Supervisor Anthony J. Santino today hosted the Town of Hempstead’s second annual Italian Heritage Celebration, recognizing outstanding men and women who have dedicated their lives to promoting the great Italian traditions and culture that have helped make our township such a great place in which to live, work and raise a family.
“The Town of Hempstead has among the highest population of Italian-Americans in the United States,” stated Santino. “From literature, sports, religion, education and medicine to the arts, government, cuisine, business and more, Italian-Americans have been at the forefront of creating and maintaining our national identity. I am proud to honor several men and women this evening who embody the spirit and dedication of Italian heritage here in America’s largest township.”
This year’s honorees were: Frank Borrelli, owner of Borrelli’s in East Meadow; Father Joseph D’Angelo, Nassau County Police Chaplain; Angela DeCosimo, past president, Order Sons of Italy in America, Judge Frank A. Gulotta Lodge; Dr. Vincenzo Milione, Director of Demographic Studies with the Calandra Italian-American Institute of Queens College; Michael Pomerico, President of the Freeport Board of Education; and Paul Sapienza, owner of Sapienza Bakery in Elmont.
“I am proud of my Italian heritage, and our township’s officials are excited to be celebrating the many accomplishments of those who trace their heritage to Italy,” said Santino. “The story of Italian immigrants is the story of the United States, a nation built upon the successes of people who came to our nation, settled and worked to build a beautiful and strong United States of America.”
An inspiring Italian-American themed keynote speech was offered by Cav. Josephine Maietta, President of the Association of Italian-American Educators (AIAE) and “Sabato Italiano” radio host at Hofstra University WRHU 88.7 FM.
Eddie Sessa of Franklin Square and Giovanni and Marco Vittozzi of the Josephine Foundation of Westbury provided musical entertainment for the program. Poet Laureate Robert Savino read his poem, Ancestral Roots. Food and refreshments were generously sponsored by Piccolo’s Ristorante of Bellmore and former Italian Heritage award recipient, Tom Valenti.
“I would like to thank our keynote speaker, and all of our honorees and entertainers for demonstrating what it means to be an Italian-American in the Town of Hempstead,” stated Santino.”I especially would like to thank Tom Valenti of Piccolo’s Ristorante of Bellmore, for his generosity in sponsoring this great cultural event.”