director at Wheatland Village wore a pink shirt and skirt ensemble over long pants for an entire day on a bet that raised funds for Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center.

Each Friday in October Wheatland Village employees and residents wear pink for breast cancer awareness month, said Mary Wollmuth, marketing director.

"Some employees even go so far as to dye their hair pink. It's been a lot of fun and everyone -- residents and employees -- have been involved."

Mary said Dee Haun, Wheatland's transportation director, and Melinda Davis, activity director there, spotted the infamous pink skirt on a giveaway table that Wheatland residents have for items they no longer desire.

Dee bet Tom $50 that he wouldn't wear the skirt all day. Tom said if he took the bet that all money collected would go to St. Mary's cancer center.

Karen Loiseau, Wheatland's restaurant hostess, and residents became involved by passing around a pink jar to raise money for the cancer center. The only stipulation Tom had was that he would not be asked to roll up his pant legs.

All told, $91.88 was collected on Oct. 12.

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The Stash Pink Ribbon Quilt is being raffled off during October for breast cancer awareness.

Pink raffle tickets may be purchased for $1 each at the Providence St. Mary's Breast Center or at Stash, 43 S. Palouse St., until Oct. 31. All of the proceeds raised will be donated to Providence St. Mary Medical Center's Breast Center.

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