TAKEN FROM THE JULY 12 ISLAND DISPATCH
Independence Day week was full of class reunions, family reunions, friends getting together, smiles and laughter this year. The Corrao family of Grand Island was no different, only more so.
For about the last 15 years, the Corraos have been having Fourth of July gatherings with family coming in from all over New York state and Connecticut. The Fourth of July is always at least a two-day event for the family. According to Monique Corrao, out-of-state family members joke about the setting up of chairs days in advance of the parade along Grand Island Boulevard. Some years, guests have participated in the road race. After-parade festivities hosted by Mark and Desi Corrao always include a day of poolside and backyard barbecues and sometimes boating. Day 2 includes fun and games such as KanJam tournaments, horseshoes, ladder or ring toss and a family softball game.
This year, to change things up a bit, Day 2 hosts Monique and Tommy Corrao held the Great Corrao Race. Five teams of participants ranging in age from 7 to 57 were given two pages of items they needed to obtain or obtain pictures and/or video of. Items included pictures of a stranger wearing a Bills jersey, photos with a police officer, a veteran or a hockey player at the VFW, pictures on the slide at McDonald's, pictures with a Mighty Taco employee (bonus if it was of Alex Corrao, who was working that day), a Tops employee, pictures of the new Island mural, of a light house, team members under the bridge, running bases at Veterans Park, running the track at the high school, participating in a flash dance mob, and the list goes on. Points were awarded for each picture obtained with participants unaware of set point value.
The race was won by Joneen, Hannah, Jenna, Ginger and Michael Corrao with 477 points.