From the Council of Italian American Societies:
The Council of Italian American Societies (CIAS) will officially install Frank T. Gennarini of Milford as the 104th Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Festivities at a fundraising dinner Thursday May 3rd.
The installation and sashing ceremony will begin at 6 pm at Vazzano’s 4 seasons, 337 Kenyon St., Stratford. Tickets are $75 per person. For more information, contact Joseph Riccio, 203-522-4841.
Co-chairs of the dinner Joseph Riccio and Joseph Ambrosini will perform the sashing ceremony. Ambrosini is the 2011 Grand Marshal and will be honored for his service last year.
The dinner will raise funds to support the Columbus Day festivities in Bridgeport, featuring the parade that will take place October 7th. In addition, the CIAS will also be a sponsor of the Marine Band Concert, the restoration of the Columbus statue at Seaside Park, and the Columbus Leadership Awards Dinner. In its 104th consecutive year, The Columbus Day Parade is the longest continuously running parade in Connecticut.
Gennarini, Vice President of Real Estate for D’Addario Industries and a private real estate investor, plans to build on the tradition of the Columbus Day Parade. This year’s parade theme celebrates the great Italian visionaries of the past, such as Columbus, Vespucci, Galileo, Marconi, and DaVinci, which will be featured on a special float.
Introduced as the 2012 Grand Marshall in January, Gennarini is pleased with the response of Greater Bridgeport businesses and community leaders in supporting the festivities.
“I have seen a great deal of enthusiasm and support every day,” Gennarini said. “As the longest, continuous parade in the state, the people of Greater Bridgeport understand that the Columbus festivities are an integral part of the fabric of the community.”
Gennarini is also excited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Marine Band concerts as part of the Columbus Day Festivities at the Klein Memorial Auditorium prior to the parade. Ray Baldwin of Trumbull and Jack McGregor of Black Rock, both Marine veterans, will serve as co-chairs of the Marine Band Concerts.
A third-generation Italian-American, Gennarini has a long record of overseeing parades and volunteering in the community. He served as the Parade Grand Marshal twice in 2000 and 2007 for the Barnum Festival and taken part in a total of 15 parades. He has been involved with the Barnum Festival since 1995, and was named the Festival Volunteer of the Year in 1999. He also was twice elected President (2004 & ’05) of the Festival. In addition, Gennarini served as the past Chairman of the Board of the Barnum Museum.
The Council of Italian-American Societies of Greater Bridgeport will sponsor the parade and all the Columbus Day festivities for the 33rd consecutive year. The CIASGB was formed in 1978 to operate exclusively for charitable, literary and education purposes in recognizing the contribution of Italian-Americans to this country. In 1979, CIASGB became the official sponsor of the Columbus Day Parade and the Columbus Day Celebration.