ITAM Post 2 hosts Italian luncheon for Hines Blind Center vets

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


The Italian American War Veterans Joseph J. Gentile Post 2 sponsored an Italian luncheon on April 9 for 26 residents of the Hines VA Hospital Blind Center.

A team of 15 volunteers and five high school students hosted the event, distributing colorful fedoras and decorating the party room with festive wall banners and tablecloths. A sumptuous buffet catered by Paul’s Pizza of Westchester was served. Mike Oliveri and Arthur Strout performed live music in a style reminiscent of Frank Sinatra. Festivities closed with delicious handcrafted cannoli and homemade Italian watermelon ice. Bellissimo!

ITAM Post 2 was chartered in 1981 with a mandate to serve veterans, their families and the community. “We offer an array of programs that extend support and helping hands to those in need,” said commander Joe Spiner. “All activities are paid for by the post through a robust fundraising campaign, plus an annual pasta party chaired by Frank Giudice and Jerry Saviano,” said fundraising chairman Joe Leonardo.

Other activities on behalf of veterans include sports outings, bingo, collecting? clothing and funds for veteran homeless shelters, sponsorship of Honor Flights and Vets Rolls trips to Washington D.C., plus eight years of weekly welcome wagons and coffee runs for outpatients. As advocates for benefits for veterans and families, the post sponsored seven hospice rooms, contributed to the spinal cord injury unit, and raised substantial funds for the Blind Center’s rooms and equipment expansion. The first of its kind when it opened in 1948, the Blind Center offers vocational and domestic skills training to its residents.

Community service includes donating toys, clothing and puppet shows to a disabled children’s early childhood center and providing five annual college scholarships. “This is who we are and what we do,” noted fundraising co-chairman Jimmie McFarland. “We thank all veterans for service to our country.”

—Article by Donna Spiner, Photos by Lynn McKamey

italian fiesta 2016 012 750

italian fiesta 2016 014 750

italian fiesta 2016 034 750

italian fiesta 2016 037 750

italian fiesta 2016 059 750

italian fiesta 2016 065 750

italian fiesta 2016 090 750

italian fiesta 2016 094 750

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.

Check Also

When Italians in America were “Enemy Aliens”

At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, the Italian American Veterans Museum will present a …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want More?

Subscribe to our print magazine
or give it as a gift.

Click here for details