Sunday, June 23, 2002
By JAN TORMAY
Special to the Bulletin
MONTVILLE -- The story of Carol Chesko and David Cavallaro, Jr. reads like a romantic novel, with one small hitch.
The couple, who were matched up by friends, then knew each other casually for three years, decided after Christmas they wanted to get married. Their courtship extended through the four seasons of a year.
The problem was how could Chesko's father, a resident at Hillcrest Health Care Center, attend the wedding?
William Chesko has multiple sclerosis and has not left the nursing home since he went to live there in 1993. He is confined to a wheelchair and has only left his room a few times in five years.
But Ellie Sposato, the nursing home's community liaison, had a solution: Hold the wedding at Hillcrest.
"Last year she graduated from Manchester Community College, and he couldn't be with her and she felt so bad," Sposato, who began to tear up, said. "Carol wanted to share every milestone in her life with her dad."
Planning the event was a lot of work for Sposato, who said she didn't mind the labor.
"I love my residents. I'm going to watch a resident smile," Sposato said.
Chesko, 59, who was an electrician in the U.S. Navy for four and one half years on the USS Clamagor -- based in Groton -- and afterwards worked at the Mansfield Training School where he was an adaptive equipment specialist.
"He modified wheelchairs and other medical equipment for patients at Mansfield. Chesko retired in 1983 because of ill health," Sposato said.
William Chesko said he wasn't sure the wedding was really going to take place at Hillcrest. It did and he beamed with pride as Carol Chesko, 34, and David Cavallaro, 32, were married by the Rev. Steve Gulino, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Uncasville.
Gulino received special permission from Bishop Daniel A. Hart to hold the wedding outside a church.
The wedding was held in the garden courtyard, the gazebo decorated with flowers for the Coventry couple to be married in. The day was sunny and sweltering, with temperatures reaching the mid-90 degree range. Guests were thankful it didn't rain, because there probably wouldn't have been enough room inside Hillcrest.
"It was a beautiful ceremony," said William Chesko, father of the bride, who last walked when his daughter, Janine Chesko Pender, got married 16 years ago.
Chesko and Cavallaro danced to "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You," as the proud father and about 90 other people watched.
"Carol picked out the music. She's a romantic," William Chesko said.
The cake was brought out and cut and Carol Chesko's wish for her wedding
day came true. And it didn't rain until later that day.
Copyright © 2002 Norwich Bulletin