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Author Archives: Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

Amy Mazzolin earns prestigious Kelly Award

Catholic Charities has bestowed one of its most prestigious awards upon Fra Noi President Amy Mazzolin. The retired banker and noted philanthropist was presented with the Dennis F. Kelly Award at the venerable organization’s 99th annual board of directors meeting on Oct. 17 at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago. Named after a revered past president of the organization, the award is given each year to a member of the board who exhibits outstanding service to the mission of Catholic Charities. A board member since 1989, Mazzolin has long supported the organization’s many efforts on behalf of veterans. Among them ...

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D’Amico combats valor thieves

Those who lie about serving in the armed forces in an effort to receive material benefits would face criminal charges under a new proposal co-sponsored by State Rep. John D’Amico. “Our military heroes make great personal sacrifices to protect our freedoms,” D’Amico said. “This proposal would ensure that the military men and women who put their lives on the line have access to the benefits they deserve, not some imposter.” Under the measure, fines would be leveed against anyone who obtains money, property or other benefits by falsely representing him or herself as an active-duty service member or veteran.

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JCCIA presents media awards

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans presented ABC7 Vice President and News Director Jennifer Graves with its prestigious Dante Award at its annual media luncheon. The honor is bestowed each year on a member of the media who lives up to Dante Alighieri’s call to be no timid friend to truth. A member of the ABC7 team since 1992 and its news director since 2001, Graves has earned numerous journalism awards. She has been a major contributor to the station’s cutting-edge technological advances, including the recent installation of ABC7’s state-of-the art news set; an all-digital newsroom; high-definition news; and ...

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Arcolians go to bat for UIC dentistry school

The Arcolian Dental Arts Society gave generously to the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry at its holiday party at the Park Ridge Country Club on Dec. 1. Society President Dr. Frank Maggio and President-Elect Dr. Russell Spinazze (pictured, left and right) presented Dean Clark Stanford with a $2,000 donation to the college’s Group Practice Clinic Renovation Fund. The gift will help introduce new technology into the Group Practice Clinics. “We supported the school not only because we realize it needs financial help at this time, but more importantly, because the future of the profession is being created ...

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IAET honors Onesti, Nicotera at standout gala

    The Italian American Executives of Transportation held their 2015 Dinner Dance at Alta Villa Banquets on Nov. 22, 2015. Despite the snow, more than 600 were in attendance, making it once again one of the largest dinner dances of the year. The IAET honored Ron Onesti, president of Onesti Entertainment, as Man of the Year. A titan in the Italian American community and entertainment industry, Ron generously donates his time and talents locally while entertaining audiences across the country. Lou “Sonny” Nicotera was honored as Humanitarian of the Year. Sonny is one of the finest gentlemen you will ...

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Angelo Castanza Jr. elected president of CIAO

Angelo Castanza Jr. took over as president of the Calabresi in America Organization at CIAO’s annual installation dinner in November. Castanza was brought into the organization in 2001 by the indefatigable Joe Bruno. Once involved, he was hooked. “It is the one place other than my family where I feel I completely belong,” he explains. Castanza has risen through the ranks of CIAO officers over the last several years, and has served on the board of directors, advisory board and golf outing committee. He has played the part of Santa at the organization’s Christmas party since 2003. “I see my ...

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MADD honors Rep. D’Amico

In recognition of his work to strengthen DUI laws, state Rep. John D’Amico received the Legislator of the Year Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), an organization dedicated to saving lives and preventing drunk driving fatalities. “Too many innocent lives across the nation have been taken by the careless decisions of drunk drivers,” D’Amico says. “As a legislator, I want to make sure Illinois enforces measures to help keep our families safe on the road and from having to endure the pain of losing a loved one from reckless driving.” D’Amico partnered with the Secretary of State’s office to ...

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OSIA celebrates 91st annual Columbus Banquet

  The Grand Lodge of Illinois/Wisconsin, Order Sons of Italy in America, celebrated its 91st annual Columbus Banquet on Oct. 10 at the White Eagle in Niles. Richard R. Della Croce, Columbus Banquet Chair and Master of Ceremonies for the evening, welcomed the guests and introduced the Grand Lodge Officers, honored award recipients and the Columbus Queen representative as they entered the hall. Highlighting the evening were the presentations of the 2015 Humanitarian Award and the Columbus Patriot Award. In addition, the Illinois Sons of Italy Foundation awarded nine scholarships to Italian American students who are continuing their education. Receiving ...

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Air Force vet offers rare insight into combat zone

On Monday, Nov. 9, U.S. Air Force veteran William “Billy” Castellano gave a riveting power point presentation of his time in the Middle East to a capacity crowd at the Italian American Veterans Museum. Billy told his story of how a boy from Galewood knew he wanted to follow in his family’s tradition of service to the United States military, joining the Air Force as a young man. As a member of the U.S. Air Force Security Forces, he was tasked with safeguarding nuclear weapons, codes and components. Deployed to the Middle East multiple times, he spent a year in ...

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Columbian Club installs Zivojnovic as president

Elmwood Park real estate broker Jonathan Zivojnovic stepped up to the presidency of the Columbian Club of Chicago at the organization’s annual installation gala on Jan. 16 at the Loew’s Hotel O’Hare. (708-456-9200) “I have served as president and chairperson for many other groups, and I must say that this is a role I have been looking forward to for many years,” Zivojnovic says. A member since 2008, Zivojnovic joined for the networking opportunity and quickly discovered that the club represented so much more. “The brotherhood and camaraderie among the members is like nothing else, and they do wonderful charity work,” ...

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