Oltre 660 ospiti hanno partecipato a Viva La Panza, una raccolta fondi per borse di studio a favore di studenti di origine italiana svoltasi lo scorso 26 ottobre. L’impeccabile esecuzione e la generosità dei partecipanti hanno consentito di raccogliere la cifra record di oltre $90.000. I membri del comitato organizzatore hanno venduto biglietti della lotteria con premi ad estrazione. John Villilo, presidente della commissione per il fondo di donazione, ha detto che l’IAPBC ha collaborato lo scorso anno con la Akron Community Foundation per istituire un fondo permanente con l’obiettivo di raccogliere $1 milione entro il 2020, in occasione del 50° anniversario della fondazione del comitato.
Viva La Panza drew 660 men to Todaro’s Party Center on Wednesday, October 26th for an evening of great food and camaraderie.
Ralph Trecaso and John Montisano co-chaired the event for the Italian-American Professional Businessmen’s Club, which raises funds for scholarships to students of Italian descent.
“We set a new record this year, raising over $90,000 for scholarships,” Trecaso said.
Members of the committee sold raffle tickets for a variety of prizes, including a RubberDucks ticket package.
Mario Caponi, one of the oldest members, enjoyed the event with his son, Rocco, Aldo Filippilli, John Pavia, Phil George, Larry Bagnoli and Ray Sanginiti.
John Villilo, endowment committee chair, said the group teamed up last year with the Akron Community Foundation to start a permanent endowment fund to help future students.
“Our endowment goal is $1 million by 2020, when we celebrate our 50th anniversary,” said Villilo.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan enjoyed the event with Chris Ludle, John Valle, Chuck D’Andrea, Charles Brown, Don Rice and James Hardy.
Libert Bozzelli said Wednesday was his 70th wedding anniversary, but his wife, Madeline, “insisted I come to this event,” since a celebration was planned for the weekend.
Judge Tom Teodosio introduced Judge John O’Donnell, who came from Cuyahoga County for the event, as they stepped onto the tent-covered patio for hors d’oeuvres along with Judge Todd McKenney, Jack DeLeo, Scott Sand¬rock and Charles Grisi.
Master of Ceremonies T.K. O’Grady of 97.5 WONE radio introduced Deacon John Amedio, who gave the invocation before dinner. John Montisano gave a tribute to the Rev. Jim Ragnoni, who was chaplain of the Italian-American Professional Businessmen’s Club until his death Aug. 1: “He taught us to be altar boys, and he taught us to shoot baskets.”
(Portions of this article appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal 10/31/2016)