Tag Archives: JCCIA

Onesti, DeLuca pull out all the stops for Springfield reception

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 …

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National leader praises JCCIA at year-end summit

Basil Russo was the guest of honor when the presidents of the affiliated organizations of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans gathered for a year-end summit at the Des Plaines Theatre on Nov. 14. The meeting was called by JCCIA President Ron Onesti to look back on last year’s successes and announce initiatives for 2024. Russo is the president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations as well as the Italian Sons and Daughters of America. He came to Chicago to sing the praises of the JCCIA and invite its affiliates to join COPOMIAO. “The JCCIA …

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JCCIA builds political bridges with luncheon

A new era of political engagement dawned on Aug. 8 when the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans hosted its inaugural Government Relations Luncheon. More than 100 public officials at every level of local government converged on the Des Plaines Theatre for the event, which honored State Rep. Anthony DeLuca and former county official turned political consultant Enza Raineri. DeLuca received the Legislator of the Year Award for sponsoring the law that permanently designates October as Italian American Heritage Month in Illinois (page 25). Raineri received the Government Relations Award for the pivotal role she played in convincing the Cook …

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DeLuca squires heritage month bill through House

Upholding his longtime commitment to recognizing the contributions of Italian Americans, State Rep. Anthony DeLuca worked in collaboration with the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans to pass a bipartisan plan to mark every October in Illinois as Italian American Heritage Month. “From exploration to scientific discoveries to entertainment and culture, Italian Americans are significant and prevalent contributors to this country’s history,” DeLuca said. “It’s fitting that we take a moment as a state to recognize the strong, positive impact our Italian-American communities have had locally and to appreciate the beauty and influence this culture continues to have.” “The Italian …

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Onesti builds bridges to other ethnic groups

Girder by girder, Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans President Ron Onesti is strengthening ties with ethnic groups across the Chicago area. On April 20, he represented the community at an international flag presentation during the Chicago Department of Health’s HIV summit. While there, he reached out to a contingent from the Potawatomi tribe (pictured). Four days later, he took part in a rally against anti-Semitism at a Glenview middle school. “There’s strength in numbers,” Onesti says. “The more we show up when other groups need us, the more they’ll show up for us.”  

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JCCIA honors Bob Sirott, Jesse White

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans celebrated a beloved media veteran and a revered elected official at this year’s Dante luncheon. Radio and TV news legend Bob Sirott received this year’s Dante Award at the event, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White willreceived the JCCIA’S Dominic DiFrisco Award. The following profiles were provided by the organization: BOB SIROTT Generations of Midwesterners have grown up with lifelong Chicagoan Bob Sirott, first as a top Chicago rock ’n’ roll DJ in the ’70s and later as a news anchor on CBS2, NBC5 and Chicago Tonight on PBS. Bob also worked …

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JCCIA rallies local Italian dining community

It’s no secret that dining establishments have taken a beating during the pandemic, losing customers and incurring additional costs that have threatened their very existence. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans is doing its part to shore up the industry by forming the Scappi Society of Italian Culinary Culture. Named after Renaissance cookbook author Bartolomeo Scappi, the initiative aims to unite owners of Italian restaurants, pizzerias, delis, bakeries, coffee shops, banquet halls, and food producers and distributors in common cause. “The society will serve as a think tank and marketing hub for members,” JCCIA president Ron Onesti explains. (scappi@jccia.com) …

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JCCIA launches oral history project

Do you know someone with a compelling story about achieving the Italian-American dream? The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has launched an oral history project to preserve these stories for posterity. The project gathers tales of adversity and triumph in the transition from life in Italy to life in America. Interviewees share their own life experiences or anecdotes told to them by their parents and grandparents. The videos meld audio recordings with evocative historical photos. Here are a few of the oral histories that have been archived so far: John Cavallone follows his great-grandparents’ journey from Sassano, Italy, to …

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Triumph of the spirit

This year’s Columbus Day celebration in Chicago might not have been the biggest ever, but it certainly was the most remarkable. Absolutely everything conspired against it, from the slow pace of city approval to forecasts of rain and fears of protests that kept some on the sidelines. But permits were finally issued; a promotional blitz ensued; and floats, cars, bands and other marching units were rallied in weeks instead of months. On Oct. 11, a lone bus arrived at Casa Italia along with a gray dawn to shepherd the intrepid to morning Mass at Our Lady of Pompeii Shrine. Fr. …

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Media, community leaders rally around Dante luncheon

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans marked the 700th anniversary of the passing of Dante Alighieri with a standout media luncheon on Sept. 14. Galleria Marchetti in Chicago was bursting at the seams with journalists, elected officials and community leaders who had come to honor CBS President and General Manager Jennifer Lyons and Chicago attorney Antonio Romanucci. Lyons was the recipient of the divine poet’s namesake award, while Romanucci accepted the inaugural Dominic DiFrisco Lifetime Achievement Award. Seated at the dais along with the honorees were past Dante Award recipients Dina Bair, Greg Caputo, Janet Davies, Mary Laney, Vince …

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