Italian American Heritage Month Cleveland City Hall October 4,2010
Cleveland and its surrounding communities are home to thousands of Italian Americans who have shaped and built this region for generations. Today,local Italian Americans continue in the tradition of giving back to their community.
Italian Cultural Garden display
To honor their contributions and achievements for Italian American Heritage Month, the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee honored six individuals who have made a difference in Northeast Ohio.
The Cleveland Italian American Heritage Opening Ceremony and Awards, now in its fifth year, commemorated the city’s Italian roots on Monday October 4, 2010 from 5-7 p.m. in the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda
It was the kick-off event for the City of Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month Celebration.
The event was established by Matt Zone, City of Cleveland Councilman for Ward 15. Ward 15 includes the Mount Carmel west parish and the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Councilman Zone's family was one of the Italian American founding families in the community which was later established as Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.
Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone introduced the 5th annual Italian American Heritage Month event at Cleveland City Hall. The Neighborhood Veterans Club presented the flag.
Father Martin Polito of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church gives the opening prayer.
Father Martin Polito
Next, Andrea Anelli, Director of Opera Per Tutti, sang the Italian and the United States National Anthems.
Andrea Anelli, Director of Opera Per Tutti
Before introducing Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilman Zone surprised the Mayor with a birthday cake and led the crowd in a verse of Happy Birthday.
Mayor Jackson blowing out birthday cake candles
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Mayor Jackson presented an official proclamation to Italian American Heritage Committee Chair Rose Zitiello
Councilman Matt Zone, Rose Zitiello and Mayor Jackson
Serena Scaiola, Vice Consulate of Italy in Cleveland, spoke of the large number of Italian in Cleveland and Ohio. She recognized her predecessor, Biagio Parente.
Italian Consul Marco Nobili, Vice-Consul Serena Scaiola and Umberto Fedeli
Serena then introduced Marco Nobili, Consul of Italy in Detroit.
Then the Awards were announced. The first award was given to Edward Tomba, Deputy Chief Special Operations of the City of Cleveland, as Italian American City Employee of the Year.
The next award went to Lester Lagatta, Chief Investigator, Cuyahoga County Jobs & Family Services as Italian American Public Servant of the Year. Lester was out of state but his daughters accepted the award and read a note from the grateful Mr. Lagatta.
Judge Anthony O. Calabrese spoke on behalf of Lester LaGatta
The third award went to Anita Marie Fini as Cleveland Italian American Youth of the Year. Anita is a student at Padua Franciscan High School.
The 4th award went to The Orlando Baking Company as Cleveland Italian American Business of the Year. Cousins John Anthony and Nick Orlando accepted on behalf of their family company.
The final award of the evening went to Aldo Filippelli who was honored as Cleveland Italian American Individual of the Year.
The reigning Miss Italia of Ohio, Amy Allega, spoke about the Miss Italia program.
After a closing prayer from Father Polito, the attendees enjoyed an Italian dinner.
It was a wonderful beginning to Italian American Heritage month. Enjoy these photos from the event.
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and award recipient Aldo Filippelli
La Gazetta's Angie Spitalieri, Paul Sciria and Jim Lamarca
Tony Biasiotta and Miss Italia Ohio Amy Allega
Mayor Frank Jackson and Consul Marco Nobili
Tony Ettorre, Peter Apicella, Carmen Cesa & Jerry Polizzi
Rose Zitiello and Councilwoman Dona Brady
Honoree Aldo Filippelli and family with Representative Marcia Fudge