A cocktail reception was held on Saturday September 22 honoring donors to the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center’s Capital Founders Fund. The donors have donated or pledged to donate $5,000 to support ongoing and future operations of Casa Italiana. Dr. Joseph Lupo, the outgoing President of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center (CISC) welcomed the over 70 guests to the reception and thanked the Board members for their work since the CISC was formally established in June 2017. Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Chairman of CISC, presented a slide show outlining the plans to expand the footprint of Casa Italiana and updating the donors on some of the projects that are underway, including the establishment of an Italian American Museum (IAMDC) focused on contributions by Italian Americans in the Nation’s Capital and the surrounding area. As part of that effort, CISC has launched the Marconi Project, directed by Willy Meaux and Tom Sweeney, which will collect oral histories of Italian Americans in the Washington area. William Sansalone, who participated in the project, noted the importance of creating such an archive. James Cocco, Executive Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, gave an update on the financial health of CISC, noting that we currently have 71 Founders and that we plan on reaching the goal of 100 by the end of the year. Fr. Ezio then announced that entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert Facchina would be making an initial contribution to establish the IAMDC, which will bear his name. Mr. Facchina, who attended the reception with his spouse Susan, then presented a check for $125,000 that evening, with a similar amount to arrive in the near future. Board Corporate Secretary, Tina Maiolo, Esq., then introduced Board Member Francesco Isgro', Esq., announcing that he was the newly-elected President of CISC Inc. In his remarks, Isgro thanked the members of the Founders Club for their support and Robert Facchina for providing the initial financial resources for the museum, which will provide “the means to ensure that our Italian and Italian-American traditions are passed down to the next generation, because we know that without the past there is no future.” As the first order of business, Robert Facchina and Francesco Isgro' jointly signed the Gift Agreement outlining Mr. Facchina’s $250,000 total contribution to the Italian American Museum in DC.
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