Columbian Club installs officers

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Oak Park Police Chief Anthony Ambrose stepped up to the presidency of the Columbian Club of Chicago at the organization’s annual installation gala.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of so many great past presidents,” Ambrose says.

A member since 2010, Ambrose joined “to promote our great Italian heritage and be associated with a club that believes in giving back to the community.”

In addition to working his way up the ladder of succession as an officer, Ambrose has served as either chairman or co-chairman of the club’s golf outing for the last five years. He is also a member of the Italian American Executives of Transportation, the Calabresi in America Organization, UNICO, the Rotary Club of Oak Park River Forest and Casa Italia.

Joining Ambrose as 2017 officers are First Vice President Jack P. Cannata, Second Vice President Stuart J. Caravello, Third Vice President Vincent A. Maietta, Secretary Mark M. Corrado, Treasurer Michael Russotto and Sergeant-at-Arms John F. Curry.

The board of directors includes one-year directors Christopher Caponigri, Robert DiFiglio, Marcello Gulotta, Ross A. Morizzo and Daniel Parise, and two-year directors are Carmen P. Forte Jr., John Brescia, Vito Claps, Vito M. D’Ambosio, and Victor M. Guerrieri.

2017 Foundation trustees are George J. DePalma (Foundation Chairman and Scholarship Chairman), John L. Ferrentino (Vice Chairman), Carmen P. Forte (Treasurer and Scholarship Committee), Paul W. Gazillo (Secretary) and Robert J. Trocchio (Scholarship Committee) as well as Anthony L. Ambrose, Robert J. DiSilvestro, Michael Spliotro, Jonathan L. Zivoinovic, Roy F. Picciuca and Daniel A. Corrado.

Ambrose made the following acceptance speech:

Columbian Club members and spouses, distinguished guests, scholarship recipients and members of my family, welcome to the 78th annual installation and dinner dance.

Please accept my apologies in advance if I fail to acknowledge you this evening.

I would like to thank Len Maniscalco and his wife for sponsoring this evening’s event.

At this time I would like for all the past presidents of the Columbian Club to stand and be recognized. Gentlemen, thank you for your leadership and for making the club what it is today. Your dedication to the club is deeply appreciated.

Dr, Frank Trocchio, please remain standing. I personally would like to thank Dr. Trocchio for sponsoring me into this fantastic organization.

Thank you to the installation committee for all the time you devoted to make this a successful event: Jack Cannata, Stuart Caravello, Vince Maietta, Mark Corrado, Mike Russotto, John Curry, Jonathan Zivojnovic, George DePalma and Len Maniscalco. Jack you’re the best.

A special thank you to President Jon Zivojnovic for his leadership, hard work and dedication this past year. Jon you are an inspiration and will be a tough act to follow.

I am honored and humbled that the Columbian Club of Chicago has elected me as president of the club for 2017 and I promise that I will do my best to represent the club.

What inspired me to become a member of the Columbian Club was their commitment to supporting the Italian community, the promotion of our Italian heritage and the fact that they are more then members, they are family. These are gentlemen with big hearts and supportive of so many causes.

This club understands the importance of giving back to the community and helping people who are less fortunate than us. I am proud to say that last year the club had a fundraiser at Misericordia at which we were able to raise $30,000.

Every year, the club faces difficult decisions in two areas. The first. Where are we going to have our monthly dinner meetings? For those of you not involved in the club, eating is one of our top priorities and you will experience this with tonight’s dinner.

The second difficult decision is what organization will benefit from our fundraising efforts. This year, Misericordia was again selected and my goal is for the club to raise $60,000.

Speaking of donating money to great causes, I am proud to say that the club will be providing $48,000 of scholarship money to our recipients this evening.

Another goal that I would like the club to accomplish in 2017 is to increase the funds available for scholarships.

And lastly, I will reach out to all of the other Italian organizations and ask them to partner with the Columbian Club to co-sponsor events to continue to promote our Italian heritage and give back to the Italian communities. We all believe in the same principle, help people who are less fortunate than we are.

Thank you and God bless.

Photos by Marshall Photographers








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