Two 2013 Humanitarian Awards were presented to Gina Cioffi, Esq., National Executive Director of the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation and to Anthony Viola, National President of the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.  They have succeeded in enhancing the quality of life of Cooley’s Anemia patients while also educating the medical profession about the research still needed to eradicate this disease.

Gina Cioffi is a long time friend and supporter of the Order Sons of Italy in America.  She is the leading force in the fight against Thalassemia and her lifelong goal is to extend the quality and length of life for patients.  Gina Cioffi was honored for her kind heart and for the determination she displays to all the friends, families and patients living with this dreaded disease.  She is totally committed to their cause and will continue to work tirelessly until Thalasemia is eradicated.

Anthony J. Viola has twenty five years experience in the accounting industry and knows the importance of making sure that the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation has the financial resources required to accomplish their goals.  He is faithfully committed to continuing the successful partnership and friendship between the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation and OSIA.  With the stalwart leadership of Tony Viola, we are sure that our alliance will continue with the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation well into the future.

Lastly, we honored our own Thomas Lupo of Centereach, New York, the 30th State President of the Grand Lodge of New York and President of the New York Grand Lodge Foundation, Order Sons of Italy in America.  He was lauded for his outstanding leadership and commitment to OSIA’s charitable endeavors.  President Thom is totally committed to the Order Sons of Italy in America and the Italian Community at large.  He promotes policy of “inclusion” and works diligently to be sure that all members of the Order are essential and appreciated.

During the evening, a check for $2,500 was presented to the Cooley’s Foundation to sponsor a portion of their upcoming Care Walk 2013.  Care Walk is planned as a way to bring together the Thalessemia Community and its supporters around the country.  Rather than hold one huge walk in one location, they ask friends and supporters to plan their own Walk.  It can be as simple as one person walking around their neighborhood or a hundred people walking in a nearby park.  For additional information, log on to

Kudos were extended to Charity Ball Chairpersons Annette Lankewish and Madeline Matteucci along with the entire Winter Charity Ball and Journal committee … for producing such a wonderful event and souvenir journal.

Many thanks again to our honorees and for everyone who attended this event.  Each of you helped to make this an unforgettable and elegant occasion.  We look forward to celebrating the 21st Anniversary of the Winter Charity Ball in 2014!