Tag Archives: Sergio Giangrande

Standing by Columbus

  My parents brought me to America when I was 8 years old. Like all other Italian immigrants, they were incredibly proud to become American citizens. They learned English along with the history of this great country as they looked forward to the opportunities that lay ahead. Still, they never forgot where they came from and always made our Italian heritage the center of our hearts and home. They couldn’t possibly have predicted the challenges that face us today as we try to hold onto a symbol that means so much to them and the entire Italian-American community. Christopher Columbus …

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 Rewriting the antidefamation script

At a moment in our history when conflict is rampant and emotions are running high, Chicago-area Italian Americans are charting a decidedly different course. They’re building coalitions, employing quiet diplomacy and reaching out across the divide to build support for their causes. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has been at the forefront of this strategic sea change, beginning with a more inclusive approach to the Columbus Day Parade. Historically a celebration of Italian pride, the parade has become increasingly multicultural, with last year’s event boasting nearly a dozen floats representing a variety of African, Hispanic, Asian and white …

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The fight of our lives

We are stronger together than apart. There is no greater testament to that fact than the multiethnic coalition that has rallied to reverse the Chicago Board of Education’s decision to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The removal of Columbus Day is not just about Italian Americans. On the evening of Feb. 26, while most of us were welcoming home our children from school or sharing dinner with family or friends, the Chicago Board of Education usurped Columbus Day. Poof. It was gone faster than your Nonno could pinch your cheek and let go. And why? Because the community …

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New JCCIA prez makes bold moves at annual meeting

The new president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans hit the ground running at the organization’s annual meeting. Speaking to a packed dining room at Casa Italia’s Banquet Center, Sergio Giangrande announced a dramatic rollback of dues in an effort encourage involvement on the part of both individuals and organizations. Giangrande proposed a tiered structure to replace the $500 dues for organizational members. $100 membership now grants voting rights and inclusion of events in the JCCIA’s e-blasts. $250 membership nets voting rights, inclusion in the e-blast and an ad in the souvenir book for the Columbus Day Parade. …

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JCCIA installs officers, bestows scholarships

Community leaders turned out in force on Dec. 13 at Venuti’s in Addison to ring in the holidays and oversee the changing of the guard at the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. Outgoing president Enza Raineri passed the gavel to Sergio Giangrande at a festive event filled with camaraderie, acknowledgements and honors. Cook County Circuit Court Judges Elizabeth Ciacci-Lezza and Lisa Marino presided over the induction of President Giangrande along with First Vice President Lisa Ryan, Second Vice President Ron Onesti, Third Vice President John Galluzzi, Secretary Joseph Rago, Treasurer Christine Caliendo-Cerami and Sergeant-at-Arms Pasquale Gianni, the grandson of President …

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Giangrande throws party to celebrate parade’s success

Sergio Giangrande sure knows how to run a parade … AND throw a party. Thanks to the enthusiastic leadership of the 2017 chairman, float, sponsorship and TV ad sales were through the roof. When all was said and done, five major sponsors had signed on in support of the festivities, and another dozen benefactors purchased 30-second introductory “vignettes,” making it possible to broadcast the entire parade commercial free on ABC. “And we did so well on float sales that the company we work with ran out!” says Domenico Gambino, who recommended Giangrande for the chairmanship. “I’m close friends with Sergio’s …

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JCCIA pulls out all the stops for 2017 parade

The 2017 Columbus Day Parade was among the best in recent memory. The sun shone brightly and the weather was glorious, attracting a record crowd. And thanks to the enthusiastic leadership of our parade chairman, Sergio Giangrande, we maxed out the capacity of our float company and enjoyed tremendous support from sponsors and television advertisers alike. Festivities officially began on Oct. 6 with the revival of our beloved flag raising ceremony at the Daley Center. On Oct. 9, a total of nine buses left the grounds of Casa Italia over the course of the morning for the Mass and Parade. …

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Sergio Giangrande to chair Columbus Parade

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans is proud to announce that Sergio Giangrande will serve as the Chairman of the 2017 Columbus Day Parade. Young, energetic, skilled and committed to his heritage, Sergio is the perfect person for the position. The son of Vito and Rosalia (Zummo) Giangrande, Sergio was born in Chicago but moved with his parents to Italy when he was 3 months old. The family returned back to America when Sergio was 8, settling in Schiller Park. A master baker, Sergio’s dad also worked in construction and his mother worked as a seamstress while they raised …

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