JCCIA to roll out red carpet for Frecce Tricolori

The skies above the Chicago lakefront will be painted green, white and red this month when the Frecce Tricolori pays an aerial visit. The legendary military aerobatic team will put on a show at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, to the east of Navy Pier, followed by a reservations-only reception. The event is being hosted by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, which will provide bus transportation to and from the event. The JCCIA will host several other events in conjunction with the visit. “In the same vein as America’s Blue Angels, there’s nothing that says Italian pride …

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Who will be crowned this year’s queen?

One of the most thrilling and glamorous events in the Chicago-area Italian-American community is the contest to determine who will reign as La Bella Regina of the Columbus Day Parade. “Few events in the community can match the pageantry of the annual Columbus Day Queen pageant,” says Ron Onesti, president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. “The queen will be the star of the Italian community for a year’s reign.” Sponsored by the JCCIA, this year’s pageant will be held at 1 p.m. on July 21 at the Des Plaines Theatre. The event will be chaired by Rose …

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Mount Carmel Parish to celebrate 131st feast

The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish will celebrate the 131st anniversary of its devotion to the Blessed Mother on July 14. Festivities will begin with a 7:30 a.m. Mass in English and a 9 a.m. solemn Mass in Italian, followed by a procession with the statue of the Blessed Mother to a noon field Mass. A procession through the streets of the parish afterward will culminate in a 4 p.m. benediction. The Sicilian Band of Chicago and Caliendo’s Banda Napoletana will perform during both processions, and food and beverages will be available for purchase during the day. A 7:30 …

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When Italians in America were “Enemy Aliens”

At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, the Italian American Veterans Museum will present a revealing documentary about the treatment of Italian citizens living in the United States during World War II. During the war, the U.S government restricted the actions and freedoms of 600,000 Italian residents of the United States. All were declared “Enemy Aliens,” and many were placed under curfew, banned from their workplaces, evacuated from their homes and communities, and even placed in internment camps. The documentary “Potentially Dangerous: When It Was A Crime To Be Italian” tells the gripping story of the devastating impact these measures …

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Shrine to celebrate Cabrini’s birthday

The National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini will honor the life and legacy of America’s first saint with a birthday Mass at 4 p.m. on July 13. The shrine is located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood in a building that once housed Columbus Hospital. Cabrini and her Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus built the hospital as well as Assumption School on the Near Northwest Side and the Columbus Hospital Extension on the Near West Side. By the time she passed away at Columbus Hospital in 1917, she had established 67 schools, hospitals and orphanages around the …

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Justinians go to bat for kids in need

The Justinian Society of Lawyers held its 22nd annual Children’s Endowment Fund grant reception on March 14 at Luxbar in Chicago. Justinian President Michael Pisano and Endowment Fund Chairman Frank Sommario presented a total of $10,000 in CEF grants at the event to Almost Home Kids and La Casa Norte. Additional donations were made from the floor by Justinian members and other guests in attendance. On hand to accept the grants were Jose Muñoz of La Casa Norte and Raeann Olsen-Jackson of Almost Home Kids. “The Justinian Society is fervent in continuing to give back to our community and we …

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Lombardian delegation pays visit to Ridgewood High

The Italian students at Ridgewood High School in Norridge were proud to play host to a delegation from Italy on May 23. Among the honored guests were Attilio Fontana, president of the region of Lombardy; Raffaele Cattaneo, the region’s undersecretary for European and International Public Relations; Paolo Aliprandi, a member of Cattaneo’s staff; Maria Luisa Scalise, the region’s director of International Relations; and Paola Murgia, a member of Scalise’s staff. Italian Consul General Thomas Botzios arranged the visit with the help of Dr. Marina Lenza, director of education for the consulate. Fontana requested the opportunity to meet with Ridgewood’s Italian …

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Old Neighborhood Club hosts successful youth event

The Old Neighborhood Italian American Club staged its 30th annual Anti-Drug and Alcohol/Responsible Behavior Seminar on May 10. Local grade-school students from the Bridgeport, Chinatown and Canaryville neighborhoods take part in the event each year. This year’s seminar was attended by 8th-grade students from St. Jerome Catholic School, Bridgeport Catholic Academy and St. Gabriel Catholic School. Led by Co-Chair Michael Rubio, a panel that included local alderpersons addressed social media and online safety awareness along with the benefits of community involvement and the development of leadership skills. “Chicago P.D.” actor LaRoyce Hawkins and producer Brian Luce talked about the dangers …

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Deluca acts to improve health care coverage

Looking to drive down health care costs and expand access for families, State Rep. Anthony DeLuca is backing a reform plan that imposes limits and restrictions on the insurance industry. Known as the Health Care Protection Act, House Bill 5395 would require insurance companies to justify premium increases; prohibit them from selling short-term health care plans known as “junk insurance” that provide little or no coverage; and eliminate prior authorization hurdles for mental health care. It would also halt the practice known as “step therapy,” which requires patients to try a medication or treatment other than what was prescribed and …

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CIACO gears up for third annual family fest

The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization will host its third annual Festa della Famiglia e Amici from 1-5 p.m. on July 7 in the Festival Center at Casa Italia. Gates will open at 11 a.m., and a noon Mass celebrated by Fr. Richard Fragomeni will be followed by an afternoon of food and entertainment. A $100-a-ticket raffle will yield a grand prize of $5,000. Adult and children’s tickets will be sold, and various benefactor and sponsor levels are available. For details, click here.

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