- November 2019 -

Editor-in-Chief, Annette Aloisio

Unbeknownst, Annette is not only working behind the scenes for NewsBytes writing and/or editing all copy submitted herein but she is also right out front getting up close and personal with WCD members as she conducts her  probing and very delightful interviews.


Dear Members,

As you may recall, at our last WCD meeting I announced that we would be launching in the near future a newsletter as a fresh and updated way to disseminate information regarding our Club’s activities.  We decided to call this project NewsBytes, an acknowledgement to our digital transition. When I mentioned it at our meeting, it was still in the pre-birth phase but I am pleased to report it is now ready to launch!  I am herein delighted to share this First Edition of the Woman’s Club of Douglaston NewsBytes. 

Please note that this newsletter will now replace the monthly postcard.  The WCD NewsBytes will include upcoming events, our monthly program schedule, spotlight on a particular member(s), items of interest to the Club, notices, upcoming trips, various Potpourri activities, etc. etc.

I hope you enjoy this First Edition of NewsBytes and find it to be informative, an easy to read format and a useful tool to assist you with your busy calendar.  Here goes…

The Woman's Club of Douglaston
will meet on Thursday, December 5, 2019
at 1:00 p.m. 
at the
Douglaston Club
600 West Drive Douglaston, NY


      Program and Meeting Highlights:

    Holiday Music through the Ages with Musica Dolce

Holiday Music through the Ages with Musica Dolce – Travel back in time on a colorful, musical journey through Medieval, Colonial, and Victorian periods. You will experience the joy of early music and learn about how these former times influenced music of today. Authentic sounds will be recreated with Medieval winds, Gothic harps, and Baroque violins.  Emily Bader and Michael Goudket, acknowledged historical musicians. will perform in period costume.

The Book Club will meet at
12:15 p.m.  Join Joan Curran and other Book Club members in the Bar Room prior to our General Meeting. This month’s selection is Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout or you can read a book of your own choice.

Holiday Raffle - Festive Plant Baskets created by Martha Gotz as well other beautiful gift baskets will be raffled off at the meeting
.  We urge all our members to support the WCD and buy raffle tickets.

Donations to Ozanam Nursing HomeWe ask our members to please bring to this meeting an appropriate item to be donated to a resident of Ozanam Hall for the holidays.  Do not wrap it and mark the item for a Male or Female.   All residents are always most grateful!

Saturday, December 14:  Annual Douglaston Village Winter Festival held at the Douglaston Train Station from 12:00-4:00 p.m.  WCD will be participating for the first time at this community event.  We urge all members to attend and stop by our Holiday Table to say Hello!

Thursday - February 6, 2020  Louis Armstrong, Jazz Legend and Queens Resident. 
Thursday  - March 5, 2020 – Mary Gordon, acclaimed American writer will discuss Pearl, her novel about the “time of troubles” in Ireland. 
Thursday - April 2, 2020 – Underneath the Paramount Hotel – You will be swept away on a night club adventure while watching a screening of an award-winning documentary about the Diamond Horseshoe Night Club.
May 2020 -  Annual Meeting and Luncheon! - Stay tuned for more details.

November Highlights: 

Libby Skala                                                                                                                                                                                              
On Thursday, November 7th, the Woman’s Club of Douglaston was treated to a performance by the extremely talented Libby Skala.                                                               

Prelude to her show we were treated to the haunting tones of the mandolin beautifully and skillfully played by Steven May.  Libby performed her one woman show with no fanfare no props just her mesmerizing persona. She portrayed her beloved  (paternal) Grandmother Lilia whose world and life was interrupted when Hitler came into power and she was forced to flee Vienna with her two young sons in tow. Lilia was a woman of tremendous strength, will and substance - among a myriad of experiences she was notably an accomplished architect, and in a whole other life, a Golden Globe, Emmy and Oscar nominated actress. We were all enthralled with Libby’s honest portrayal of her grandmother, poignant and raw with emotion.  I actually saw tears in many eyes, mine included. However, with the humor and charm injected throughout our smiles were apparent as well.

Meet our Board...

Flower Arranger Committee: 

Martha Gotz,  Chairwoman
Mary Taylor,  Co-Chair
Elegance and charm are a few of the words often used to describe Martha.  For many years, Martha has been the Woman’s Club Flower Arranger  Chairwoman.  For all those years, she has never failed to impress us with her unique, creative and exquisite designs. Martha has created unusual, artistically crafted floral arrangements, and in some cases unfamiliar plants which she lovingly grows in her home, for our meetings and luncheons as well as for many other events held by the Woman’s Club.  A testimony to Martha’s artistry and talent is the always enthusiastic response our members portray whenever her special arrangements are raffled at our WCD events

The gorgeous centerpieces that graced the tables at our October and November meetings were made for us compliments of Mary Taylor, our Flower Arranger  Committee Co- chair. Every table was carefully styled with eye-catching centerpieces each one individually designed and assembled by Mary creating a lovely seasonal fall atmosphere throughout the room. Judging from all the ooohs and awwws, Mary’s arrangements were a really big hit and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for our future meetings.   

