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IAET dinner dance was one for the record books

The Italian American Executives of Transportation held their 2017 Dinner Dance at Alta Villa Banquets on Nov. 19. More than 600 were in attendance, making it one of the largest dinner dances of the year. Dominic Romanazzi was honored as Man of the Year, and Wayne Bubak was honored as Humanitarian. Past IAET honoree Lou Cairo did a tremendous job as master of ceremonies. As president of Teamsters 330, Dominic represents more than 2,000 members working in virtually every industry including public employee, construction, ready warehouse, beverage, school bus and waste removal. He handles administration and all major negotiations for ...

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Sports Hall stages glittering 40th anniversary gala

Four decades after realizing his dream of starting a hall of fame to honor sports heroes, George Randazzo, President and Founder of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, celebrated the organization’s 40th Annual Induction & Awards Gala along with Board Chairman Tony Ferraro, NIASHF directors and loyal supporters this past November in Chicago. Vincent Viola was named 2017 Sportsman of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the world of sports. He is owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team and co-owner of Always Dreaming, winner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing’s prestigious ...

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Societies to gather for Good Friday service

For centuries, towns and villages across Italy have marked Good Friday with masses and processions that rival any other on the Catholic calendar. On March 30, this ancient rite will be re-enacted at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish & Shrine in Melrose Park. That evening, 20 patron saint societies bearing statues and banners will fill the Shrine to capacity. A 7 p.m. Mass in Italian will be followed by a dramatic candlelight procession, accompanied by the Sicilian Band of Chicago. (708-344-4140)  

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Mt. Carmel hosts fish fest for Lent

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 the 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 9 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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Berwyn opens arms to sailors over holidays

More than five-dozen sailors from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center were treated to a holiday feast at the 12th anniversary Sailors for Christmas in Berwyn. The celebration ran from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 25 at Skylight Banquets and included brunch, Christmas dinner, music provided by a DJ and a pizza hour. More than a dozen awards were presented. Volunteers were drawn from the ranks of the community as well as Post 1 of the Italian American War Veterans.

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SACA moves base of operations to Cucina Biagio’s

With the closing of Monastero’s in November, the Sicilian American Cultural Association needed to find a new home for its monthly meetings. After weighing its options, the venerable organization has settled on Cucina Biagio in Harwood Heights. Open to the public, the meetings often feature presentations on Sicilian and Italian arts, science, music, fashion, sports, cuisine and culture. Past meetings have included wine tastings and classical concerts. The next two meetings are March 14 and April 4. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. For reservations, call Cathy Ciminello at 847-673-4660.

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Onesti returns to Festa Italiana on Taylor Street

The Onesti Entertainment Corporation was awarded the contract to produce the Taylor Street Festa Italiana in 2018. The event will take place this year from Aug. 16 to 19. The news comes from the awarding body, The Little Italy Chicago Neighborhood Association. “We couldn’t be more excited,” says LICNA president Joseph Esposito. “Ron Onesti knows this neighborhood as well as anyone, and we truly believe his heart is in the right place. His goals align with ours and his reputation is stellar.” Onesti currently produces Festa Pasta Vino on Oakley Avenue and Little Italy Fest-West in Addison. He previously produced ...

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Mungo’s heartfelt fundraiser turns 25

Southwest suburban businessman Frank Mungo Jr. has been battling blood cancer in his own heartfelt way for a quarter of a century. His Valentine’s Day Dance benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society celebrated its 25th anniversary on Feb. 10 at the Drake Hotel in Oak Brook. When Mungo launched the event, blood cancer treatments were just beginning to see positive advancement. “Since the first year of the Valentine’s Day Dance, we have witnessed life-saving advances in blood cancer research while survival rates have soared,” Mungo says. “Over the last 25 years, we’ve seen the five-year survival rate for Chronic Myeloid ...

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Giangrande throws party to celebrate parade’s success

Sergio Giangrande sure knows how to run a parade … AND throw a party. Thanks to the enthusiastic leadership of the 2017 chairman, float, sponsorship and TV ad sales were through the roof. When all was said and done, five major sponsors had signed on in support of the festivities, and another dozen benefactors purchased 30-second introductory “vignettes,” making it possible to broadcast the entire parade commercial free on ABC. “And we did so well on float sales that the company we work with ran out!” says Domenico Gambino, who recommended Giangrande for the chairmanship. “I’m close friends with Sergio’s ...

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Music boosters blow into Windy City

On Dec. 1, the D’Addario Foundation partnered with Hungry for Music, Todd Rundgren’s Spirit of Harmony, Instruments in the Cloud, and the Chicago Federation of Musicians to hold an instrument collection event at the Ace Hotel Chicago. Sixty-five instruments were gathered at the event. Among the donors were representatives from local music retailers and music schools, as well as a young boy who donated instruments he collected for a community service project. Afterward, the instruments were loaded onto Hungry for Music’s RV for refurbishing and distribution to students in need. The D’Addario Foundation is a nonprofit that supports quality music ...

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