The kickoff event for the 2014 Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month took place in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on October 4, 2014. The recognition ceremony was sponsored by the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Committee with Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone serving as Honorary Co-Chairs.
Councilman Zone welcomed the crowd to the celebration and introduced Father Richard Rasch from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish for the invocation.
Father Richard Rasch gives invocation
Then Andrea Anelli of Opera per Tutti sang both the Italian and US national anthems.
Councilman Zone introduced Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson who thanked the people who worked so hard to make the event happen. He also praised the diversity of Cleveland and congratulated the Italian community for their contributions.
Mayor Frank Jackson
Italian American Heritage Committee member Rose Zitiello introduced the rest of the committee and also thanked Umberto Fedeli for providing the dinner.
Then Matt Zone introduced Basil Russo, the National President of Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA).
Three Italian American Heritage Committee Awards were presented. The first was to Connie Sancetta who has been president of the Italian American Cultural Foundation since 2007. She is also secretary of the Cleveland Italian Ancestral Organization and holds other positions as well. She was honored in the Individual category.
Mayor Jackson, Connie Sancetta and Matt Zone
Joe Marinucci was honored next. Joe currently serves as the president and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Joseph was born in Giuliano Teatino in Abruzzo Italy and his family migrated to the Little Italy section of Cleveland in 1956. Joe was honored in the Public Service category.
Mayor Jackson, Joe Marinucci and Matt ZoneItalian born artist Marcello Mellino, M.D., was the third honoree. The Consulate of Italy in Detroit is presenting 'Savoring EATalia', an exhibit of Mellino's photographs. Marcello was honored in the Artist category.
Mayor Jackson and Marcello Mellino
Serena Scaiola, Honorary Consul of Italy in Cleveland, said that 5% of Cleveland's population has Italian heritage.
Italian Consul Serena Scaiola
Enjoy these other images from the event.
(As always if we made a mistake with a name or you can help ID someone please
let us know.)
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