Spotlight On
Ann (Nee Marino) Cavaseno


              Ann was born on November 16th, 1924.  Her parents were born in the Province of Catania, Sicily.  Her father, Edward, was born in 1890, and her mother, Josephine, in 1892.  Although they came from the same town, they actually were introduced to each other in Brooklyn, USA. They married and had two daughters.  Ann, whose given name is Concetta and Agatha, who is called Ida, who resides in Florida.  How Concetta became Ann is an interesting tidbit.  Evidently, Ann’s Mom had lost a child at birth and when she was pregnant with Ann, she prayed fervently to the Blessed Mother’s Mother, Ann; thus Concetta became known as Ann;  a bit of a difficulty and confusion during the school years.


Ann’s Father fought with the Italian Army and was the Secretary to an Officer.  He resided in Argentina for several years where many family members still reside.  Eventually, he found his way to America. Ann’s mother was a seamstress in Manhattan for a manufacturer of an expensive line of clothing and was extremely talented in the art of dressmaking. Ann resided with her parents on Cropsey Avenue in Brooklyn.  She remembers crossing the road (when there was no Belt Parkway) and swimming in the ocean; one of her favorite pastimes.

Ann considers her parents' marriage  a  love story.  They were totally devoted to each other and their daughters.  One of Ann’s favorite memories is attending the Opera with her Father, who was a devotee of the Opera, but since they couldn’t afford the costly tickets, they attended SRO: standing for the entire performance.  To this day, Ann is an opera enthusiast.


Ann remembers the war years as turbulent.  She remembers working for Con Ed where she made switches for airplanes! Ann ultimately married at the age of twenty-one, and had three children: Vin, Edward and Joanne. All her children are successful in their fields.  Her devoted son, Edward passed away several years ago at the age of sixty.  She misses him so, but knows that he is at peace, for which she gives thanks. Ann’s husband started a business in Brooklyn repairing televisions at a time when there were tubes.  Ann, more often than not, was the diagnostician as to which tube needed to be replaced.  It was a successful business, and she became a successful businesswoman.

Ann and her family moved to Little Neck in 1970 where she raised her children in the home in which she presently resides. When Ann’s marriage failed, Ann (now in her 50’s) went to work at A&S Department Store; not as a salesperson, but as an undercover Security Guard!  Ann also worked at the Election Board for approximately fifteen years. Ann has many hobbies: chief among those is gardening, crocheting, reading, music appreciation, and the love of all types of sports.  If any of you have ever attended an event with Ann, you also know she loves to dance!  She is an extraordinary baker and fantastic cook! Ann’s passion in life was travel.  She has traveled far and wide, including cross country to California, Hawaii (where she flew on a helicopter between islands), Alaska, France, England, Greece, South America, etc.  Ann loves to travel and has many fond memories of traveling with the women of the Woman’s Club of Douglaston.

Ann has been a member of the Woman’s Club of Douglaston for approximately thirty years.  She has always enjoyed participating in Club activities, particularly, the Book Club, and has made many friends, who remain her friends to date. Ann is also a member of the Douglaston Garden Club where she partook of many flower shows and is the recipient of several blue ribbons.  She is a “green thumb” gardener, as evidenced by her garden in Little Neck. Ann’s secret to her longevity, I believe is portrayed by her deep faith (she rarely misses Mass and when she does, she watches it on television); her love of life; her love and dedication to her family; her positive attitude and her never ending optimism.  She enjoys living every day to the fullest. Ann believes that life is a balance.  Bad things happen, but she always gives thanks for the good things.

Ann is never without a smile which lights up her whole face.  She attends Woman’s Club and Garden Club meetings, sometimes with difficulty, but manages to be present and enjoy the social atmosphere and especially the members.
The Woman’s Club of Douglaston has been a very important part of her life. Ann is the proud Grandmother of five and the soon to be great grandmother of seven.  Her seventh great will be born in December. Ann will celebrate her 95th birthday on November 16th.  There will be a huge gathering of family and friends wishing her a happy birthday
and a blessed and healthy year.  Ann is loved by all who know her.  She is a very special gal and I am proud and honored to call her “friend”.


Remember: "A good friend is a connection to life -- a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.  More people are focusing on friendships later in life -- and research reveals the many health benefits".

Stay socially connected at the Woman’s Club of Douglaston!

The Board of the WCD wishes our Members and their Families all the Blessings of this Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy Year ahead!

Warm regards, 

Johanna Abramo

Woman’s Club of Douglaston


Copywright © 2019 Woman's Club of Douglaston.  All rights reserved.

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Woman's Club of Douglaston · Douglas Manor · Douglaston, NY 11363 · USA

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