R.S.V.P.; Music, masks enliven Il Grande Carnevale


Don’t let their names fool you. Christina MacCudden and Marie Lieber are Italian through and through and well-qualified to hold court at Il Grande Carnevale.

Christina has Balistreri blood and Marie was an Andaloro before her marriage.

Christina and her husband, David MacCudden, reigned as re and regina on Feb. 5 at the annual pre-Lenten celebration at the Italian Community Center.

Marie was La Gran Marescialla, the grand marshal who lead the royalty and guests in a pomp-filled march from dinner in the Pompei ballroom to the loggia to view the Bartolotta fireworks and then back into the Crivello galleria to the tantalizing sweets table.

Originally a Pedicino, Marie Schwindt is Italian, too.

Since Carnevale is very much a family affair, she was there with her husband, James Schwindt Sr., and their son’s family. James Jr. and his wife, Kyle, had their daughters, Audri Ann and Rebeka Lee, in tow, both dressed in clown costumes their mother had made.

Other guests were phantoms, pirates and pixies. Sam and Bea Ceraso wore elaborate Venetian masks they bought last year at Festa Italiana. Almost-3-year-old Molly Vollbracht — granddaughter of Carnevale co-chair Joanne Czubek — was a darling mini Minnie Mouse. Doris Evans and Gail Zander won prizes for their outfits.

While the Abruzzese Society Men’s Chorus sang during the cocktail hour, Sophie and Tony Machi, Marcia and Tom Nardelli and center president Mario Carini mingled.


On Feb. 5, there were still several days to go until Mardi Gras, but Polish friends were already celebrating, and not by eating paczki.

They were dancing up a storm at the Bal Maskowy.

The Syrena Polish Folk Dance Ensemble led the way since the annual masked ball is a benefit for the ensemble’s costume fund.

So compelling was the Anthony Kawalkowski Orchestra of Chicago that the dance floor in the Wisconsin Club’s ballroom was seldom empty, even between courses of the five-course European dinner. And it fairly reverberated when the 34 ensemble dancers performed the Oginski Polonaise.

Guests had obviously spared neither expense nor effort in finding costumes.

Two tailors worked on the lavish 17th-century Polish nobleman’s fur cape, zupan (tunic) and schapka (hat) that Felix Holewinski wore. His boots and sword were specially ordered from Poland.

Lynn and Neil Dziadulewicz rented their Mozart-era duke and duchess attire from the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Rebecca Alm had stayed up till midnight putting the finishing touches on her crimson Victorian gown constructed of 25 yards of fabric. Carol Mayer figured she invested 100 hours making the kontusz, or Polish royal attire, she and husband Bob wore.

The scene surely had to impress Mariusz Jakubowski, the Polish consul from Chicago, and his wife, Danuta Jakubowska, who led the first dance with Syrena artistic director Ada Dziewanowska and ball co-chair Bob Leonard.

Other masked merrymakers were Heddy and Jerry Moskaluk, Barbara Nestingen and Michael Roozrokh, and Judy and Wally Shapiro, who sat with Nate Zelazo and Marina Marcus.


Ymmmmm! Smoked duck moo shu, coquille St. Jacques, triple cream brie: not bad for a Monday night dinner that you didn’t have to cook yourself.

Maureen and Ken Manning, Kathy and Bernie Westfahl and Crystal and Tim Birkenstock were treated to these tasty temptations and lots more at the annual All-Star Chef Salute at the Italian Community Center on Jan. 31.

The gastronomic tour de force, a benefit for Ronald McDonald House, was started in 1986 by Knut Apitz and local chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation.

Seven of those chefs were in the kitchen turning out a mega- course menu that was served at a leisurely pace with appropriate wines to 150 guests, including Kathy Morales and Bob Landaas, Connie and Dan Hornickel and Claudia and Larry Rovens.

This meal is so memorable it lured Ronald McDonald House senior board chair Jim Pihos all the way back from sunny Florida in the middle of a Wisconsin winter.


There comes a time in any organization when the baton must be passed.

For the Black Women’s Network, it was on Feb. 4.

In honor of the organization’s 25th anniversary, 25 prominent African-American women passed the baton of leadership to future community leaders of their own choosing.

Alderwoman Marlene Johnson-Odom, for instance, thought of State Sen. Lena Taylor for this honor. June Perry, a founder of the New Concept Self Development Center, handed over the reins to Vanessa Key, who will succeed her at the center.

Restaurateur Hilda Perkins’ choice was her daughter-in-law Cherry Perkins. Former MPS educator Jenelle Elder-Green selected Master Lock’s Sheree Branch. We Energies veep Thelma Sias handed her baton to Cecelia Gore of the Jane Pettit Foundation.

A crowd of nearly 500 filled the Pfister ballroom for the festivities. Included were Mary and John Dowell, Mildred and Reuben Harpole and Ralph

Hollmon of the Milwaukee

Urban League.

Sharon Patterson of MPTV’s Black Nouveau and Ira Matthews shared the emcee duties and Marilyn Laster chaired the dinner.


Reach Kathleen Arenz by e-mail at karenz@journalsentinel.com or by phone at (414) 224-2183.



David and Christina MacCudden and Marie and Craig Lieber

Rosemary DeRubertis and Joanne Czubek

Ruth Webb and Vaughan Weeks

Randy and Betsy Meyer, Jay Wollenberg and Jayde Wollenberg, 6

Marzena and Duane Tomka

Mary Jo and Wayne Bellinger


Alicja and Alexandrea Newell

Carrie and Robert Cera


Katie, Marshall and Jenny Chay

Jan Johnson, Eunice Thomas, Marilyn Laster and Polly Williams


Carol Hayward, Beverly Njuguna, Carolyn Dennis and Sheila Bradley

Copyright 2005 Journal Sentinel Inc. Note: This notice does not

apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through

wire services or other media

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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