Anna DeLuca, Columbus Banquet Chairwoman, welcomed the guests and introduced the Master of Ceremony for the evening, the Honorable Anthony Calderone, Mayor of Forest Park.
Highlighting the evening were the presentations of the 2014 Humanitarian Award and the first-ever Columbus Patriot Award. In addition, the Illinois Sons of Italy Foundation awarded nine scholarships to Italian-American students who are continuing their education.
Receiving the Humanitarian Award was Giovanni Bucci, an Italian-American artist best known for his working replica of the Trevi Fountain, the “On the Road to Greatness” Lincoln statuary in Chicago Heights, the Quincentennial Columbus Globe at Governors State University, concept cars at the 1964 Worlds Fair, and many spectacular McCormick Place exhibits for the Italian Tourism Board.
The Honorable Frank M. Zuccarelli, Thornton Township Supervisor, was presented with the inaugural Columbus Patriot Award. Mr. Zuccarelli is well known for a strong leadership style and is vigorous, decisive, honest and straightforward. He brings an unmatched history of more than 34 years of public service and leadership to the South Suburbs. He has received numerous awards during his years of public service and serves on many committees in the township.
In presenting the awards, Grand Lodge President Marie Marsalli stated, “Both gentlemen truly deserve being honored by OSIA and demonstrate their true love and support of their Italian heritage and culture in their daily lives.”
Receiving the scholarships were Sarah George, daughter of Arthur and Cinzia George; Nathan Harnett, son of Grant and Darcie Harnett; Dean Abate, Jr., son of Dean and Regina Abate; Anna Marie Taylor, daughter of Tony (deceased) and Laurie Taylor; Anthony DeWier, son of Joe and Tina DeWier; Antonietta Vigilante, daughter of Domenico and Anita Vigilante; Nathan Giacchino, son of James and Candace Giacchino; Jaylan Rose Dunn, daughter of Stephen and Mary Dunn; and Anthony D. Pappalardo, son of Joseph and Susan Pappalardo.
Attending the festivities were Columbus Day Queen Chelsea Littorio Clementi Baker, OSIA National President Anthony J. Baratta, JCCIA First Vice President Mauro Glorioso, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Roberto Ruffulo, Italian American War Veterans past State Commander Frank Amaro, Grand Lodge Council officers, and the officers and members of filial lodges.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Nino Folino. Carmella Abate pleased the guests by singing several songs.
Photos by Tim Townsend