The History of Mel’s Cribbage and Chili Event

Mel’s First Blog!

A little backstory. For those who do not know, in the summer of 1975, our family moved from Rocky River, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland) to Green Bay, WI. It was also the year I began my freshman year at DePere Abbot Pennings High School. This would be where life-long friendships started, and I got the nickname “Mel.”
I then headed to UW-Oshkosh and graduated with a Suma Cum Lucky degree. For those who have heard that line JUST a few times from me, I apologize, but it is true.
I resided in North Scott Hall for my first two years. I was away from home for the first time and did not know anybody from the Green Bay area joining me in Oshkosh. On my floor, also starting their freshman year, were Mike (Moby) Messenbrink, Mike Moses, and Jamie Trenter, and we immediately became friends. Guess where they were from? Cedarburg, WI. Which, by the way, I had never heard of.
They started having friends visit, and that is where Kevin Taylor joins this blog. Kevin graduated from Cedarburg High School with Moby, Mike, and Jamie. We also became instant friends. I visited Cedarburg many times during my college years, and I vividly thought, what a cool town, and maybe I would live there someday. Well, after college, that dream became a reality. My first “real” job was as a sales coordinator at the Rite Hite Corporation, located in Brown Deer, WI, at the time, which was another blessing. Great experience, great company.
It did not take long for me to live in the Ozaukee County area, and having my friends from Cedarburg to hang out with was fantastic.
Back to Kevin Taylor, who had recently married Donna, I spent much time at the Taylor residence, especially during the summer because they had a pool in their backyard! They were blessed with two children, Bryan and Michelle. The story is true, I was asked to babysit them on occasion. When Bryan was playing Little League baseball, I was fortunate to be one of his coaches. He has all grown up and is an outstanding dad, husband and supports our mission in a variety of ways.
Michelle is now Michelle Taraboi, who founded and owns the iconic Anvil Pub & Grille located in downtown Cedarburg. She is also all grown up and like her brother, is an outstanding mom and wife. The Anvil Pub and Grille also supports in so many ways.
This is where John Damico enters the blog! John is the uber talented chef at the Anvil Pub and Grille. Another guy who helps us in so many ways. It was his idea to hold a cribbage and chili event at the Anvil many years ago.
In fact, Michelle and John have grown this event to the point where with their blessing, it is moving to a larger venue in downtown Cedarburg, Lime Cantina. With more space, we can accommodate more teams! You must pre-register. Link is on our website. It will take place on Sunday February 25 from Noon-5:00 p.m.
Pictured in this blog is John Damico and Michelle Taraboi.
There would be no Mel’s Charities without Kevin and Donna Taylor, their children Bryan and Michelle and my life probably would have never crossed with John Damico! Who by the way is celebrating a birthday today!
This all started in 1999 with first Pig Roast. I am thinking this blog will turn into Pig Tales, the incredible stories these past 25 years. You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.