Gallery of Grand Marshals
A. Rayner & Eugenia Rayner
Douglas A. Rayner, and his wife Eugenia Rayner have
been named the Grand Marshalls of the 2012 Westerly-Pawcatuck
Columbus Day Parade. Most notably the Rayner’s
have performed countless volunteer hours for the Chorus
of Westerly’s Summer Pops Annual Concert. The
Rayner’s have been involved in the event for
the past 32 years.
A. Rayner, Doug, was born in Westerly, R.I., and attended
high school just across the river at Stonington
High School. He served in the United States Air Force
from 1959 – 1970. Eugenia, Gene, was born in Hartford,
CT and attended Bulkeley High School in Hartford. They
moved back to Westerly with their children, David, Kimberlie,
and Kristen in 1970. Doug joined Dr. Louis LaPere and
Dr. John Wood in the practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology
before retiring from the practice in 1999. Doug and Gene
volunteer for many community organizations, with their
main focus being The Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops.
Doug and Gene have served on the Chorus’ Summer
Pops Steering Committee for many years. Gene has also
been the Patron’s Coordinator for the past 20 years. “The
two of them have made the Pops what it is today, far
exceeding what the event was intended to be. The two
of them have also successfully raised over 5 million
dollars for the arts in Westerly and Pawcatuck.” said
by the executive director Ryan Saunders of the Chorus
The Summer Pops concert in Wilcox Park, has attracted
audiences of 20 -25,000 annually. The Rayners and a host
of volunteers are responsible for organizing the event,
as well as procuring the funds necessary for such a production.
Doug has also been a member of the Rotary Club of Westerly,
also a major supporter of the Summer Pops, for 41 years,
serving as president, secretary and board member during
in its 159th year, the Westerly Band continues to provide
southern New England with a variety
of popular, classical, and ethnic music and, of course,
marches. The band has participated in the Westerly Columbus
Day Parade from the parade’s beginning as a small
procession to the large, ten-division, two-state event
it is today.
Although handwritten notes indicate that the Westerly
Band traces its history to at least 1852, during the
early years of the Civil War the Band ceased operations
as many members marched off to fight for the Union.
In 1863, the band was reconstituted as a community
During the 148 years since, the Westerly Band has met
monthly to rehearse and perform, which makes it the
oldest continually active community unit in the
and a signature element in Westerly’s unique culture
and history. Under the direction of Alison Patton and
the assistant direction of Charles Masse, the 2011 edition
of the Westerly Band includes nearly 60 members of the
community. Collectively, they play instruments ranging
from clarinet and saxophone to trumpet, tuba, and percussion.
Pasquale “Patsy” Castagna
children – Sharon
Westerly – as
Bed & Breakfast
Bed & Breakfast.
& Betty Cugini
Westerly Sun): Joe Cugini has traveled the world
and been to every state
in the union, but says there is no
place like home.
“The best place to be has always been Westerly,
Rhode Island,” Cugini said. “This is God’s
garden spot on earth.”
affection for the town, which has been his home for
79 years, and for his Italian heritage are
the reasons he is so proud that he and his wife, Betty
Cugini, have been chosen as grand marshals of the 2009
Columbus Day Parade.
and Betty Cugini were the unanimous choice of the Permanent
Columbus Day Committee, the small group of
dedicated volunteers who work all year to put on the
annual two-state parade. President Joseph Potter, who
said the theme for this year’s parade is volunteerism,
said the Cuginis were chosen “because of their
continued commitment to the community.”
“We just felt we should honor them for their many
years of service,” Potter said.
Nicholas Cugini was born in Westerly in 1930 and was
a member of Westerly High School’s class
of 1948. It was there that he met Elizabeth Marie Champlin,
and the high school sweethearts have been together ever
“I took Betty to the junior prom in 1947,” Joe
recalled. They were engaged in 1953, and married in 1955.
living in Westerly and raising their two children,
Betty-Jo and David, the Cugini’s began creating
their legacy of service.
Joe worked for the Westerly Community Credit Union for
41 years, retiring in 2000 as president, chief executive
officer and chairman of the board. During that time,
he served credit unions and their members on a state,
national and international level.
He was elected to the Credit Union Executive Society
Hall of Fame and traveled to Brisbane, Australia to receive
the Distinguished Service Award from the World Council
of Credit Unions.
Joe founded the now 25-year-old Westerly Community
Credit Union Holiday Basketball Tournament. He has
on the board of the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber
of Commerce, and hosts the chamber’s candidate
forum prior to every municipal election in Westerly.
has also volunteered with Westerly’s Tercentenary
Committee, Westerly FOPA, the Westerly Renal Institute,
Ocean Community YMCA, Westerly Adult Day Services, and
is a member of the Westerly Fire District Future Needs
Committee. He is an incorporator of both the Westerly
Public Library and the Westerly Hospital.
has received numerous local awards and accolades, including
having the middle school media center named
in his honor after he led the Vision 20-20 Committee
that oversaw the school’s completion.
a fellow member of Westerly High School’s
class of 1948, has an equally long history of service.
After leaving her job as a kindergarten teacher in the
Westerly school system to raise her family, she stayed
active in the district as a volunteer.
