Last Monday, October 1st, the 2012 Italian American Heritage Committee celebrated the start of Italian American Heritage month. The event, held at Cleveland City Hall Rotunda, was where Honorary co-chairs Mayor Frank Jackson and Councilman Matt Zone along with the other committee members gathered to honor six outstanding Italian Americans in our community.
This year’s Honorees were:
City Employee: Anthony Gambatese, Division of Water
Arts and Culture: Mary Verdi Fletcher, Founder & President- Dancing Wheels Company & School
Corporate: Sandra Pianalto, President & CEO Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Entrepreneur/Small Business: Luigi Ruggiero, Ruggiero Tax Services
Public Service: Judge Deborah J. Nicastro
Individual: Antoinette Didato
The event opened with a prayer from Sr. Dianne Piunno, MA, S.N.D., Pastoral Associate, St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, followed by opening remarks from Councilman Matt Zone and the Italian and US National Anthems by Andrea Anelli who is the Executive Director of Opera per Tutti.
After this years honorees were presented their awards there were many more special moments, such as the Introduction of the Commemorative Plaque from the Mayor of Oratino, Italy to the City of Cleveland and a special dance performance from 2012 Honoree Mary Verdi Fletcher and Daniel Isaah Henderson.
Congratulations to this years Honorees! To watch this special Cleveland event stay tuned to TV20 Cleveland for the full coverage!