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.
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
Matt called on committee chair Pamela Dorazio Dean who introduced Father Martin Polito of Holy Redeemer Church for the invocation.
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Pamela Dorazio Dean
Father Martin Polito of Holy Redeemer Church
Next, Pamela introduced Giovanni Castiglione who sang the national anthem of Italy.
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, 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
Committee Treasurer Rose Zitiello introduced the committee members and 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).
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.
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
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 and Mayor Jackson
Mike Spena was honored with the Small Business Award for his work at Spena Landscaping and in the Italian Cultural Garden.
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
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
Matt Zone, Judge Sheehan and Rose Zitiello
Honoree Mike Spena and family
Mayor Frank Jackson and Father Martin Polito
Wing It Quartet
City Hall Rotunda was packed
Matt Zone with Italian Club members
Nido Italia serving up delicious food
Honoree and co-chair Matt Zone with wife Michelle
Honorees with Rose Zitiello and Pamela Dorazio Dean
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