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Humanitarian of the Year

CIACO will host its dinner dance on April 27 at Alta Villa Banquets in Addison. Dennis Pietrini will be honored as Humanitarian of the Year at the event, Marine Lance Cp. Joseph Singer will receive an Honor and Hope Grant, and 15 students will receive scholarships at the event. For details, call 630-400-9908.

So you’ve had a successful 42-year career as a dentist. Think of all the people you helped, and how many smiles you were a part of. For CIACO, where bringing smiles to those less fortunate is our greatest motivation, making Dr. Dennis Pietrini our 2013 Dominic Saverino Humanitarian Award recipient was a no-brainer. And yet it had more to do with this man’s giving than his expertise as a dentist.

To list all of the accomplishments of Dr. Pietrini would require volumes. Here are the highlights of his career.

Dr. Pietrini is a past president of the Midwest Chapter of the Academy of Laser Dentistry, a member of the board of directors of the Academy of Laser Dentistry since 1993, and a co-author of the book “Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education.” He is listed in the “Who’s Who in Dentistry,” and three times has served as chairman of the Department of Oral Medicine at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, where he also has been a member of the Credentials Committee for 15 years.

Dennis was born to Samuel and Millie (Cannova) Pietrini, both children of Italian immigrants. The Pietrini side hails from Tuscany, and the Cannova side from San Biagio Platani, Agrigento, Sicily. The family settled in River Grove. A graduate of East Leyden High School in 1963, Dr. Pietrini attended the University of Illinois, Elmhurst College and the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, where he earned his doctorate in dental surgery in 1970. That same year, he married Elaine Bartley and served two years active duty in the United States Navy Dental Corps. He and his wife have two daughters, Jennifer (Roy) Prochaska and Debby (Mike) Robertson.

Dr. Pietrini is also a dynamo in the community, having served as a charter board member and past chairman of Casa Italia, and an active contributor to the Franklin Park Chamber of Commerce, Joseph Gentile Post #2 of the Italian American War Veterans, the Arcolian Dental Arts Society and the Italian Cultural Center. He has contributed time, expertise and financial support to CIACO, and we are proud to have him as longtime member, contributor and friend. Dennis, you were a great dentist, but you’re even a better man. Congratulations!

Saluting a Diamond

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One minute, you’re a vibrant healthy young man with hopes and aspirations. Although you’re in a war zone, honorably serving your country, you are confident you will return home someday more disciplined and determined than ever to pursue your dreams.

Diamond, Ill., resident Joseph Singer was just such a man. He joined the Marines shortly after graduating from Coal City High School in 2008, deciding the military was the best way for him to pursue his chosen path in law enforcement. He left for basic training in January 2009, becoming a lance corporal, military police officer, K9-handler and canine bomb specialist.

During his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Cpl. Singer’s dreams were derailed and his life altered in an instant. He was on duty with his canine companion and two other soldiers, searching for landmines, when a rocket-propelled grenade was fired in his direction. The grenade landed two to three feet in front of him, and Cpl. Singer took the worst of the blast.

The 22-year-old Marine sustained abdominal and intestinal injuries, shattered ribs and a collapsed lung due to a blood clot. He was treated in Afghanistan, then transferred to Germany, where he spent time in an intensive care unit on a ventilator and feeding tube.

Living at home with his mother, he endures both physical and financial hardships. CIACO has risen to the occasion and will donate $5,000 to offset the only pain we can ease.

About 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.