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Smiles and Sparkles at Assumption School, Festa Italiana Winners Accept Prizes

Angela Mongelli, Miss Festa Italiana, and Tim and Audrey Warn were presented their prizes at the Assumption School on Aug. 31.

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. 

Patty Villanova September 04, 2012 at 11:59 AM
The Festa receives taxpayer money from the BID. I believe this year it was $15,000, as it was in the past. The money is supposed to be for a "sponsorship" and in return the BID was supposed to receive certain "perks" for its members. if you walk through the event, it's obvious that there's a lot of money being made here, most of it in cash. Since taxpayer money is involved, I'm wondering if the organizer's registered charitable organization is ever audited to see how where the money goes. Also, how is it that an employee of the Assumption,which is the main beneficiary of the Festa, wins the raffle? I thought such things were not permitted; then again, this is Peekskill so the rules are different.
Leslie Masson September 04, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I am responding as a former member of the Festa Committee (2010 and 2011). Before assuming that the Italian Feast received $15,000 this year from the BID, you should check your facts. I heard that the number was about 1/5th of what they gave in previous years, but we could both be wrong. Secondly, about the money being made on the street. Vendors pay a flat fee to the festival to get their spot so whatever money you see on the street during the event goes to the vendors themselves and not the festival. I don't know how the raffle ticket was drawn this year but in the past it was drawn by a randomly selected person from the audience. If it wasn't for Assumption personnel and church goers buying the raffle tickets in yet another way they support their church they probably wouldn't even have been 260 raffle tickets sold. So as long as the winner was selected randomly it shouldn't matter who the winner was. The non profit company that runs Festa Italiana Peekskill is Downtown Festivals Inc. and they must file tax returns each year which I believe any Peekskill taxpayer can request to see. Maybe even non Peekskill residents, non Peekskill property owners, non Peeksill business owners have that right also, you can check with the NYS Department of taxation to see if you can also get a copy of their tax returns. Try not always seeing the worst in people and you'll find your days will be much happier.

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