After the award presentations, there was a short cultural presentation by Professor Silvia Montemuro.  The presentation, "Visions of Discovery," focused on the marvel of discovery in terms of our ancestral heroes as well as our self-discovery as Italian-Americans. She stated “As OSIA Italian-Americans, we are serviced into roles as patrons of the present, who preside over the future, and who are defined by our alluring past.  However … our journey is unparalleled by anything that went before, and yet, it is ironically patterned after exactly what went before.  Long live our culture!  Long live Italian-Americans!”  We then viewed a 10 minute excerpt from the film “The History of Little Italy”.  Two Brothers of NYSOSIA from the Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge were interviewed for this movie … John Fratta and Joseph Marrone … and both were recognized for being in attendance that morning.
At the end of the event, State Fund Raising Chairperson Thom Lupo along with Vice Chairperson Joseph Rondinelli and Raffle Chairperson William Lamont held the drawing for New York OSIA’s 100 raffle.  The grand prize winners hailed from the Geneva Lodge #2397 in Geneva, New York.
After the conclusion of our event, many participants joined members of the Loggia Glen Cove #1016 and John Michael Marino Lodge #1389 at the Christopher Columbus Statue on the grounds of the Supreme Court Building in Mineola.  There, we all participated in a wreath laying ceremony to honor the famous explorer. Many dignitaries and members of OSIA were present to witness the event.
Sunday morning … October 7th … arrived early as many OSIA members gathered in counties all around the state to march in Columbus Day Parades.  It was a steamy hot day … but with pride in our hearts and stamina in our feet … we marched on to honor our wonderful Italian heritage.
On Monday morning … October 8th … State President Nancy DiFiore Quinn, First Gent John Quinn, National 1st VP Joseph DiTrapani and Past National/State President Joseph Sciame attended the Columbus Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as invited guests … along with numerous other members of OSIA. Edward Cardinal Egan presided over the congregation, praising the hard work of Italian immigrants over the years. He said:  "They came as most of us came in our forebears, as immigrants with a fierce willingness to work, to care for themselves and above all to care for their families,” said Egan. “And we all know that in many quarters they were treated with extraordinary hostility, but they plotted on. They kept their families together. They held on to the best traditions and the faith of the nation they had left."  Cardinal Egan speaks Italian beautifully and the entire crowd was most impressed with his inspirational words.
During Mass was our only opportunity to see the parade’s Grand Marshall … award winning chef, restaurateur, author and philanthropist, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.  For anyone who has seen her TV cooking show … she looks exactly the same in person and seems to be a genuinely proud Italian American!
And then … we proceeded to West 47th Street and Fifth Avenue to await our release onto Fifth Avenue for the New York City Columbus Day Parade.  Dan Colontone coordinated two buses full of OSIA members from Nassau and Suffolk County to march in the parade … and many other local members joined us at the “waiting area”.  D-Jay Joey set up his equipment on the OSIA float and played great music … the Centennial Lodge singers, Sofia J., Laura Monaco, Allison Scola and Anthony Piranio entertained us - and whatever onlookers were left - when we finally walked off to march at 2:30 p.m.  We were surprised and extremely honored to be joined by National OSIA’s National President Al Affinito who was in from California for the Columbus Day weekend.  President Affinito joined us on our float and then walked with us for a major portion of the parade.  We were privileged to have him join us on this special day!  I must say that all our OSIA members brought their comfortable shoes … and their patience.  We waited over three hours on West 47th Street to join the parade in sweltering hot weather … but proud of our Italian heritage … we made it through and thoroughly enjoyed demonstrating our Italian pride as we marched down Fifth Avenue.  We had our traditional lunch at Frank E. Campbell Chapel on 81st Street… thanks to Past Grand Venerable Joe E. Fay … and as always, the staff at Campbell’s couldn’t do enough to make us comfortable.  They made sure the air conditioning was cranking and after a cold drink and a sandwich … we were all able to make our way home safely.
Our dreams for next year are only two … cooler temperatures and better placement in the New York City parade.  Maybe if we start praying now our dreams will come true!!
Pictured below ... State President Nancy DiFiore Quinn waving to the crowd on the New York OSIA Columbus Day Float at the New York City Columbus Day Parade.