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Casa film series to feature Chicago premiere

  Casa Italia is launching the spring 2017 installment of its popular film series with renewed vigor. Titled “The Best of Both Worlds,” the series will alternate Italian cinema and American documentaries from March to June. Among them are several award-winning films. One of the highlights of the spring session will be the Chicago premier of “Mona Lisa is Missing,” a critically acclaimed documentary that tells the untold tale of one of the highest-profile art thefts of all time. Brazenly stolen from the Louvres on Aug. 21, 1911, da Vinci’s iconic masterpiece eluded an exhaustive two-and-a-half-year search, only to turn ...

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St. Joseph Tables abound!

  Each March, dozens of Italian families, organizations, parishes and businesses in the Chicago area open up their doors and their hearts to the less fortunate by setting up St. Joseph’s Tables. At press time, information was available only on the events in this listing. To be listed next year, call 708-338-0690.   MARCH 10 MISSIONARY SISTERS OF ST. CHARLES (Melrose Park) | First seating, noon to 3 p.m. (businessperson’s lunch); second seating, 4 to 8 p.m. | Buffet meal | Donations appreciated | 708-343-2162   MARCH 11 ST. WILLIAM CHURCH (Chicago) | 4:30 p.m. Mass followed by pasta dinner and ...

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JCCIA, Istituto to showcase Italian culture at Navy Pier

  For the seventh consecutive year, Navy Pier will proudly host Neighborhoods of the World, a free seven-week series that celebrates the rich tapestry of Chicago’s diverse communities. (navypier.com/neighborhoods-world) Under the auspices of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, the culture, food and crafts of Italy will be showcased on March 5 in the Crystal Gardens. The JCCIA is looking for volunteers who will don the traditional costumes of Italy and lend a hand at the event. For details, call 708-450-9050.

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IANU publishes cookbook

  The Italo American National Union Foundation has published a cookbook titled “Let’s Eat: From Our Kitchen to Yours,” featuring 466 recipes provided by IANU members as well as family and friends. To purchase a copy, make out a check or money order to the IANU Foundation for $18 a copy (shipping and handling included) and mail it to IANU Foundation c/o Josephine Petitti; 2250 W. Golf Road, Suite 203; Hoffman Estates, IL 60169. (847-885-2074)

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IAET honors stellar foursome at standout gala

  The Italian American Executives of Transportation held their 2016 Dinner Dance at Alta Villa Banquets on Nov. 19. More than 500 were in attendance, making it was once again one of the largest dinner dances of the year. The IAET honored Sam Cicinelli as Man of the Year. Sam is the leader of the largest mechanics’ union in the country. An IAET member, he is the Directing Business Representative of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Automobile Mechanics’ Union Local 701, representing more than 6,400 active members and more than 4,200 retired members. He is extremely proud ...

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Columbian Club installs officers

  Oak Park Police Chief Anthony Ambrose stepped up to the presidency of the Columbian Club of Chicago at the organization’s annual installation gala. “It’s an honor and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of so many great past presidents,” Ambrose says. A member since 2010, Ambrose joined “to promote our great Italian heritage and be associated with a club that believes in giving back to the community.” In addition to working his way up the ladder of succession as an officer, Ambrose has served as either chairman or co-chairman of the club’s golf outing for the last five ...

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Political Coalition to honor Justice Thomas

The Italian American Political Coalition will honor Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas on March 9 at Elmcrest Banquets in Elmwood Park. Tickets for the event are $100 and include an open bar. (708-369-2500) Thomas was elected a judge of the Circuit Court of DuPage County in 1988, serving as acting chief judge from 1989 to 1994. He was elected to the Appellate Court, Second District, in 1994 and was sworn in as an Illinois Supreme Court justice for the Second District in 2000, serving as chief justice from 2005 to 2008. Robert R. Thomas was born on Aug. 7, ...

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Mt. Carmel preps for fish fest

  As long as you’re abstaining from meat during Lent, you might as well have fun doing it at the sixth annual Lenten Fish Fry at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish & Shrine in Melrose Park. Hosted by the St. Anthony Society and slated for 6 to 9 p.m. on March 24 in the school gym, the event will feature beer-battered fish and chips, coleslaw, corn on the cob, beverages and sweets, as well as live entertainment, raffles and St. Anthony items for sale. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12. (312-860-2530, 708-344-4140)  

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Bel Canto gears up for opera competition

  On March 7, 1974, the Monastero family sponsored a small contest at their popular Chicago restaurant for voice students from Northwestern University. More than four decades later, the Bel Canto vocal competition has blossomed into a multi-night extravaganza involving dozens of singers and featuring more than $40,000 in prizes. This year’s competition will include semi-finals on March 11 and April 8, finals on April 29 and the Bravo Awards presentations on May 21, all at Monastero’s in Chicago. (773-588-2515)

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New group hosts first-ever cuccidati fest

  Bravo to Salvatore Sciacca, Executive Director and Founder the Chicago Italian American Professionals (CIAP) for holding a first-of-its-kind and delicious event to celebrate the Sicilian Fig Cookie called cuccidati. The First Annual La Festa dei Cuccidati was the idea of Michael A. Benedetto, a Dupage County attorney, created to recognize individuals who have  preserved the tradition of making Cuccidati as well as highlighting local bakeries that still produce it. All proceeds from the event went to Casa Italia. Cuccidati is a traditional Sicilian Christmas cookie. It is a crumbly, butter pastry dough filled with a rich and sweet filling of ...

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