By Pam Teel
The Italian American Cultural Society of New Jersey is nine months strong with approximately sixty members and plenty of room for more to join. Come and grow with the organization as they find more ways to embrace and honor their Italian heritage and give back to their communities. With a mix of people from many different surrounding communities, the Society is dedicated to developing a continuum of Italian culture both old world and new.
The members meet once a month, usually at different local restaurants, where they mingle and get acquainted with each other and discuss their ancestral origins. Whether it be talking about their diverse regional cuisines, wines, or different dialects, one can see how proud they are to be Italian.
June’s event was held at the Wine Room on Route 33 in Manalapan, where owner and member, Mike Campizzi, generously donated the use of his facility as well as all of the wine. Mr. Campizzi also donates the wine when the members dine out at local BYOB restaurants (If you’re interested in making your own barrel of wine, you can visit the wine room at www.atthewineroom.com). There was plenty of Italian food on hand as each family member brought a covered dish with them. There was even food donated from local businesses. With desserts ranging from cannolis to tiramisu, it was clearly evident that no one left hungry. After dinner, there was a guest speaker who discussed the topic of Social Security. To add to the night, local talent, Jimmy Nicoletti, belted out some old style songs as members danced along to the music.
May’s event brought cultural guest speaker Giulia, who shared her knowledge about the history of Italy and the many diverse regions as members dined at the San Marzano Trattoria Restaurant in Freehold.
If you are looking to join in with a lively bunch, this is the club to join. You don’t need to be Italian. The members embrace all cultures and look forward to sharing and growing along with the newcomers. The organization strives hard to bring cultural and guest speakers to their many events along with local talent. They welcome new member‘s ideas and input. Come on out and meet new people who share the common love of their heritage. The members also have a business directory for networking within the society. In the near future, they look forward to working with local charities as they find ways of giving back to their communities.
There are many more events planned for the rest of the year. In July, a member’s only family picnic is planned at Turkey Swamp Park. Other upcoming events include a Christmas party in December, a gathering at the wine room once again in February, and some fun nights out as the members wine and dine at local restaurants.
For membership information and upcoming events go to: www.ItalianAmericansnj.com. Bring your family and come and support this new growing organization that takes pride in its rich Italian history and heritage!
Photo: From left to right: Rich Favara, Pete Capuana, Anthony Ciricillo, Mike Campizzi, President Michael Arato, Rob DeSalvatore, Dave Senatore, and Vice President Anthony Grassi Jr.
By Pam Teel