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Italian American Heritage Month

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

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 of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

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, 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

Mayor Jackson blowing out birthday cake candles



Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

Mayor Jackson presented an official proclamation to Italian American Heritage Committee Chair Rose Zitiello

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson presented an official proclamation to Italian American Heritage Committee Chair Rose Zitiello

Councilman Matt Zone, Rose Zitiello and Mayor Jackson

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.

Biagio Parente

Biagio Parente


Italian Consul Marco Nobili, Vice-Consul Serena Scaiola and Umberto Fedeli

Italian Consul Marco Nobili, Vice-Consul Serena Scaiola
and Umberto Fedeli


Serena then introduced Marco Nobili, Consul of Italy in Detroit.

Marco Nobili, Consul of Italy in Detroit

Marco Nobili

Marco Nobili speaks at Italian Heritage Month in Cleveland



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.

Edward Tomba

Edward Tomba and Mayor Jackson



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.

Lester Lagatta friend

Judge Anthony O. Calabrese spoke on behalf of Lester LaGatta

Lester Lagatta daughters



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.

Marco Nobili and Anita Marie Fini

Anita Marie Fini

Anita Marie Fini



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.

John Anthony Orlando

Nick Orlando



The final award of the evening went to Aldo Filippelli who was honored as Cleveland Italian American Individual of the Year.

Aldo Filippelli

Aldo Filippelli

The reigning Miss Italia of Ohio, Amy Allega, spoke about the Miss Italia program.

Miss Italia of Ohio Amy Allega


After a closing prayer from Father Polito, the attendees enjoyed an Italian dinner.

Father Martin Polito

It was a wonderful beginning to Italian American Heritage month. Enjoy these photos from the event.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and award recipient Aldo Filippelli

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and award recipient Aldo Filippelli


La Gazetta's Angie Spitalieri, Paul Sciria and Jim Lamarca

La Gazetta's Angie Spitalieri, Paul Sciria and Jim Lamarca


Tony Biasiotta and Miss Italia Ohio Amy Allega

Tony Biasiotta and Miss Italia Ohio Amy Allega


Mayor Frank Jackson and Consul Marco Nobili

Mayor Frank Jackson and Consul Marco Nobili


Tony Ettorre, Peter Apicella, Carmen Cesa & Jerry Polizzi

Tony Ettorre, Peter Apicella, Carmen Cesa & Jerry Polizzi


Rose Zitiello and Councilwoman Dona Brady

Rose Zitiello and Councilwoman Dona Brady


Honoree Aldo Filippelli and family with Representative Marcia Fudge

Honoree Aldo Filippelli and family with
Representative Marcia Fudge


Honoree Anita Marie Fini and Councilman Matt Zone

Honoree Anita Marie Fini and Councilman Matt Zone


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