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Veterans museum to pay tribute to Anthony Fornelli

The Italian American Veterans Museum will present founder and Chairman Anthony Fornelli with a Lifetime Achievement Award at a testimonial dinner on June 8 at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont. During a career that has spanned more than six decades, Fornelli has served at various levels of government; presided over half a dozen non-profits; raised or donated millions of dollars for charity; and earned nearly a dozen local, national and international honors. The son of Gennaro, who hailed from Naples, and Madelyn, who “hailed from Calabria by way of Des Moines, Iowa,” Tony grew up on Chicago’s ...

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JCCIA to present Bernardin Award to Cubs exec Lufrano

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will present Chicago Cubs executive Michael Lufrano with its prestigious Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award at a gala on June 17 at the Loews Hotel in Rosemont. “During his 12-year tenure with the world champion Chicago Cubs, Mr. Lufrano has built strong bonds of trust with the community and has vastly expanded the team’s charitable reach,” says event chairman Jonathan Zivojnovic. “In his words and deeds, he reflects the spirit of our beloved late cardinal.” Lufrano serves as executive vice president, community affairs and chief legal officer for the Chicago Cubs. He joined ...

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JCCIA to honor worthy pair at media luncheon

John Idler, president and general manager of ABC7 Chicago, and Alison Pure-Slovin, Midwest director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, will be honored at the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans’ annual media luncheon on May 18. Idler will be given the Dante Award, which is bestowed on a member of the media who lives up to Dante Alighieri’s call to be no timid friend to truth; Pure-Slovin will receive the Mazzei Award, which is presented to a person who shows extraordinary skills in the world of public affairs. Dante Award Recipient John Idler “As a longtime supporter of the work ...

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OSIA to fete 12 at da Vinci gala

New JCCIA President Enza Raineri will be among a dozen community leaders honored at the 16th annual Leonardo da Vinci Award of Excellence Gala on May 7 at White Eagle Banquets in Niles. The event is hosted by the Order Sons of Italy in America’s Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin. Raineri will receive a Community Leadership Award along with Berwyn Police Chief Michael D. Cimaglia, Festa Italiana Milwaukee founder Paul F. Iannelli, OSIA Roma Lodge President Rick P. Bonanno. Also being honored are firefighter and paramedic Jeffery H. Bruno (Community Service); singer Jack V. Miuccio (Entertainment); Conca d’Oro Restaurant ...

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Community shines at Navy Pier on March 5

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and Istituto Italiano di Cultura put Italy’s best foot forward on March 5 during Navy’s Pier’s Neighborhoods of the World celebration. What an appropriate name to promote all the diversity of Chicago. Our array of ethnic communities is presented for thousands of spectators who pass thru Navy Pier on any given Sunday from February thru April. Entertainment was presented on March 5 by the IIC and the JCCIA presents the cultural displays. For weeks prior to our day to shine, the JCCIA office was buzzing with costume fittings and other preparations. That day, ...

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Pompeii sets 8th annual Festa della Repubblica

Comitato Tricolore Italiani nel Mondo will host its eighth annual Festa della Repubblica on May 28 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago. The event celebrates the birth of the Italian republic, and it bears the distinction of being the only such celebration outside of Italy to feature a parade through the streets. Festivities will begin with a Mass at the Shrine at 11 a.m. followed by a parade to Garibaldi Park for a wreath-laying ceremony with the Consulate General of Italy. Participants will return to the Shrine for a street festival featuring Italian music, sandwiches for ...

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Emilio Scalzitti desperately needs organ donation

A lynchpin of the Italian-American community desperately needs our help. Longtime community activist Emilio Scalzitti is in renal failure and his life depends on receiving a new kidney. Born and raised in the Mother Cabrini Parish, he became active in the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel soon after moving to Melrose Park in the 1980s. He ran the Knights of Columbus honor guard at the Feast of San Francesco for decades, and he currently serves as financial secretary for the San Rocco di Potenza Society. His blood type makes him a match for any donor. (773-413-7542)

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Filomena Magrone to celebrate 100th birthday

Filomena Magrone will celebrate her 100th birthday this month surrounded by family and friends. She was born on May 14, 1917, in Carbonara, Bari, Puglia, to Nicola and Cecilia Muschio. In 1934, Gaetano Magrone began rounding up friends who could play musical instruments and showing up in front of her house to serenade her. They were married the next year. The couple moved to Chicago in 1966, eventually settling in Wood Dale. Gaetano was a baker by trade and Filomena was an exceptional cook, even working for a while jarring fruit and other food. They raised a family of 11 ...

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Daughter forms foundation to support donkeys

In life, John Mollo was a fan of donkeys, a beast of burden that played a pivotal role in the lives of his Calabrian ancestors. When he passed away in February 2017, his daughter decided to honor his memory by creating a foundation to protect the animal that her father so loved. “I’d like to establish a charitable organization that would raise money to be sent to facilities already involved in the hands-on rescue and day-to-day care of donkeys,” Stephany Mollo explains. She is seeking kindred spirits to join her in this cause. (708-946-3675)

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Rep. D’Amico backs legislative pay freeze

State Rep. John D’Amico has voted to freeze lawmaker reimbursements and prevent a pay raise for politicians. “Politicians should not be receiving any sort of pay increase while middle-class families continue to struggle to get by,” D’Amico says. “With property taxes crunching the budgets of working families across the state, we should be focused on offering tax relief, not giving out perks to politicians.” D’Amico supported House Bill 643, which removes the automatic cost-of-living increase that state legislators are due in July. The measure also freezes reimbursement rates for travel, food and lodging on days lawmakers are in session in ...

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