Welcome to the Italian Walk of Fame
Join us on June 15th, 2013 for the 5th Annual Star Unveiling And Awards Gala In Toronto, Canada
From the city of Toronto, home to the largest community of Italians outside of Italy comes the world’s first and only Italian Walk of Fame (IWOF). Located in the heart of Toronto’s famous downtown tourist destination known as “Little Italy,” and co-founded by Jimi Bertucci and Marisa Beaco Lang, the IWOF pays tribute to the extraordinary achievements of Italians in all fields with stars placed permanently and prominently in the sidewalk.
Announcing the 2013 Inductees!
The Capitol, Subtle Charm
Washington (D.C.) – Have you ever gone to a city and felt very at home? D.C. has that subtle charm that makes one feel comfortable while at the same time historically intrigued. The 36th Anniversary National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Gala appeared more like a Hollywood opening, rather than a gathering of Italians being honored for their achievements. Our good friend and mogul extraordinaire Frank Mancuso, one of the honorees, had arranged a private dinner for about twelve friends at Nora’s, a posh, trendy, organic restaurant near our hotel. The food was incredible and the company delightful. This was the first NIAF gala my partner and I had ever attended. The sold out event offered many surprises that evening, not the least of which was keynote speaker President Obama! Included among the many celebrity guests were Fabio, who was constantly surrounded, per usual, by a bevy of female admirers and 60′s beach blanket heartthrob Frankie Avalon, who seemed smoothly right at home sharing the room with 1500 dinner guests. Maria Bartiromo, anchor of both CNBC’s “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo” and “Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo”, graced the evening as Mistress of Ceremonies.
The Power of Sinatra
The uninspiring drive to Indio had its regular bleak landscape, sand and windmills. I was headed to the Frank Sinatra Starkey Hearing Foundation Celebrity Invitational (SHFCI) Golf Tournament Gala in thePalm Springs desert. Affectionately tagged “Franks little party in the desert”, this celebrity hoopla has been happening since 1988 and attracts more movie and television stars than most Hollywood shindigs. Mr. And Mrs. S. founded the foundation to help raise money for Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower whose purpose is to provide counseling, community education and positive ways to prevent future domestic violence. The SHFCI is one of the most respected and successful fundraising events of its kind. Each year celebrities, contestants, participants and spectators from all over the country look forward to returning to this unique event at The Fantasy Springs Hotel to help make a difference. I used to be a cynic when it came to these bold elaborate gatherings, but the more of them I attended, the more I realized how much good they do. The familiar faces were charming. Joe Mantegna and I discussed this year’s upcoming IWOF event. It was quite the buzz meeting the handsome Michael Dante. His real name is Ralph Vitti and he has appeared in over 30 films and 150 television shows. This recognizable TV icon is currently the host of a syndicated radio talk show, On Deck, The fundraiser was a huge success and once again the power of Sinatra echoes.
Italian Prime Minister…says no to 2013 (Italy)
(IWOF) Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed that he will not run for re-election in 2013. The 74 year-old premier to one of the most influential countries in the world considered resigning when his relationship with Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi surfaced. Berlusconi has been busy trying to secure high positions to some members of his loyal team, including Justice Minister Angelino Alfano as a possible successor…read more
New Co-Chair, New Ideas
Joining Mr. Ciccolini with the co-chair honors for the Italian Walk of Fame (IWOF) this year will be Mr. Robert Sacco. Mr. Sacco brings his dynamic personality and multi-talented skills to the IWOF team. Bob, as he prefers to be called, met up with Jimi and Marisa in WashingtonD.C. at the NIAF Conference and reflected on the upcoming IWOF event. As past National President at CIBPA, the Canadian Italian Business Professionals Association, Mr. Sacco was responsible for leading a one million dollar fundraising campaign to provide bursaries and scholarships to college students. Bob also dabbles in the arts whenever he gets a chance. Most recently, he was Executive Producer of Piazza Petawawa, a film that traces the Italian-Canadian internment during World War II and which opened the 2012 Italian Contemporary Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. The Italian Walk Of Fame welcomes Bob and looks forward to the creative energy he will bring to the event.
Carlo Baldassarra-Sentimental Nostalgia
I entered the Greenpark temple and was escorted to a large office filled with drafting designs, scattered papers…and more drawings. In the corner of the room sat a detailed sculpture of Father Pio who was venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. The off-white walls were not cluttered with exotic art or collectable artifacts. Perhaps I had expected to see awards and statues of praise and accolades for this construction icon. But none were present. Mr. Baldassarra sat across from me. This man was clearly at peace with himself. I could see on his face the years of love and labor for his trade. My first question was the torpedo, or at least I thought it was. I asked Mr. Baldassarra if he was…read more