Recognizing the incredible impact that our Italian heritage has had on our lives and its contribution to our individual successes, we the members of the Columbus Citizens Foundation dedicate ourselves to preserving and enhancing the culture, traditions and values we were so blessed to receive. Furthermore, we will commit to honor those that came before us by ensuring that their love of country, family and tireless work ethic are passed to our children and all future generations. We firmly commit to raise and distribute financial aid to educate children in need and pledge to extend ourselves in perpetuating the philanthropic work that has been synonymous with our Foundation.
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929.
The Foundation is made up of nearly 600 members who are of Italian ancestry and are grateful for the opportunities their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents found as immigrants to the United States. The Foundation’s members are proud of their heritage and their American citizenship. They are committed to improving the lives of Italian-American students, and their families, by providing scholarship funding that will help the students develop the skills and tools needed to succeed in life.
The Foundation’s most public activity each year is organizing New York City’s Columbus Celebration, including the Columbus Day Parade, which is the largest celebration of Christopher Columbus’s historic voyage and of Italian-American heritage and achievement in the world. The celebration is organized by the Foundation’s members on a strictly volunteer basis, donating their time and expertise to help create the exhibitions frequently seen in Grand Central Terminal, the Foundation’s Annual Gala Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the wreath laying at Columbus Circle, the Columbus Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue.The Columbus Celebration is a series of events that celebrate the culture and traditions of Italy, both abroad and in the United States, and is a fundraising initiative that benefits the Foundation’s philanthropic endeavors, one of which is its scholarship programs and their funding.
OFFICERSAngelo Vivolo - President
Ralph V. Balzano - Vice President
Michael F. Pedone - Secretary
Lawrence E. Auriana - Treasurer
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Frank G. Fusaro - Chairman
LADIES AUXILIARYJanice Galli Becker - President
Kristine Occhicione - Vice President
JoAnne Sylva - Secretary
Lorraine Marchini - Treasurer
YOUNG ADULTS AUXILIARYColette Stango - President
Leanne Spitalieri - Vice President
Anthony Charles - Secretary
Anthony Massaro - Treasurer