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Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month

Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month
Cleveland City Hall
October 1, 2012

The kickoff event for the 2012 Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month took place in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on October 1, 2012. The recognition ceremony was sponsored by the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee with Rose A. Zitiello serving as Chair.

Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone introduced Sister Dianne Piunno, MA, S.N.D., Pastoral Associate, St Ignatius of Antioch Church who led the opening prayer.

Sister Dianne Piunno, MA, S.N.D.

Invocation by Sister Dianne Piunno, S.N.D.




Next Andrea Anelli, Executive Director of Opera per Tutti, sang the Italian and US National Anthems.

Andrea Anelli, Executive Director of Opera per Tutti

Andrea Anelli




Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone then introduced Mayor Frank Jackson.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

Mayor Frank Jackson




Next, Rose A. Zitiello introduced the Committee Members and sponsors.

Rose A. Zitiello

Rose A. Zitiello


Then the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee Awards were presented.

Anthony Gambatese was presented the City Employee award.

Anthony Gambatese with Mayor Jackson and Councilman Zone

Anthony Gambatese with Mayor Jackson and Councilman Zone


Mary Verdi-Fletcher was presented the Arts & Culture award.

Mary Verdi-Fletcher with Mayor Jackson and Councilman Zone

Mary Verdi-Fletcher

Sandra Pinalto was presented the Corporate award.

Accepting the award for Sandra Pianalto

Accepting the award for Sandra Pianalto


Antoinette Didato was presented the Individual award.

Antoinette Didato

Antoinette Didato


Luigi Ruggerio was presented the Entrepreneur/Small Business award.

Luigi Ruggerio

Luigi Ruggerio


Honorable Judge Deborah J. Nicastro was presented the Public Service award.

Honorable Judge Deborah J. Nicastro

Honorable Judge Deborah J. Nicastro


Pamela Dorazio Dean Associate Curator of Italian American History, Western Reserve Historical Society, introduced a commemorative plaque given to the City of Cleveland by the Mayor of Oratino, Italy.

Pamela Dorazio Dean

Pamela Dorazio Dean


After the award presentations, honoree Mary Verdi Fletcher, President of Dancing Wheels, and Daniel Isaah Henderson performed the dance "Worlds Apart' choreographed by Catherine Meredith, to the song Caruso sung by Etta Scollo.

Mary Verdi Fletcher, President of Dancing Wheels, and Daniel Isaah Henderson

Mary Verdi Fletcher and Daniel Isaah Henderson





Mary Verdi Fletcher, President of Dancing Wheels, and Daniel Isaah Henderson


After the ceremony, delicious Italian food was served.

Angie Spitalieri, Umberto Fedeli and Serena Scaiola

Angie Spitalieri, Umberto Fedeli and Serena Scaiola


Councilwomen Mamie Mitchell and Dona Brady

Councilwomen Mamie Mitchell and Dona Brady


Serena Scaiola, Rose Zitiello, Mayor Frank Jackson and Councilwoman Dona Brady

Serena Scaiola, Rose Zitiello,
Mayor Frank Jackson and Councilwoman Dona Brady


Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month banner 2012


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