SHAMOKIN - An 8-foot-long banner displayed outside the Original Italian Pizza banquet hall welcomed members to the annual Chiavaroli family reunion July 19.

Inside, the hall was decorated in red, white and green. The Italian flag that was displayed was donated by Michael Chiavaroli, of Philadelphia, who obtained it when he was serving in the U.S. Army in Italy.

Bob Koshinskie, of Cranford, N.J., opened the program with welcome remarks. He said some family members have attended every reunion since its inception, and every year new members attend. He encouraged them to become reacquainted with their relatives. He thanked members who brought homemade Italian cookies and desserts. A relative from Philadelphia also brought "Philly pretzels."

Koshinskie explained that when the Chiavaroli family arrived in the U.S. from Loreta Aprutino, Abruzzi, Italy, two brothers, Sabatino and Zopito, and sisters, Giovinna and Leeige, settled in Shamokin. Some of their descendants still live there. That is why the reunion is held in Shamokin, he said.

Congratulations were extended to all couples who were married 50 years or more: Carol and Gerry O'Donnell, of Harrisburg; Mary and Thomas Chiavaroli, of Philadelphia; Jim and Marylou Chiavaroli, of Shamokin; Louise and Brient Weist, of Trevorton; and John and Marion Tentromono, of Wilmington, Del.

The oldest family member present was Arthur Chiavaroli, who celebrated his 92nd birthday July 6. Koshinskie read messages from family members who could not attend.

Two new members were added to the Nifty Ninety Club this year, Mary Chiavaroli and Josephine Mussara, both of Philadelphia. There are now five living members.

An induction ceremony was held for the Elite Eighty Club for members 80 years and older. One new member was added.

Kris Mace read the honor roll which includes the name of all members of the Chiavaroli family who served in the military from World War I until the present day. Major Scott Sturdevant, who is currently deployed, is married to Michaelle Heiser, a daughter of Ron and Dolores Heiser, of Lancaster.

Gene Grove invited all out-of-town relatives to walk down Independence Street to see the banner displayed in honor of his Uncle Jake Pantalone, who died in the Battle of the Bulge.

Geneology charts of all Chiavaroli families were displayed by Mike and Ginny Koshinskie, of Philadelphia, along with many photos.

Following a traditional Italian dinner, there was a sing-along of both Italian and American songs. Music was provided by Joe Koshinskie, of Mechanicsburg.

Everyone present were reminded the next reunion date is the last Saturday of July 2015.

The reunion is coordinated by Ann Chiavaroli Koshinskie, of Coal Township.