Reunion Hightlights

August 20, 1997

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for attending and making our first Leeber/Leopardi Family Reunion a huge success! Watching family members reunite and meet for the first time brought joy and happiness to all of us, and we sincerely hope our next worldwide gathering unites even more than the 151 present this year. States and countries represented were: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona, and Austria.

Total expenditures for this year’s reunion including all mailings from its first inception totaled $12,304.39, 66% of which was paid by you through your donations and purchases of T-shirts and raffle tickets. We sincerely thank you for your generosity! A special thanks goes out to Kathleen Leeber Gianfrisco, Leslie Leeber Meade, Fred Leeber, Anthony Leeber, Lewis Leeber, Denise Meade, Melissa Leeber, and the clean-up crew for their tremendous help and support. We couldn’t have managed without these individuals.

As indicated on your surveys, future reunions will be held every two years on a pre-pay basis. Any profits made from the sale of T-shirts, raffle tickets, and/or other fund raisers will be placed into a special reunion account and applied toward future reunions in an effort toward lowering the cost per individual in succeeding years. Children 12 and under will not be charged. Our next scheduled reunion will be held at the same location on August 7th and 8th, 1999. Friday, August 6th will be reserved for preparation.

Baskets were raffled off both Saturday and Sunday with winners listed below:

1) Elizabeth Leeber, daughter of Blaise William Leeber, Jr.

2) Philip Leeber, son of Anthony Philip Leeber

3) Donna Filosa, daughter of Stella Leeber Filosa

4) Anthony Leeber, son of Fury Fred Leeber

5) Anthony Leeber, Jr., son of Anthony Leeber

6) Kathy Gianfrisco Burke, daughter of Kathleen Leeber Gianfrisco

7) Gabriella Leopardi Cassaniti, daughter of Raffaele and Ida Leopardi

8) Eddie McKinney, brother of Tony McKinney

9) Alice Ann Leeber, wife of Lewis Leeber

10) Gina Leeber Dorman, daughter of Anthony Leeber

11) Lewis Leeber, son of Mike and Minnie Leeber

Purple embroidered shirts were awarded as special prizes to the following:

1) Doug Caravaggio, son of Mary Leeber Caravaggio, oldest grandchild

2) Morgan Patrick Leeber, son of Paul Leeber, youngest Leeber

3) Louise Leeber, original child of Giacomo Leopardi

4) George Leeber, original child of Donato Leopardi

5) Hubert Leeber, farthest traveled (internationally)

6) Victor Leeber, Jr., son of Victor Leeber, farthest traveled (nationally)

7) Rosita Leeber, door prize selected from worksheets

8) Denise Meade, daughter of Leslie Leeber Meade, special prize for

scanning pictures

9) Melissa Leeber, daughter of John Leeber, special prize for scanning


10) Leslie Leeber Meade, daughter of Blaise William Leeber, special prize

for her coordination

11) Kathleen Leeber Gianfrisco, daughter of Fury Fred Leeber, special prize

for her coordination

12) Lewis Leeber, son of Mike and Minnie Leeber, special prize for his

support and assistance

13) Michael Gianfrisco, son of Kathleen Gianfrisco, birthday prize

Silk embroidered jackets were presented to four very special individuals:

1) George Leeber, original child of Donato Leopardi

2) Louise Leeber, original child of Giacomo Leopardi

3) Leslie Leeber Meade, for her tremendous support

4) Kathleen Leeber Gianfrisco, for her tremendous support

Tony and I were so busy during the reunion that we didn’t take pictures; therefore, we’d deeply appreciate duplicate copies of your pictures. Once we receive a copy of the 3-hour video kindly supplied by Donna Filosa (footage supplied by Julie Filosa), we will gladly make a copy for anyone who requests it. Thanks so much, Julie and Donna! Another thanks goes to Ann Caruso Carey for the use of her camcorder. A Donato Leopardi Family Album similar to the one compiled for Giacomo is desperately needed for the next reunion. We would gladly take on this task if supplied with pictures from all thirteen children’s families, including children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We have birth and baptism records of Donato’s children but need death certificates. We would also like to enhance Giacomo’s album with pictures of later generations. Please provide us with copies of any pictures you feel that would complete this task and inform us of any births, baptisms, marriages, divorces, etc. to keep the family database updated.

Tony and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of you and thank you for the beautiful card and roses. We were only saddened by the limited time we had to share with each family. Always know that all of you are welcomed in our home at anytime. As Hubert says, "just not all of you at once." (smile) Remember, if ever traveling our way, our home is yours.

Due to the overwhelming excitement and emotion on Saturday, I failed to properly introduce each family group and make a dedication to all our deceased relatives, especially to my great great grandparents, Panfilantonio and Gaetana (Paolilli) Leopardi; my great grandparents, Biagio and Angela Maria (Di Prospero) Leopardi; my grandparents, Giacomo (James) and Caterina (Rusciano) Leopardi (Leeber); my parents, Fury and Mamie Leeber, but most of all to a very special lady in my life – Elizabeth Leeber Little - my Aunt Liz, who is missed beyond words and who taught me the meaning of family, love, and perseverance.

Much love to all of you,

James and Tony

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