She also volunteered with local scout groups, CYO, and
served Girl Scouts of Rhode Island on a state and national
level. Like Joe, she also serves at the Westerly Adult
Day Services and Westerly Hospital, and is the recipient
of awards for her volunteerism.
Joe and Betty registered so many new voters in Rhode
Island that they earned Westerly the distinction
of having Captain America — the patriotic Mr. Potato
Head statue — reside in town.
for himself and Betty, Joe said they “were
very surprised and very pleased” to be chosen for
the honorary position.
“We were absolutely delighted that they would
even think of us,” he said.
HERE for a biography of Roberta Mudge Humble
1999 to the present, David P. Erskine
has served as Police Chief for the Town of Stonington.
His tenure with the Stonington Police Department stretches
back 42 years, from his appointment as a patrol officer
on November 1, 1965. Chief Erskine was promoted to Captain
in 1983, a position he held until 1989 when he was appointed
as Deputy Chief of Police. He served as acting Chief from
January 1998 until his official appointment as Chief in
March of 1999. Chief Erskine is a lifelong resident of
Stonington. He and his wife Marcia have one daughter, Lora,
and two grandchildren. In 2007, Chief Erskine won the Distinguished
Chief's Award by the Police Commissioner's Association
Chief of Police David P. Erskine
Grand Marshal Colonel Steven Paré
of the RI State Police
2005 Grand Marshal
RI Senator Dennis Algiere
Dennis Algiere has represented Westerly in the Rhode
Island state Senate since 1992. He holds a J.D. from
the Southern New England School of Law, an M.S. from
Northeastern University, and a B.S. from Providence College.
Senator Algiere works as a Senior Vice-President for
the Washington Trust Company.
2004 Grand Marshal
Chef Frank Terranova
Terranova is an associate instructor at Johnson & Wales
University's prestigious College of Culinary Arts. He
is the host of Cooking with Class, a daily television
cooking segment on Channel 10, the NBC affiliate in Providence,
2003 Grand Marshal
Major General Reginald Centracchio
Major General Reginald A. Centracchio assumed duties
as The Adjutant General of Rhode Island, and Commanding
General of the Rhode Island National Guard, on 1 August
1995. As The Adjutant General, he directs the establishment,
organization an maintenance of the military forces of
the State, comprised of units of the Army and Air National
Guard, which are reserve components of the United States
Army and Air Force, and the State Militia.
2002 Grand Marshals
Nick, Ron and Pete Cardi, Ni-Ro-Pe!
What is Ni-Ro-Pe? Where did it come from? Here is the
story - When we were kids, our parents bought us a 10'
row boat. This was a subtle way to let us know we would
have to work to get anywhere in life. Our great-aunt
Grace then told us we needed to name the boat. She took
the first 2 letters of each of our first names and called
it Ni-Ro-Pe, as in rope to tie the boat. Later we used
Ni-Ro-Pe to help describe, in a single word, our personal
assurance that when shopping at any one of our stores,
you will experience the largest selection, the best service,
and enjoy the absolute lowest prices - Everyday! Cardi's
Furniture has been in business since 1928. We are proud
to carry on the tradition of legendary customer service
to all of our customers.
2001 Grand Marshal
Channel 10's Frank Coletta
Coletta anchors News Channel 10 Sunrise and Noon. Frank
joined News Channel 10 in 1978 as an assignment
editor. He became a general assignment reporter in 1981
and began anchoring the "Today" show local
cut-ins in 1982. He began anchoring the Saturday newscasts
in 1983 and was named Sunrise anchor in 1985. Frank has
received numerous reporting awards from the Associated
Press and United Press International, and an Emmy nomination
for investigative reporting in 1986. He has been named
Best Morning Anchor by readers of Rhode Island Monthly
magazine for 12 years in a row.
2000 Grand Marshal
Dr. Robert Ballard
Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic, Robert
D. Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous
other significant shipwrecks, including the German
battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal,
the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown (sunk in the World
War II Battle of Midway), and most recently John F.
Kennedy's boat, PT-109. In addition to being a National
Geographic Society explorer-in-residence, Ballard is
president of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic,
has 13 honorary degrees and 6 military awards; he is
a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He received
the National Geographic Society's prestigious Hubbard
Medal in 1996 for "extraordinary accomplishments
in coaxing secrets from the world's oceans and engaging
students in the wonder of science." He has published
18 books, numerous scientific papers and a dozen articles
in National Geographic magazine. Ballard also has been
featured in several National Geographic television programs,
including the record-breaking Secrets of the Titanic.
1999 Grand Marshals
Senators Frank & Jane Gencarelli
After forty years in the building materials and construction
industries, Frank founded Nycon in 1991. Under his
leadership, Nycon grew from a local Indiana distributorship
to a global enterprise. Prior to Nycon, Frank introduced
Dryvit, an innovative German exterior wall facade system,
in the United States. He co-founded Dryvit, Inc., a
firm that eventually became a $45-million enterprise.
Earlier on, with the P.L. Monroe Brick Co. in Providence,
he was the district sales manager for the Northeast.
Frank has a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island
and served as the state senator from Rhode Island for
eight years. He is a member of the Florida Independent
Concrete & Aggregates Producers, Inc. (FICAP),
the Florida Concrete and Products Association, Inc.
(FCPA), and the Concrete Specifiers Institute.
Vincent A. Cianci