Rockford group honors its hometown heroes

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Mike and Nora Doyle

The Greater Rockford Italian American Association held its annual Hall of Fame banquet on Oct. 9 at the Venetian Club. Inductees to Rockford’s Italian Hall of Fame are nominated by the community and selected annually by GRIAA’s Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Committee.

Mike Doyle was the 2021 Italian Hall of Fame inductee. A longtime author, Rockford Register Star sportswriter and high school journalism teacher, Doyle has written two books on the deadly Belvidere tornado of 1967 and has edited and co-authored many other books and publications. He is the editor of GRIAA’s publication, Pappagallo, and is a principal writer for the newspaper produced for the association’s annual Festa Italiana.

The Giamalva family, owners of Palace Shoe Service, received a special recognition award at the event. Opened in downtown Rockford in 1926, the much-loved business recently closed its doors after 95 years of continuous operation by four generations of the family.

Longtime Festa Italiana volunteers Fran Cicero Nelson and Jerry D’Agostin also were singled out for special recognition. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the festival raises funds for student scholarships.

The evening’s honorees were recognized the next day during the annual Columbus Day Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in south Rockford.

 

About Paul Basile

Paul Basile has been the editor of Fra Noi for a quarter of a century. Over that period, he and his dedicated family of staff members and correspondents have transformed a quaint little community newspaper into a gorgeous glossy magazine that is read and admired across the nation. They also maintain a cluster of national and local websites and are helping other major metropolitan areas launch their own versions of Fra Noi.

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