The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans extends a warm invitation to the entire community to attend our annual gala. This year, we honor automobile dealer Al Piemonte with our Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award and Melrose Park Mayor Ronald M. Serpico with our Robert J. Cimo Peacemaker Award.
This glittering event will begin at 6 p.m. on June 9 in the Donald E. Stephens South Ballroom of the Rosemont Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. Donations are $150 per person, with the Ray Sassetti Orchestra providing the entertainment. To make your reservations, call 708-450-9050.
Our Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award recipient is a giant in the world of automobile sales as well as philanthropy. Al Piemonte’s generosity is legendary on both the local and national level, particularly when it comes to the activities and well being of our youth.
Alex A. Piemonte Jr. was born and raised in Chicago and attended Roosevelt Military Academy and the University of Illinois, where he majored in business. After serving in the military for two years, he launched his career in the automobile industry as a salesman for Dick Fencl Chevrolet.
Eleven years later, after moving up to sales manager and eventually general manager, he had the opportunity to buy Glenbrook Ford. In 1966, he opened Al Piemonte Ford in Melrose Park, and subsequently acquired seven more dealerships encompassing eight franchises: Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, Infiniti and Suzuki.
Al is and always has been active in supporting the community. Every year, Al Piemonte Ford participates in the Taste of Melrose. The dealership also donates generously to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Al has long been involved in Toys for Tots and the Ronald McDonald Foundation, and has sponsored baseball, basketball and soccer teams within the community. His awards include Man of the Year honors from both UNICO and the Flowers of Italy Club.
Al is married to Rosanna and resides in the northern suburbs. He is the proud father of five wonderful children — Mary Gregory, Jeff Piemonte, Patrick Piemonte, Alexandra Piemonte and Marco Piemonte — and the grandfather of six beautiful grandchildren.
Ronald M. Serpico
Our Robert J. Cimo Peacemaker Award recipient is the pillar of Melrose Park. Mayor Ronald M. Serpico never fails to recognize his constituents individually, whether they’re young or old, long-time residents or new. The harmony and unity he promotes within Melrose Park overflows into the Italian-American community as a whole.
Mayor Serpico’s roots run deep in Melrose Park. His grandfather, Domenico Serpico, immigrated to the western suburb from Italy at the turn of the 20th century with little more than a dream and the clothes on his back.
Believing in his grandfather’s vision of the “American Dream,” Ron attended law school and launched a thriving legal career, then successfully ran for mayor in 1997. Since then, he and his trustees have turned Melrose Park into a community that people enjoy living in and want to move to.
Mayor Serpico is proud of the fact that mothers in Melrose Park can still keep a watchful eye on their children as they play in the neighborhoods, and residents can still sit on their porches or talk to each other over their fences. Melrose Parkers still get involved in their community through many fine clubs and organizations, and most importantly, when a neighbor needs a helping hand, there are people who will gladly help.
Mayor Serpico’s community involvement is extensive, and his generosity is known by all. He has taken on many law clients who could not afford a legal retainer, but who Ron felt deserved to have their day in court.
But if you ask Ron, he will tell you his greatest success has been his family. Ron and his wife of 36 years, Donna, have three wonderful children — Ron Jr., Joanna and Michael — and six beautiful grandchildren: Hannah, David, Thomas, Brooklyn, Naomi and Giovanna.