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Addison Trail instructor Judie Vitiritti-Lynch

At a recent awards banquet, Judie Vitiritti-Lynch was so engaged in talking to her former students that she didn’t hear the emcee announce her name. A colleague prompted her to walk up to the podium, because she had won the Italian Consulate in Chicago’s first-ever Midwest Award for Leadership in the Teaching of the Italian Language and Culture. “I was stunned, because I was up against some very good people, and everyone was so deserving,” recalls Vitiritti-Lynch, who became Addison Trail High School’s first Italian language teacher in the early 1990s and pioneered the program. In her first year, she ...

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Boxing judge Mauro DiFiore

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing one of professional boxing’s most respected stars outside of the ring. From Chicago, the only Italian-American professional boxing judge in the state of Illinois, always in the neutral corner, is Mauro DiFiore. DiFiore never steps into the ring and he must always maintain strict neutrality. His skills and 50 years of boxing experience have made him one of the most sought after professional boxing judges in the world. His reputation as one of the best has brought him to a level few ever attain. The globetrotting DiFiore has judged championship matches all over the world. He ...

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Youth sports advocate Anthony Isabelli

Sportivo Management Group founder Anthony H. Isabelli has parlayed a deep appreciation for his Italian heritage into a new role that he hopes will allow more Italian Americans to examine their own roots. In December, he was appointed to the position of United States Foreign Committee president for the Association of Sport, Culture and Leisure (ASCI), an Italian organization headquartered in Rome. This new post will allow Isabelli to further his mission of encouraging cultural exchanges between America and Italy by creating opportunities for young athletes from both countries to compete against each other. In an official statement, Isabelli expressed ...

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CIACO to honor Lou Scaramuzzo

The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization will honor Louis Scaramuzzo as Humanitarian of the Year on April 29 at Medinah Shrine Center in Addison. To make reservations, visit www.ciaco.org or call 630-400-9908. The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization is proud to honor Louis Scaramuzzo as our 2017 Humanitarian of the Year. A top performer in the luxury automobile market for three decades, Lou pours his heart and soul into every aspect of his life. With paternal grandparents Louis and Immaculata Scaramuzzo hailing from Caserta near Naples, and maternal grandparents Carmelo and Rosina Termine emigrating from Marsala in Sicily, Lou’s Italian ...

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Oak Park Police Chief Anthony Ambrose

Anthony Ambrose is having a busy year. Months after accepting the post of chief of police at the Oak Park Police Department in August, a place he’s called home since his patrol days in 1984, he was elected president of the Columbian Club of Chicago. “Everything is kind of happening all at the same time,” he laughs, “but it’s a chance to give back to the community.” “Community” is a word Ambrose returns to often. He has held eight positions over 33 years at the OPPD prior to his ascent to the top spot, but it’s his time as community ...

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Adult language instructor Kathryn Occhipinti

Growing up in an Italian-American family, Kathryn Occhipinti experienced the Italian food, the emphasis on togetherness and the practicing of the Catholic faith. But she felt one piece of her heritage was missing: the language. Her grandparents and parents would converse in Italian, making it even more of a mysterious to her. After completing her medical training, she spent years studying the language, writing books and teaching classes in conversational Italian. She gears her efforts toward adult learners with a desire to travel to Italy. “Today, people are trying to understand where they came from, and the language was really ...

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Gabe Caporale hailed as realty royalty

Gabe Caporale of Caporale Realty Group in Elmwood Park recently earned the status of Realtor Emeritus from the National Association of Realtor. The distinction is bestowed upon Realtors who have maintained membership in national, state and local realty associations for four decades or more. A 45-year veteran of the industry, Caporale grew up on Taylor Street in Chicago and moved with his family to Elmwood Park in 1963. He graduated from St. Mel High School and attended Triton College for two years, completing his undergraduate career with a degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University in 1971. Seeking work in ...

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Restaurant exec Gabriella Littleton

  “I grew up in the kitchen. I didn’t walk in the front door of the restaurant, I walked in the kitchen door.” Gabriela Littleton has a little more skin in the game as director of banquets and private dining at Chicago steakhouse staple the Erie Cafe. To be exact, she has four generations worth, having spent the past two years working in concert with her grandfather, father, uncle and sister at the Lenzi-family owned business. Growing up in the restaurant world didn’t initially pave the way to Littleton’s current career. “We were really pushed NOT to be involved in ...

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Dist. 214 administrator Angela Briguglio Hawkins

  An Italian teacher and administrator in northwest suburban High School District 214, Angela Briguglio Hawkins was known as “the American” when she was growing up in Sicily. That’s because she was born in Oak Park, but her parents decided to move the family back to their native Sicily when Briguglio Hawkins was two-and-a-half years old. They missed their relatives. “I did all my schooling in Italy, up until the equivalent of the first year in high school,” she says. “But then my dad was worried about the lack of economic opportunity in Europe, so my parents moved back to ...

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Police Association elects Langone

  Anthony Langone has stepped up to the plate for a second two-year term as president of the Italian American Police Association. A member for since 1983, he previously served as vice president and chairman of the board as well as president. Tony is the eldest of four sons of Louis and Betty Langone. He has lived his entire life in the Taylor Street neighborhood. “(When I was a kid), from Halsted to Western, everybody knew everybody,” he recalls. “We would play baseball at Peanut Park and ride our bikes around the neighborhood. It was like one big, happy family.” ...

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