Tag Archives: Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans

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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JCCIA honors veteran community leader Gargano

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans honored Vito Gargano at their general meeting on June 27. Gargano, 95, is the former president of the Italian American Federal Club, an organization comprising hundreds of federal employees of the United States Postal Service. Gargano’s career spans more than 40 years in the USPS. He started as a clerk/level 5 and rose to the highest level in the postal system, level 27, as district director of mail processing for Illinois. Along the way, he served as postmaster for Des Plaines, Illinois, and Racine, Wisconsin, as well as officer-in-charge at the post office …

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Onesti fighting the good fight on multiple fronts

Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans President Ron Onesti has taken the organization’s battle on behalf of Christopher Columbus to a whole new level in recent months. In late March, Onesti spearheaded a JCCIA-hosted Tour of Italy at the Wyndham Springfield that attracted more than 250 state representatives and senators as well as lobbyists from all ethnic groups. Bedecked in red, white and green, the hotel’s penthouse was brimming with delicious Italian food and enlivened by classic Italian tunes during an “event like Springfield has never seen,” according to State Rep. Anthony DeLuca. “We wanted to let the state government …

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JCCIA to honor Ahern, Allegrini

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will host a pair of local luminaries at their annual media luncheon on May 26 at Galleria Marchetti. Mary Ann Ahern will receive the Dante Award, given each year to a member of the Fourth Estate who has proven to be no timid friend to truth, and Robert Allegrini will receive the Dominic DiFrisco Lifetime Achievement Award, given to bridge builders inside and outside of the Italian-American community. Ahern is an Emmy award-winning political reporter for NBC 5 Chicago, and Allegrini is president of the National Italian American Foundation. (708-450-9050)  

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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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ITAM Vets, JCCIA team up to commemorate D-Day

The Italian American War Veterans and the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans did a stellar job of rallying the troops for their commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Braving freezing winds, more than 50 veterans and civic leaders converged on Navy Pier for the Dec. 7 event, which featured an honor guard, taps and a wreath cast upon the surface of Lake Michigan from the east end of the pier. World War II veteran Carl Liture was the guest of honor for the occasion, which was live streamed on WGN-TV. To view the coverage, …

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