One of Yorktown’s most esteemed and erudite citizens has been tapped as the Grand Marshal of the 2016 Yorktown Feast of San Gennaro.
Anthony (“Tony”) Grasso, a stalwart Yorktowner for more than a half-century, will take his place of honor at the front of the opening procession on Thursday, Sept. 15, and preside over the duration of the four-day outdoor celebration through Sunday, Sept. 18.
“This is a genuine honor that I always will cherish,” said the energetic 88-year-old. Grasso first learned of the prestigious recognition when his name was announced at the annual Yorktown Chamber of Commerce awards dinner in May. Yorktown Feast of San Gennaro co-founder Thomas Pomposello called him to the podium and, together with Chamber president Eric DiBartolo, surprised Tony Grasso with a red-white-and-green sash bearing his name and the words “Grand Marshal.”
As a model citizen whose wise counsel frequently is sought by elected officials, business owners and others, Grasso has logged decades of extraordinary service to the people and the quality of life of Yorktown.
He currently is treasurer of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, and serves as liaison to the Town Planning Board for both the Chamber and the Town Board. He says, “My goal is to bring more business to Yorktown to help balance the tax burden on the homeowner. Things get done in any town when one knows how to use the system to help, rather than hinder, business development.”
He was a member of the Town Board from 1985-1990. Among the many civic organizations he belongs to are Yorktown Elks (lifetime member), Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Circolo da Vinci and St. Patrick Seniors. At Yorktown Rotary, he was honored with the Club’s Paul Harris Fellow Award. He is a past commissioner of Shrub Oak Athletic Club, and a past Mass lector at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Shrub Oak.
For the past 20 years, he has been married to Jennie Menton Grasso. Each has three children, and together the couple has 16 grandchildren and three—soon to be four—great grandchildren. Grasso moved to Yorktown 54 years ago with wife, Joan, and two of their three children. He was widowed in 1986.
He served two years in the military, with 18 months stationed in Germany, in headquarters of the 66th Medium Tank Battalion of the Second Armored Division.
In his successful professional career, he spent years as a corporate treasurer before founding his own company, Metro Milorganite, Inc., a maker of turf products that it markets to golf courses. He ran the business for 40 years before selling it at the age of 62 to “retire and enjoy life while still young.”
“My goal,” says Grasso, “is to make Yorktown a town that balances a respectable tax base, good schools and great shopping areas in all of the hamlet areas. Both Jennie and I wish to grow old here, and enjoy our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and our precious friends as long as we remain healthy.”
The Grassos enjoy traveling, and wouldn’t you know that their favorite destination is… Italy!
About the 2016 Yorktown Feast of San Gennaro
The four-day outdoor event (Sept. 15-18) is situated in Yorktown Heights on Commerce Street between Downing Drive and Kear Street. It is produced by CCM of Westchester, Inc., registered in the state of New York, and certified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation. A generous portion of proceeds from the Feast are donated to faith-based groups, community charities and civic organizations.
The Feast features a mouth-watering array of authentic Italian dishes from street vendors, plus games and rides for children, and a full schedule of music. Hours are 5-11 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, and Friday, Sept. 16; noon-11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17; noon-9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. There will be a closing procession on Sunday.
The public is invited to the opening procession, which departs approximately 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, from behind Engine Co. #1’s Commerce Street firehouse.