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The Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California will lead the Italo-American community in celebrating the 68th anniversary of when Italy became a republic during a luncheon on Saturday, May 31st in San Pedro.
Italy’s Republic Day, born out of World War II, commemorates the institutional referendum held by universal suffrage on June 2, 1946, in which the Italian people headed to the polls and in a nationwide referendum, rejected monarchy and chose a republic form of government. Credited with beginning the modernization of the country, Italy’s Republic Day is a national holiday and is celebrated much like July 4th in the United States.
Each year, the Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California gather together as a community to celebrate this special day. This year, the program will welcome special guest, Hon. Giuseppe Perrone, Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, as well as recognize the current leaders of Federated’s Italo-American organizations and bestow the honor of Federated’s Woman & Man of the Year to Ms. Irene Guadagno and Mr. Vincenzo Rotello, two Italian-born members of the community who have offered their lives to give luster to Italy and the Italo-American community.
Federated’s Woman of the Year, Ms. Irene Guadagno, immigrated to the United States from Caserta in the late 60’s and made her home in Los Angeles. She quickly adapted to her environment and in a short period became an entrepreneur. First, she operated successful Italian restaurants and one Caribbean-themed bar and club, then became an importer of fine Italian furniture, art and Murano glass. She is now an importer of fine Italian and European genuine foods. Besides her business pursuits she has been involved in the community by promoting the “Vote Abroad” initiative.
This initiative is now law in Italy, giving Italians who live abroad the right to actively participate in the Italian elections. She is active with the Italian political party: Partito Democratico and is a leader in the Circolo group in Los Angeles. She also performs onstage at her son’s famous music festivals to crowds who know her as Mamma Irene. She is a mother of two daughters and one son and a grandmother.
Federated’s Man of the Year, Mr. Vincenzo Rotella, is a contractor and works in Southern California. He actively works with many Italians building their restaurants and enjoys working with them and becoming friends with many of his clients. He brings the Italian charm and craftsmanship that has made many Italian restaurants in Los Angeles a pleasure to dine in. A caring man and willing to compromise to help his fellow man, Mr. Rotella is also past president of the Young Italian Club, whose meetings were often held at Casa Italiana.
Their presence included going to Sunday Masses at St. Peter’s Italian Church. Mr. Rotella came to the United States as part of a Church initiative that brought disadvantaged kids from Italy for a better chance across the ocean. With his two younger sisters he came here from Calabria for a better future. Mr. Rotella is known as an example of what one person can do to improve his fate. Thanks to the Church, his humble beginnings have brought fruit to a happy and fulfilling life. He is the father of one son and two stepdaughters and a grandfather.
All are welcome to join in the Republic Day festivities and enjoy music performed by Tony Ciaramitaro and the Sicilian Band. Tickets for Federated’s Republic Day Luncheon (11am-4pm) are $42 per person and rsvp is required by May 23rd to Mrs. Carmela Funiciello, Vice President Republic Day (310)547-5807 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Luncheon located at Michael’s Restaurant 470 West 7th St. San Pedro, CA 90731.