Draped in a rich red rose cape and adorned with a heavy tiara on top of curled blond hair, Mahopac resident Angela Mongelli, 22, accepted her winnings of $250 for being named Miss Festa Italiana at the Aug. 31. She was joined by Tim Warn, the husband of the $2600 raffle prize winner Audrey Warn, who works at the and by the church's Father John Higgins.
The three smiled widely for the cameras and thanked Festival Organizers Frank Cimino and Paul Lio Jr. who were at the presentation.
Warn said his winnings will go straight back to the Assumption School, in the form of tuition for their young daughter who attends the school. The Warns also have had two sons graduate from Assumption.
Mongelli graciously accepted the $250 award which does not go to her, but to the charity of her choosing, the Yonkers Columbus Committee, of which her uncle is a member. Mongelli chose that organization because of the work it does to help Italian Americans in need and to prevent child abuse.
Mongelli also runs Romeo's Paws for a Cause, a Facebook page where she posts information and photos of dogs that need to be rescued from kill shelters, in hopes of helping unwanted canines find a welcoming home. The group was named after one of her three pit bulls, Romeo. Part of the campaign aims to raise awareness about the pit bull breed, explaining pit bulls are misunderstood as dangerous animals, but that "it is not the breed, it's the deed." In addition to her charity work, Mongelli is also a singer who performed at the Italian Festival.
Read more about her organization here.
All other proceeds from the Festa Italiana, which was held Aug. 10-12 in Peekskill, go to the Assumption School.
If you could win $250 for any charity, which would it be? Please share in the comments.