Onesti, DeLuca pull out all the stops for Springfield reception

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What do you get when a true showman joins forces with one of Springfield’s most respected legislators? The second annual Italian Caucus Tour of Italy Reception, of course.

Hosted for the last two years by Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans President Ron Onesti and State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, the blockbuster event drew more than 300 movers and shakers from across the state. Among them were elected officials, lobbyists and leaders of the Chicago-area Italian-American community.

The top floor of the Wyndham Hotel in Springfield, decked out in green, white and red, was lined with banners spotlighting the JCCIA and the Italian-American community and thanking elected officials for their service to all ethnic groups. Entertainment was provided by songstress Daniela Crocco, but the showstopper was a 20-foot-long antipasto table assembled by Onesti.

“A lot of the attendees weren’t Italian Americans so they’re not used to these antipasto experiences,” Onesti explains. “When they saw the table, their jaws just dropped.”

Two busloads of Chicago-area community leaders were treated to a tour of the state capitol by DeLuca before making their way across the street for the reception.

The event got its start years ago with an annual dinner for Italian-American legislators hosted by then-state rep. Franco Coladipietro and Angelo “Skip” Saviano. Onesti and DeLuca have taken those modest gatherings to a whole new level.

“Our goal was to share our passion and pride with the decision-makers in Springfield and to build bridges between our world and theirs,” DeLuca says. “The feedback has been extraordinary.”

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.

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