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Italian Heritage Month 2018

Italian Heritage Month 2018 kickoff
October 1, 2018
Cleveland City Hall Rotunda

The official opening of a month-long celebration of the Italian-American Community in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio was held on Monday October 1, 2018 in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall.

Italian Heritage Month in Cleveland City Hall banner

For the last 13 years the City of Cleveland has celebrated Italian Heritage Month with an official opening event in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on the first Monday of October. Councilman Matt Zone welcomed the crowd.

Councilman Matt Zone

Councilman Matt Zone


Matt called on committee chair Pamela Dorazio Dean who introduced Father Martin Polito of Holy Redeemer Church for the invocation.

NOTE: All the images below with a white arrow in the middle are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is described. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.



Pamela Dorazio Dean

Pamela Dorazio Dean

Father Martin Polito of Holy Redeemer Church

Father Martin Polito of Holy Redeemer Church


Next, Pamela introduced Giovanni Castiglione who sang the national anthem of Italy.

Giovanni Castiglione

Giovanni Castiglione


Giovanni was then joined by Kyle Fisher, Brandon Zlotnik and Hollis Wilson who form the quartet Wing It for the US national anthem.



Giovanni Castiglione, Kyle Fisher, Brandon Zlotnik and Hollis Wilson who form the quartet Wing It lead the US national anthem.

Giovanni Castiglione, Kyle Fisher, Brandon Zlotnik and Hollis Wilson,
who form the quartet Wing It, led the US national anthem


Next, Pamela Dorazio Dean introduced Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson who presented a proclamation recognizing the event.



Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson


Committee Treasurer Rose Zitiello introduced the committee members and sponsors.

Rose Zitiello

Rose Zitiello


Italian Heritage night sponsors


Basil Russo, National president of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, was unable to be there but Pamela Dorazio Dean read his remarks.

This was followed by the awards presentation. 6 people were honored and a video was played showing an interview with each.

Tom Cirincione was honored with the Culture Award for his genealogy work with Pursuing Our Italian Names Together (POINT) now known as the Cleveland Italian Ancestry Organization (CIAO).



Tom Cirincione

Tom Cirincione

Mayor Jackson and Tom Cirincione

Mayor Jackson and Tom Cirincione


George Leggiero was honored with the Arts Award for his work as carillonneur for 45 years at the Church of the Covenant and University Circle. He has played on the tower's 47 Dutch bronze bells for various events.



George Leggiero

George Leggiero

Mayor Jackson and George Leggiero

Mayor Jackson and George Leggiero


Robert A. Lippucci was honored with the Individual Award for his work with the Southwest Italian American Club.



Robert A. Lippucci

Robert A. Lippucci

Mayor Jackson and Robert A. Lippucci

Mayor Jackson and Robert A. Lippucci


Frank T. Sinito was honored with the Corporate Award for his work as CEO of the Millennia Companies and his work at True Freedom Ministries.



Frank T. Sinito

Frank T. Sinito

Frank T. Sinito  and Mayor Jackson

Frank T. Sinito and Mayor Jackson


Mike Spena was honored with the Small Business Award for his work at Spena Landscaping and in the Italian Cultural Garden.



Mike Spena

Mike Spena

Mayor Jackson and Mike Spena

Mayor Jackson and Mike Spena


Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone was honored with the Public Servant Award for his work in the neighborhoods and service to the City.



Councilman Matt Zone

Councilman Matt Zone

Mayor Jackson and Councilman Matt Zone

Mayor Jackson and Councilman Matt Zone


In closing, Councilman Matt Zone thanked the crowd for coming and Father Martin Polito gave the blessing before eating.



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Enjoy these other images from the 2018 Italian Heritage Month event at City Hall.

Italian Heritage Month Committee members

Italian Heritage Month Committee members


Matt Zone, Judge Sheehan and Rose Zitiello

Matt Zone, Judge Sheehan and Rose Zitiello


Honoree Mike Spena and family

Honoree Mike Spena and family


Mayor Frank Jackson and Father Martin Polito

Mayor Frank Jackson and Father Martin Polito


Wing It Quartet

Wing It Quartet


City Hall Rotunda was packed

City Hall Rotunda was packed


Matt Zone with Italian Club members

Matt Zone with Italian Club members


Nido Italia serving up delicious food

Nido Italia serving up delicious food


Nido Italia serving up delicious food


Nido Italia serving up delicious food


Honoree and co-cjhair Matt Zone with wife Michelle

Honoree and co-chair Matt Zone with wife Michelle


Honorees with Rose Zitiello and Pamela Dorazio Dean

Honorees with Rose Zitiello and Pamela Dorazio Dean


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