Tag Archives: Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans

JCCIA to roll out red carpet for Frecce Tricolori

The skies above the Chicago lakefront will be painted green, white and red this month when the Frecce Tricolori pays an aerial visit. The legendary military aerobatic team will put on a show at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, to the east of Navy Pier, followed by a reservations-only reception. The event is being hosted by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, which will provide bus transportation to and from the event. The JCCIA will host several other events in conjunction with the visit. “In the same vein as America’s Blue Angels, there’s nothing that says Italian pride …

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Who will be crowned this year’s queen?

One of the most thrilling and glamorous events in the Chicago-area Italian-American community is the contest to determine who will reign as La Bella Regina of the Columbus Day Parade. “Few events in the community can match the pageantry of the annual Columbus Day Queen pageant,” says Ron Onesti, president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. “The queen will be the star of the Italian community for a year’s reign.” Sponsored by the JCCIA, this year’s pageant will be held at 1 p.m. on July 21 at the Des Plaines Theatre. The event will be chaired by Rose …

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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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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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