Filitalia International’s 30th Annual Dinner Gala was held at Celebrations Banquet Hall in Bensalem, PA, from 5pm to 11pm on Sunday, November 19, 2017.

The Gala’s Master of Ceremonies was Marco Circelli, Executive Director of Filitalia International. He reminded those present that the organization was celebrating the 30th anniversary of its founding, under the constant guidance of its President Emeritus and Founder Dr. Pasquale Nestico.

Paula DeSanctis-Bonavitacola, the first Vice-President of Filitalia International, thanked all the participants and the many volunteers who helped create an unforgettable evening for the 250 guests in attendance, as well as the sponsors for their generous contributions.

Rosetta Miriello, President Emeritus, spoke about Filitalia International’s past and listed all of the goals achieved by the organization during its 30 years of activity, including the creation of chapters, foreign partners, the creation of the History of Italian Immigration Museum, and the recent Ente Gestore nomination from the Consulate General of Philadelphia.

Miriello wanted to publicly recognize Mrs. Anna di Paola, former Chair of the Recreational Committee, and Rosario Ceraso, current Chair of the Sport Committee, who both received a Certificate of Appreciation for all they have done to organize events for Filitalia International, from food for the Gala to sporting events.

Lastly, Miriello publicly thanked Dr. Nestico for his continued support and inspiration for Filitalia International, which has been able to grow thanks to his tireless work.

The President of Filitalia International, Marc Virga, recalled that a new season is beginning for Filitalia International, in which everyone will have to contribute through their volunteer work to defend our Italian culture and traditions.The objective of Filitalia International is to continue growing, thanks to the help of sponsors and donors who believe in Filitalia’s mission and want to contribute to the maintenance of Italian identity and cultural roots, both in the greater Philadelphia area and throughout the world.

The following awards were presented to important members of the the Italian-American community in the greater Philadelphia area:

The “Citizenship Award” was conferred on Giuseppe Musso, owner of “Giuseppe Trattoria” in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, who reminded the guests that his great success as a restaurateur and entrepreneur has always been accompanied by great existential difficulties.

The “Leadership & Educational Award” was given to Dr. Pasquale Nestico, president of the Pasquale Nestico Foundation. He was introduced by his son, Saverio Nestico. Thanks to his new foundation and ever-present help for Filitalia’s activities, Dr. Nestico has contributed to the achievement of the Ente Gestore appointment, which will start new Italian languages courses at public and private schools in the consular district of Philadelphia.

The “Humanitarian Award” introduced by Claudio Sica was given to brothers Cesare, Antonio, and Domenico Gambone. Thanks to their continuous activity in maintaining Italian culture and tradition in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the Gambone brothers’ contribution has been and continues to be of vital importance, especially to the many people in need living in Norristown.

The Gala’s evening was accompanied by music and entertainment by the duo Fulvio Ranni and Sal Evola, who presented an Italian repertoire highly appreciated by guests.

“Our Annual Gala represents the most solid tradition of Filitalia International” says Rosetta Miriello, President Emeritus. “We are happy to be able to host all of our members and supporters, together with all our compatriots living in the greater Philadelphia area, and celebrate 30 years together thanks to our culture, roots, and traditions.”