Community leaders turned out in force on Dec. 13 at Venuti’s in Addison to ring in the holidays and oversee the changing of the guard at the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. Outgoing president Enza Raineri passed the gavel to Sergio Giangrande at a festive event filled with camaraderie, acknowledgements and honors.
Cook County Circuit Court Judges Elizabeth Ciacci-Lezza and Lisa Marino presided over the induction of President Giangrande along with First Vice President Lisa Ryan, Second Vice President Ron Onesti, Third Vice President John Galluzzi, Secretary Joseph Rago, Treasurer Christine Caliendo-Cerami and Sergeant-at-Arms Pasquale Gianni, the grandson of President Emeritus Dominic DiFrisco.
Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico sang the praises of 2018 Columbus Parade Chairman Mariann Gullo and thanked Nominating Committee Chairman Brian Bernardoni and fellow committee members Jack Cannata, Lenny Cannata, Kelly Cerami, Domenico Gambino, Teresa Giannini, Lisa Marino, Lisa Perkins and Rose Mary Ranallo for their services.
Nick and Helena Patti scholarships were bestowed upon Nicholas Fazio, Pasquale Dominic Gianni, Walter La Barbera, Carina Lourdes Rodriguez and Dena Michelle Stranski, and Frank J. Vigilante scholarships were presented to Marisa Iannotta and Samantha Neri.
Raineri urged the assemblage to continue to fight for Balbo, Columbus and other causes that are dear to the Italian-American community. “We have to make our voices heard, and we need to let people know that they can’t push us around,” she said.
Giangrande announced 2019 Parade Chairman Lino Greco and spotlighted the role the JCCIA plays in fighting those battles. “We have many organizations and many voices in the community, but the JCCIA is there to speak in one voice and deliver one message,” he said. “My goal is to unite as many organizations as possible under the JCCIA umbrella.”
Article provided by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans