Mon Valley Florida Reunion scheduled
Plans are moving into high gear for the annual Mon Valley Florida Day reunion.
The traditional event will be held Feb. 22 at the Sea Dog Brewing Company, 26200 U.S. 19 North, in Clearwater, Fla., and organizers are looking forward to surpassing the success of this year's gathering.
An overflow crowd of some 175 people attended the 2013 reunion at Beef O'Brady's family sports restaurant and pub in Clearwater, representing towns throughout the Mon Valley and from other places around the United States.
Participants came from Monongahela, Charleroi, Donora, Monessen, Elizabeth, Elrama, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Washington and Perryopolis as well as Naples, St. Petersburg, Punta Gorda, Venice, Florence, Largo, Tarpon Springs, Madeira Beach, Lake Placid and Gulfport in Florida. Other attendees came from Virginia and Colorado.
Lou and Maria Sepe, former area residents now living in Dunedin, Fla., again are leading preparations for the 2014 reunion.
Sepe, a 1951 graduate of Monongahela High School, re-emphasized that Mon Valley Florida Day is a rather informal affair designed to “bring together people with ties for the Mon Valley” for reminiscing in a casual atmosphere. It is open to “anyone and everyone” originally from the Mon Valley who still lives there or anywhere else.
“There are no geographic boundaries,” he said. “We all share a common bond – that is, our roots are in the Mon Valley, so the doors are open to anyone who wants to attend. It's nothing fancy, just a chance to get together and rekindle a lot of great memories and create new ones. There won't be any long speeches, but you can be sure there won't be a shortage of stories to be told.”
The Feb. 22 festivities will begin at 11:30 a.m. and reservations are not required. Participants may order lunch or snacks from the restaurant menu and a preview of the agenda is available at www.seadogbrewing.com or by calling 727-466-4916 for additional information.
Sea Dog Brewing Company is a new restaurant and pub in Clearwater and will provide accommodations in a spacious room solely for the Mon Valley Florida Day participants.
Sepe recalled that the Mon Valley Florida Day concept was created many years ago by three former Monongahela Area businessmen – Joe Fida (automobile license services and insurance), Lee Venanzi (appliances, bowling alleys, beer distributor) and Ralph Losey (butcher and meat market). It was initially held in Largo, Fla., and was highly successful for a number of years before going into hiatus.
The reunions were revived by Sepe and his wife and a group of others originally from or still in the Mon Valley and western Pennsylvania.
Additional information is available by contacting Sepe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-733-9678.