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History of the Foundation
Italian Club of Staten Island Foundation Inc. Who we are… In 1950 eight prominent Italian Americans met at the insistence of Daniel Santoro. They decided to organize a club to promote “…closer cooperation and better understanding among our leading Italian-Americans in the business and professional fields. The membership roster reveals that our purpose has in a measure been achieved.” This quotation was taken from the program of our very first Dinner Dance and tells the beginning of our story which continues through today. From the original eight members in 1950 our membership has grown substantially and well over 1000 prominent Italian- Americans have graced our membership roster. Throughout the years our membership has included many renowned and accomplished businessmen and professionals from the Staten Island Community. In an effort to continue its original purpose namely “To solicit, collect and otherwise raise money for charitable, philanthropic, eleemosynary, educational, research and benevolent purposes and to bring together business and professional men of Italian origin and unite them in close bonds of friendship, fellowship and to promote human and spiritual value of life,” the club has developed a commitment to community involvement at a variety of different levels. From the earliest days the club has been committed to the youth of Staten Island and has sponsored youth educational and cultural programs including communion breakfasts, high school mentoring, and promoting Italian language study. This commitment has also made the Club Scholarship Awards Program a constant throughout the years. The amount and criteria may have changed with time, but never the commitment to award the scholarship to a deserving recipient. Presently our scholarship program awards four recipients with a $2000.00 annual award. To date the Foundation has awarded over $125,000.00 in scholarships. The club also sponsors an annual food drive during the holiday season. Our membership raises the necessary funds, shops, packs, and delivers “baskets” full of food to those in need. This program has supplied thousands of baskets of food to needy families on Staten Island. Possibly the most rewarding program to our individual members is the Food Drive. In addition to the Scholarship Awards Program and Holiday Food Drive, we have expanded our Philanthropic Donations to such organizations as Hospice of Greater New York, Staten Island Save a Heart Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Fireman’s Widow Fund, New York City Burn Center, Eger Foundation, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, And The American Diabetes Association to name just a few. The Club Promoted Its Italian Heritage by marching in the Annual Staten Island Columbus Day Parade and more recently by participating in the Italian Heritage festival, as well as participating in other Italian Cultural endeavors on Staten Island. Realizing that the club also has a responsibility in bringing its members closer together it has developed a tradition of special events including but not limited to an Annual Candidates Night where incumbents and challengers speak to the group about their platform, The Annual Dinner Dance and Awards Gala, Christmas Dinner, Valentine’s Day Party, Grandma’s Sunday Dinner, Scholarship and Awards Dinner, Cooking with Stefano Night, and a Pasta and Joke Night. In respect to members who are no longer with us we have an annual Memorial Mass which has been a long standing tradition. We also recognize the achievements of our members by awarding annual achievement awards in recognition of their service both within and outside the club to the Staten Island Community.