DISTINGUISHED WOMEN – Consul General of Italy,  a Sister of St. Joseph and Italian Teacher of Language

The members of the Cellini Lodge #2206 of New Hyde Park, Order Sons of Italy in   America, will celebrate their 46th Annual Scholarship/Charitable Benefit Dinner Dance on Friday evening, April 4, 2014 at the Chateau Briand, located in Westbury.

The honorees for the evening will be: Minister Natalia Quintavalle, Consul General of Italy; Sister Catherine Mezzacapo, CSJ, and Italian Language Teacher Josephine Tardio. In addition to the dinner, an Annual Souvenir Scholarship/Charitable Benefit Journal, that grosses funds in journal ads and helps to raise scholarships for qualified students and charities, was formally presented to the membership and guests that evening.

Honored for their respective years of service to the Government of Italy, to the Church and to the teaching profession, Minister Quintavalle has distinguished herself abroad and especially since her appointment as Consul General of Italy to New York, a premier post in international service.

Sister Catherine has been a religious now for some 76 years and celebrates on April 4th her 95th Birthday. She has been a noted teacher, principal and advocate for child welfare services.

Josephine Tardio has served the teaching community and is one of the main proponents of the Advanced Placement in Italian, for which the Order Sons of Italy in America has contributed and worked towards increasing the numbers of students taking the courses and testing.

All three honorees have ties to the Cellini Lodge, for Minister Quintavalle has collaborated with the Italian Cultural and Heritage Committee of NY, Inc., that the Cellini Lodge supports annually.  Sister Catherine has served as the officiating Chaplain at many a Cellini Lodge scholarship dinner dance, and Mrs. Tardio has effectively advanced the study of the Italian language, for which the Cellini Lodge has been noted for many years in promoting classes of Italian as well as scholarship support to the local high schools.

Vincent R. Illuzzi, recently re-elected as President of the Cellini Lodge for the 2014-15 year, praised the Lodge for its efforts to make New Hyde Park and the surrounding community a better place to live.   He said: “We of the Cellini Lodge are so very proud of all our members, but in this case we extend special congratulations to our honorees: Minister Quintavalle, Sister Catherine and Josephine.  This 46th annual celebration is special, in that the Lodge attempts to raise needed monies for its beloved and highly respected Scholarship/Charitable Benefit Fund.”  The Scholarship Dinner Dance is the social highlight of the year’s events.  “As the Lodge President, I am appreciative of the support of our lodge members, community merchants and sponsors for our journal ads, as well as of all those who attend our annual event in honor of our distinguished honoree,” stated Illuzzi.

Owing to the great respect by the OSIA family members throughout the local and extended geographic areas, many other lodge presidents and civic representatives are expected to attend the event.   New York State President for the OSIA, Joseph Rondinelli and National President Fifth Vice-President Nancy DiFiore Quinn, and other state and local lodge officials, will be in attendance to congratulate the Cellini Lodge and its honorees.

Since the founding of Cellini Lodge in 1968, the Lodge has provided close to 420 scholarships with over $350,000 collectively awarded.  In the past few years, the Cellini Lodge/Foundation Scholarship Committee has announced the creation of several new named scholarships, owing to the generosity of Cellini members: namely, the Anthony Musso family and Anna Mulea in honor of her late husband. In addition, senior level students at New Hyde Park Memorial, Herricks, Sewanhaka, Floral Park Memorial, Garden City and Great Neck South High Schools all benefit from a variety of Cellini recognition awards annually.  Funds from the Journal are also used for state charities supported by the NYSOSIA, such as: the Garibaldi Meucci Museum, NYSOSIA Commission for Social Justice, Cooley’s Anemia, Alzheimer’s, Autism, L’Aquila Earthquake Fund, etc.

The Coordinator and Chairperson for the 2014 Scholarship Dinner Dance and Journal will be: Joseph Sciame, and Alfonso Squillante.  Assisting them will be a committee consisting of many other Cellini Lodge members, including past presidents: Gina Ferrara, Jean Gagliardo, Anthony Milazzo, Grace Serafini Ferrara and Angelo J. Ferrara, as well as others who are committed to the goals and objectives of the OSIA and the Cellini Lodge.

In speaking with Joseph Sciame, a Past President of the Cellini Lodge and now an OSIA National/State Past President, who has served as a driving force with the Cellini Scholarship/Charitable Journal since the Cellini Lodge’s founding in 1968, he stated:  “We are all very proud of the Cellini Lodge: first, it is our own home lodge; second, with 387 members in 2014, it is one of the largest lodges of the OSIA in New York State; and third, it is a model lodge in its organization and many activities within the community of New Hyde Park and the surrounding areas.  Cellini Lodge attracts members from other communities because of its very involvement in the fabric of our society, by promoting education, culture and charitable giving.  That is why we are all so proud of this Lodge.  And this year, we were especially proud of our honorees, for the have served well for the many facets of our Italian and Italian American community. They, as with other past honorees of our Cellini Lodge and Charitable Foundation, have been Italian American role models for us all!”