BESSEMER — The Gogebic-Iron County Paisano Club held its spring dinner Sunday at La Panetteria in Bessemer, celebrating Italian heritage and scholarship funds raised for area high school seniors.
Speaking to a crowd gathered for the annual event, chapter president Dorothy Walesewicz said the club was founded in Bessemer on August 6, 1969, making it 44 years old this year. She said the purpose was to raise money to assist area students getting ready to move on to college.
“We now have more than 44 members, most of them here (today),” she said.
Five scholarships will be made available this year. Students from Wakefield-Marenisco, Bessemer, Ironwood and Hurley can apply for the scholarships by inquiring with their school counseling offices.
Walesewicz said the Gogebic-Iron chapter is part of the Upper Peninsula Paisano Club, an organization of five different Paisano Clubs which meets once each year. Last year’s UPPC gathering was hosted at the Liberty Bell in Hurley.
“The Italians love to eat and have a good time – then we set a little money aside for our scholarship winners,” Walesewicz said.
Sunday afternoon’s spring get-together included door prizes, dinner, a wine auction, a 50/50 drawing, accordion music from Gary Schlais and speakers who discussed the club’s history, finances, goals and tradition.
For more information on the Gogebic-Iron County Paisano Club, contact Dorothy and Joe Walesewicz at 715-561-2459.