Greetings dear friends and kind readers and welcome back for our final Front Porch visit of 2018. "Love and joy come to you and to you, your wassail too," as the song says, "and God bless you and send you a happy New Year, and God send you a happy New Year!"

Ah, the wonderful holiday music, holiday food and holiday fun! May it continue as we head into 2019, practice writing the number nine, and think about our New Year resolutions.  

Remember tomorrow is the 13th annual Penguin Plunge at The Windjammer, a fundraiser for the WARM Center, when you are invited to plunge with hundreds of other brave souls into the icy waters of Misquamicut, according to WARM's executive director Russ Patridge. Participants can register online at warmcenter.org, or beginning at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. The plunge begins a 1 p.m. sharp. Plungers will receive T-shirts and hot lunch. So, as Russ says, "Grab your friends, form a team, fundraise, and plunge. Start your new year off helping others."  

Hmmm ... now, here's an idea ...perhaps the revelers from the Bliven-Delaney wedding party might want to consider diving in the ocean for a morning refresher! That's right, tonight is the long-awaited New Year's Eve wedding of Erica Rose Delaney and Aaron Samuel Bliven, who were engaged to be married just about a year ago. The excitement has been building since Erica, the daughter of Valerie Ahern and Bob Delaney, said "Yes." Aaron's buddies have gathered from around the country to properly roast him and toast the bride-to-be. More on that next week, and best wishes to the soon-to-be newlyweds!

It certainly was a Merry Christmas for some of our favorite local couples. Felicitations to Mary Buonocore and Peter Strafach, who announced their engagement on Christmas Eve from Rockefeller Center. Such good news for two very special people who each have magnificent mothers. Mary's mom is the one and only Rosemary Trovato Buonocore, pie-maker and pal extraordinaire. Pete's mom is the one and only Ruth-Ann Panciera "Lady Di" Strafach, a member of the famed Fr. Ray Breakfast Club and one of the kindest women in town. Pete's dad, John Strafach and Mary's dad, Lou Buonocore are pretty cool too! Such happy news! Oceans of love your way! 

Felicitations also to Derek Vacca and Brittany LeClair who announced their plans to marry the day after Christmas. Derek is a personal trainer who owns Precision Fitness in downtown Westerly and Brittany, the daughter of Greg and Kim LeClair of 7-Eleven fame and the sister of Ashley.

Bravo to Bronte Stahl, son of Stacy Highfill Stahl and Nick Stahl, whose film "Terrill," was recently selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Bronte, who interned at the Sun when he was at Westerly High School, has studied, worked and lived in Florence, Rome, Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels, graduated magna cum laude from the European documentary directing masters program DocNomads.  

And last but not least, a Christmas Teddy Bear is one the way to the home of Emily and Matthew Lynch, both Sun alums, who welcomed baby Milo MacCoy Lynch on Christmas Day! Good news! Congratulations everyone!

Happy New Year and ciao bella!

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