Mazzini Verdi Ladies Club President Giovanna Carlino

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Mazzini Verdi Club Ladies Club President Giovanna Carlino has made many deep friendships thanks to the club, and she encourages others to join and experience the same gift.

“It’s an enjoyment,” she says. “All of us when we go, we are happy people, we greet each other like we haven’t seen each other for years but we saw each other yesterday.”

A native of Palermo, Carlino moved to Chicago at age 19, following in the footsteps of her sister, and eventually got married and had one child. She and her first husband started a beauty business selling wigs and doing hairstyle and makeup.

Carlino joined the Mazzini Verdi Club in the 1990s and became more involved after her second husband passed away in 2017. She started volunteering for all sorts of events, joined the board and became president in 2020. Her current two-year term as president of the Ladies Club started Jan. 1.

Carlino also serves on the board of the Italian American Executives of Transportation, and is a member of Associazione Regionale Siciliani in America and the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.

The Mazzini Verdi Club’s social events are open to everyone, with an ample lineup including an Easter dinner in April, a Mother’s Day dinner in May, a golf outing in June, a picnic in July, a presidential ball in December and a New Year’s party.

Events specifically organized by the Ladies Club include a Valentine’s Day dance in February a St. Joseph’s Table in March, Festa Fuori in August, an Italian Heritage Dance Celebration in October, and a Christmas party in December.

(For general information about the club, see the adjacent profile of its president, Bernard Ghilarducci.)

The Ladies Club create flower arrangements and centerpieces for all the events. “We make everything very elegant,” says Carlino. Members also assemble baskets to be raffled off at events to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and other worthy causes.

The women’s bocce league takes place on Wednesday, followed by card games and some light food. The Ladies Club meets monthly, followed by bingo, coffee and homemade dessert.

The Mazzini Verdi Club is all about camaraderie and support for one another, Carlino says. “The ladies get along absolutely wonderfully, and all of us try to help each other because we love this club. We want this club to flourish and to go on.”

For more information, call the club at 847-671-0055.

About Elena Ferrarin

Elena Ferrarin is a native of Rome who has worked as a journalist in the United States since 2002. She has been a correspondent for Fra Noi for more than a decade. She previously worked as a reporter for The Daily Herald in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, The Regional News in Palos Heights and as a reporter/assistant editor for Reflejos, a Spanish-English newspaper in Arlington Heights. She has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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