Welcome to the Italian Walk of Fame
Join us May 28th 2014 for the 6th 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.
The Italian Walk of Fame partners with Autism Canada Foundation to raise funds through the Induction event in their fight against an illness which affects families everywhere. The Foundation’s mission includes supporting Canadians by providing biomedical and behavioural treatment information, expanding health care professionals’ knowledge and awareness of autism as a treatable illness affecting the whole body, working to influence policy within governments to provide public health initiatives and policy change and enabling research into the causes and treatments for autism.
Announcing The 2014 Inductees!
Joe Mantegna Gino Vannelli
Andy Donato Joseph S. Mancinelli
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.
Gino Vannelli-2014 IWOF Inductee
See Gino Vannelli in concert on July 4, 2013 at Jazz On The Mountain At Blue (JOMAB): One-Time Exclusive Ticket Price for Italian Walk of Fame attendees: $29.95 (children 12 and under free) regular $39.95. Festival details at www.bluemountainjazzfest.com.
Children 10 and under attending the Italian Walk of Fame Star Unveiling Ceremony on May 28th in Toronto’s Little Italy with their parents will receive a free Jazz On The Mountain At Blue t-shirt (limited quantities available). Special ticket price for the Awards Gala now being offered to JOMAB subscribers. Inquiries: 416-941-9905.
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