At the 15th annual Pelham Rotary Tastings fundraiser, well over 100 lower Westchester residents sampled the delights of nearly 20 nearby restaurants. They also tasted the wines presented by Blue Dog Wines & Spirits (Andy Johnson, owner). and honored retiring Town of Pelham Supervisor Peter Di Paola.

Betty Bucher, chair of the Rotary Tastings XV event, said “The Fundraiser was a huge success. Rotary netted more than $16,000… enough to provide cardiac surgery for another third-world child, fund an American team to train doctors abroad and also contribute to local programs that benefit children"

However, as Rotary Club President Marty Ketels added, “To continue our largesse, we need to attract new members. And that’s exactly what we’re doing!”

Similarly, Peter Di Paola, in his remarks, urged his well-wishers to consider joining Rotary as he had done a number of years ago.

Peter was honored for more than 40 years of public service that made a difference in the lives of many residents of the Pelhams.

Distinguished Proclamations were presented to him from:

Amy Paulin - New York State Assemblywoman, Assembly District 88

Dan McLaughlin - Town of Pelham, New York Deputy Supervisor

He also received a Proclamation from the County of Westchester.

Julieta DiPaola, Peter’s wife and a longtime member of the popular singing ensemble The Pelham Larks, arranged it so The Larks made a surprise appearance for Peter at the event and performed.

The $16,000 was generated through ticket sales, a successful silent auction and major sponsorships by Stiefvater Real Estate of Pelham; Pelham Manor resident Phillip Kiamie, Kiamie Properties, Rye and New York City and Charles Fazzino 3D Pop Art, a Pelham resident with offices and gallery in New Rochelle.

Music throughout the evening was provided by Backwater Groove, a quintet of talented Pelham Memorial High School students: Shep Solimine, guitar; Lukas Matos, bass; Stephen Tahbaz, saxophone; Jack Denison, drums and Max Cuomo, piano.

Culinary exhibitors included AJ's Burgers, Cantina Lobos, DeCicco & Sons, Dubrovnik, Escape Latino, Flowerbake, F&J Pine, Gina Marie's Trattoria, Go Greek, La Fattoria, La Fontanella, Luangisa, Mikey Dubbs, Magno's Grill, Modern Restaurant, Provisions, Rockwells, Spadaro Roman Kitchen and Texas Roadhouse. The Picture House served popcorn while Pomp & Whimsy poured  liqueurs.

Peter and his wife Julieta have three children and six grandchildren:

Julie Marie

Peter Jr. & Julianna (Lily, Jake & Matthew)

Billy & Anne (Billy, Michael & Fiona)

For more information about Rotary Club of the Pelhams, please visit the website at

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