Last Updated on January 28, 2015 by Editor
Christmas Gala. Breakfast with Santa. Vernon Downs Night. Bistro. Murder Mystery Dinner. Mardi Gras. New York Yankees trip. Ladies Tea. Chicken Barbecue.
Parishioners of St. Mary of Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Parish are very familiar with these events. They take place every year and are organized by the dedicated people on the Social Committee.
“Our mission is to bring our parish family together and celebrate,” said Carmelann Scalzo, who with husband Mario co-chair the committee along with Joe and Laurie Siniscarco. “It brings people together for affordable social events that they would not normally do on their own but enjoy being part of a group.”
Mario seconds that sentiment.
“We host several events for socialization and hopefully build camaraderie within our parish family,” he said. “We also assist other ministries with their missions, whether they are within the church or outside.”
Carmelann and Mario joined the Social Committee when Father Joe Salerno was pastor. They’ve been working hard ever since.
After years of experience, the difficulty of planning events has become a bit easier for the husband-wife team.
“At this point, having many years under our belt and with the entire committee and volunteers, it has become much easier to manage and host the events,” Carmelann said.
“The hardest part is not hosting the activity but working to bring the right activities to the parish and trying to be a fortune teller of attendance,” Mario added.
Putting on social events costs money, and the committee works hard to keep the price down for parishioners.
“Our money comes from a few fundraisers throughout the year such as our pizza fritta sale, fall bake sale and an occasional 50-50 raffle at an event,” the Scalzos said. “The costs of the events are covered in the ticket prices and we do not make a profit from the events. The fundraisers are used to subsidize the costs of events to keep the ticket prices reasonable, and also used to contribute to our ministries within our parish and outside organizations such as Rescue Mission, Veterans Outreach, Abraham House and John Bosco House.”
The Scalzos said there are a lot of events that are great but the parish can’t host them because they are cost prohibitive, their timing is not good or they just don’t have the manpower.
Since there is a lot of work involved, what is the impetus for a parishioner join the group?
“We always have fun planning and hosting activities and we can use the help,” Carmelann said.
“We are always looking for fun activities that our parish would enjoy and we relish new members with some new activities,” Mario added.
The Scalzos said the work the volunteers do is worthwhile because they know it’s for the people of the parish they love.
“It brings great joy to see our parish family socializing and have a good time,” they agreed.
When an event is over, the work is done and the place is cleaned up, what does that feel like?
“We usually sit back, have a drink and bathe in the euphoria – another job well done,” Carmelann said. “But that lasts five minutes and we are on to the next event.”
— By FRAN PERRITANO
SOCIAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS
The Social Committee is a ministry organization of parishioners who want to socialize and have some fun. It is open to all and anyone who would be willing to help with an event, chair an event or just bring new ideas to the group.
Mario and Carmelann Scalzo and Joseph and Laurie Siniscarco are co-chairs.
Bill and Jackie Thibault
Terry and Gina LaBella
Mary Lou Mazza
Mike and Marsha LaBella