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June 8, 2012     Post-Gazette
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June 8, 2012
 

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POST-GAZE'I'T, JUNE 8, 2012 " Page 9 ItalianissimoJ Gala Event Sets Tone for Future of Italian Heritage in Boston by Nicola Orichuia, photos by Rosario Scabin, Ross Photographer Joseph and Pauline Russo, Lilia and Consul General Giuseppe Pastorelli, OSIA State President James and Kathy DiStefano. Stephen Jones, Jennifer Gonzale and Charlie Clark. Dimitri Boston was all wrapped in green, white and red on Friday, June 1, as the Italian Consulate launched its first fundraising event to open an Italian Cultural Center in the city. More than 350 guests showed up for the exclusive event at Louis, on Boston's Waterfront, where the crowd mingled inside the clothing store's large open space, with glass walls showing off a magnificent sight of the Boston harbor. After a cocktail reception and fashion showcase, opening remarks were given by Louis' owner Debbie Greenberg, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Consul General of Italy, Giuseppe Pastorelli. The event's host was NECN's Jenny Johnson. "This event was long overdue," said Menino. "We are here to preserve and nurture our Italian American heritage." Menino also praised Consul General Pastorelli for his efforts to open an Italian Cultural Center. "We're well on our way to accomplishing our goal." The goal, said Pastorelli afterwards, is to "get the Italian and Italian American communities together and finally create a great cultural center the city deserves. We will do all that is possible to make this dream come true." Part of the $240,000 raised, however, will be given to education non-profit C.A.S.IT. to promote the teaching of Italian language in Massachusetts schools. The remaining donations will be collected in a fund for the dreamed cultural center. "The portion of funds raised from the Italianissimo! event that will be assigned to C.A.S.IT., Inc. will help us continue supporting communities that wish to preserve the study of the Italian language in their schools," said Adelaide Guarracino, President of C.A.S.IT. Accompanied by music by Marco Pignataro Quartet and DJ Felix Cutillo, the evening continued with a Sicilian-inspired dinner prepared by Chef Filippo La Mantia, owner of one of Rome's most exclusive restaurants in Via Veneto's Hotel Majestic. Consul General of Italy, Giuseppe Pastorelli and City of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Debbi Greenberg, Owner of Louis, Event MC Jenny Johnson. Joe Giangregorio, Donato Frattaroli, Lino Rullo, Giuseppe Giangregorio, Mira Giangregorio, Chef Filippo La Mantia, Dr. Dominic Amara, Gioconda and Joseph Motta and Ellie Giangregorio. Joseph Motta, Kathy and Joseph Sciacca and Maria Capogreco. Robert Travaglini, Robert Tiesi, Joseph Milano and Robert "Ted" Tomasone. Standing L-R: Dan Cellucci, Bob DiGiorgio, Matteo Gallo and Luciano Graffeo. Seated L-R: Yolanda Cellucci, Edie DiGiorgio, Nicole Velucci and Pamela Donnaruma. Gioconda and Joseph Motta, Adelaide Guarracino, Mr. and Mrs. Polimeni, Mauro Puppin, Stephen Maio, Dr. Roy Belson, Super- intendent of Medford Public Schools and Giuseppi Pastorelli. Giuseppe Taibi, Nita Leonardo Bonanni. Sturiale and