The Columbus Citizens Foundation’s primary philanthropic activity is awarding scholarships
to deserving students of Italian heritage. During the 2012-2013
academic year, we are providing approximately $2 million of financial
aid to almost 500 students. Since its inception the scholarship program has given out over $25,000,000.
In addition to its scholarship activities, the Foundation has a
tradition of raising funds for specific projects, often humanitarian in
- The Foundation donated $250,000 in 2013 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to help returning soldiers deal with both physical and mental wounds from war.
- The Foundation donated $100,000 for a Mobile Command Unit in the earthquake ravaged region of L'Aquila, Italy.
- The Foundation gave $500,000 to help
reinstate The College Board’s Italian Language and Culture Advanced
- Since 2003, the Foundation has funded
approximately one hundred local Italian American students
participating in the summer immersion program in Italian language
conducted at Concordia College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- The Foundation created and funds the Franco Zefferelli Scholarship for the Arts, which provides funding for
students of Italian culture.
- The Foundation donated $300,000 in 2003 to the Intrepid
Fallen Heroes Fund to honor the American servicemen and women who died
in the Iraq War. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund provides support to
the spouses and dependent children of military personnel who lost
their lives while serving their country.
- In memory of the people who died during the 9/11
terrorist attack, the Foundation pledged the proceeds of sponsorships
and other fundraising activities during the 2001 Columbus Celebration,
which totaled $1 million, to help complete the construction of the
New Millennium High School in lower Manhattan. Located just blocks
from Ground Zero, the school was created within an existing office
building to help revitalize the area.
- The Foundation makes a generous donation every year to the Cooley's Anemia Foundation.
- The Foundation raised over $1 million in relief funds for victims of earthquakes in Italy and Turkey.
- Direct aid is provided by the Foundation to two
educational institutions focused on Italian studies and culture: La
Scuola d’Italia and the Montfort Academy.
- The Foundation held a Gold Star campaign to create
a Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, which provided scholarships for the
children of servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice
during the first Gulf War. The fund provided over $1 million in
college scholarships for the children of Marines who lost their lives.
In addition to its humanitarian efforts, the Foundation has
raised money for projects determined by its Board of Governors. For
the restoration and maintenance of the Columbus Monument, located at
Columbus Circle in New York City, $400,000 was raised by the
Foundation. Designed by Gaetano Russo in 1892 and unveiled on the 400th
anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s historic voyage, the 13-foot
tall marble statue of the navigator and the 26-foot tall granite column
on which it stands had suffered nearly a century of neglect and the
effects of pollution. The conserved monument was unveiled during the
500th anniversary of Columbus’s exploration. The restoration was
carried out by New York City’s Adopt-A-Monument Program.
Two important adjuncts to the Foundation’s philanthropic
activities are its Ladies Auxiliary Committee and its Young Adults
The Ladies Auxiliary holds annual fundraisers. The majority
of the funds underwrite scholarships, but the organization also makes
donations to the numerous organizations throughout the United States.
In 1986, the Ladies Auxiliary received the Presidential Recognition
Award for Outstanding Community Service, the nation’s highest award for
The Young Adults Auxiliary, constituted by men and women who
support the Foundation’s mission, holds annual Casino Nights and Wine
Tastings that raise money for scholarships.