A sense of history and pride filled the Eastchester High School auditorium Tuesday night as students and educators from Westchester County celebrated Italian Heritage and Culture month.
Eastchester Middle School students Melina Caviris and Samantha Poli, along with Eastchester High School students Sofia Mottura, Isabella Rizzo, and Michael Romano and more than 60 students throughout Westchester were honored for their excellence in their study of Italian heritage and culture.
Scholarships were awarded by John DeCicco Sr. and Sons, and Carmine International Hair Salon.
Students sang both the American and Italian National Anthems and Jefferson Elementary School students performed traditional Italian songs.
This year’s theme was ‘A Salute to Italian Women in America’. Professor Carlo Sclafani, Co-President of the Westchester Coalition of Italian American Organizations, reflected on the Italian-American experience.
“Despite obstacles and challenges, Italian American women preserved family values, tradition and still had so much success in every field of endeavor.”
Special guests included New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli who said, “No county does Italian Heritage like Westchester.” He also encouraged the young women in the audience to take advantage of all the world has to offer today and urged the young men to continue in their ancestors’ footsteps.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer recalled his Italian roots as he presented a proclamation to the Coalition.
Many thanks to Judge Francis Nicolai, who presented awards to the students, Vincent Zuccarelli, Co-President of Italian American Organizations, Mario Cermele, President of the Antonio Meucci Lodge #213, OSIA, Master of Ceremonies, Mara Persampieri and Lucrezia Lindia, the Chairperson of the Eastchester High School Foreign Language Department and National President of the National Italian Honor Society.