bea joe marsala

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San Gennaro

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palo alto daily news - september 10, 2006

Mayor Celebrates Community with San Gennaro

This is the seventh year Atherton Mayor Charles Marsala hosted his San Gennaro end-of-summer celebration in his Atherton garden. He combines his Italian heritage and hometown New Orleans to create a fun party featuring Mardi Gras beads, bright decorations and all things Italian- Ferris, bocce, and a pasta feast with sauces made by local chefs, dancing to the music of Napolitano Pepe Merolla, plus a special salute to Italy’s 2006 World Cup Soccer Championship.

The festival of San Gennaro dates back to the 17th century when the citizens of Naples appealed to the city’s patron saint San Gennaro to spare the city’s patron saint San Gennaro to spare the city during Vesuvius’c volcanic eruption.

About 250 friends and family members attended the August 26th celebration. It’s a family reunion every year for his parents Joe and Bea Marsala, who travel from the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, LA.

With the first anniversary of Katrina approaching, the subject of the evening was the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. As residents of Jefferson Parish, Bea and Joe said they are close to moving back into their rebuilt home.

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Charles and 15 members of the San Francisco Junior League are traveling to New Orleans the first week of October to join 500 other Junior League members from around the country as part of a national cleanup week effort around the St. Charles and 9th Ward. Volunteers will work with Rebuilding America and Habitat for Humanity to rebuild seven homes, a school, and a park.

“I’m still in awe at what happened -- it’s truly a war zone where not much cleanup has happened,” said San Francisco Junior League participant Ashley Morrison, originally from costal Alabama. “I’m very excited to contribute to the rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast. My family experienced crop losses for the second year in a row, as well as property damage, so this is really a way for me to give back to my home area.”

Mike Derylo and Marsala talked about their experiences last October in Grand Isle, the only Louisiana city with beach frontage. Marsala helped match Derlyo with a local carpenter, Robert Santiny, who needed a truck to get back in business. Derylo is a hands on person: he purchased a Ford truck in Houston and joined Marsala to deliver it to the very surprised Santiny, a third-generation resident in the town known as the heart of Cajun culture.

San Genarrro guests included Jeanne and Frank Fischer, Tania and Rod Boghosian, Nancy Beck, Kelly Grimes, Sandy and Joe Ferrando and Nadine and Bob Franceschini.

Janet Duca Norton