JCCIA hosts glittering pageant at Sanfilippo estate

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(The following was provided by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans)

The extraordinary Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington served as the venue for this year’s Columbus Day Queen Pageant. Held on Aug. 1, it was a joyous occasion for the more than 70 attendees.

The day began with a reception in the hospitality room of the palatial abode. JCCIA President Ron Onesti provided guests with mimosas along with a delicious spread of dolci and finger sandwiches, free of charge. The pageant itself was hosted by the Avanti Club with its president, Pasquale Gianni, serving as emcee. First Vice President Anthony Palladino assisted this year’s contestants as an escort. Jeffrey Sanfilippo greeted the guests, expressing great delight that his family will chair this year’s parade in honor of their late father Jasper Sanfilippo.

Choreographic genius Marilyn Cusimano Fredericks served as Pageant Director. Judges this year were Carol DiFrisco, John Leanardi, Diva Montell, Carl Giammarese, Miranda Fenzau and Ivana DiPiero. The event was truly carried by the JCCIA’s tireless volunteer staff, including Lilia Leonardo Juarez, Phyllis Schoene, Arlene Elia, Christine Caliendo Cerami, and Jackie Mazza, and led by Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico.

Contestants were asked questions about their life experiences and their heritage and were scored based on their intelligence, poise and presentation. Scores were then tabulated by accountants John Fiorentino and Edward Izzi. Isabella Bucaro was selected as the 2021 Columbus Day Queen and Abigail Rose Tavolino, Isabella Florio, Francesca Sophia Revello, Olivia Emilia Greco, Mackenzie Lynch, Olimpia Rosemaria Giacalone, and Nica Amanti were selected as her court.

Members of the court were awarded $200 and the grand prize for the Queen was $1,000. The Queen and her court will be an integral part of the parade and serve as ambassadors within and outside the Italian-American community in the coming year. We are delighted to have such a dignified and elegant group of young women represent us!

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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.

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