Hopefully, each of us can say that there are one or two friends in our lives who always made you smile, always told you the truth and who were always there to step up when things were falling apart.

For the women of Dante who have been loving this Society for the last 25 years or so, that member was Nancy McDonald. It seemed like a sudden decision to most of us, but we all understood how much Nancy’s young nephews adored her! When the boys moved back East to Ohio last year, it was tough on everyone. Nancy took charge of her life and decided to solve the situation by moving to Ohio also!

So our friend who was so much a part of our Dante lives, was leaving. She was the person who organized the programs, the pre-Dante dinners, wrote the Dante cookbook, published the Dante brochure, and always solved the questions of struggling events and festivals. We could not let her leave without a proper send-off.

So Gini Harmon had the idea to gather together as many of us as possible for one last lunch together, outside on her deck Friday afternoon, July 10th. Twenty-one friends were contacted, and when all the universe did its job, we had seven ladies come, bearing food, gifts, cards and the best wishes of all those who could not make it, to say goodbye.

Through our masks we told stories, remembered old friends, and then had a wonderful salmon entree prepared by Gini, salads that only veteran Dante ladies could easily create, and a few tears.

We wish you could all have been there to send her off with giant air-hugs, and yet all the Dantes were there in spirit.

In a while Nancy will send the address of her newly built townhouse with updates! Thank you Nancy for making us at the Dante Society a part of your life for so many years.

—Caterina Murone Wartes

Nancy McDonald's Goodbye Party

From Left to Right: Louise Sportelli, Melinda Jankord-Steedman, Jane Cottrell, Caterina Wartes, Gini Harmon, and Nancy McDonald. Behind the camera: Sharon Leone.