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UNICO Names Verona Scholarship Winners, Alters Labor Day 5K


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Vincent Hogan, recipient of UNICO’s Msgr. Capozzelli Scholarship

Like many service organizations, continuing a mission during a pandemic can prove challenging. However, the Verona Chapter of UNICO National, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this October, continues to live out the motto “service above self.” UNICO National is the largest Italian-American organization with chapters all across the United States raising money for great causes and helping keep the history of Italian-Americans alive.

Our members continue to stay connected with regular updates from our Chapter President Deborah Gabry. Two of our annual events are continuing albeit differently. A committee convened via Zoom video conferencing in May to plan for our annual scholarship awards. Committee members reviewed 19 applications from students at Verona High School, Seton Hall Prep and Mount Saint Dominic Academy. The committee struggled to honor only five students. Listed below are the honorees, each of whom received a check for $1,000. Because we were unable to host a scholarship awards dinner, we asked students to submit photos of themselves with the check.

Congratulations to the 2020 scholarships honorees:

  • Alati Family Scholarship – Henry Wertz, Verona High School
  • Msgr. Capozzelli Scholarship – Vincent Hogan, Verona High School
  • Nicholas J. Martini Scholarship – Clara Frizzi, Verona High School
  • Labor Day 5-K Classic Scholarship – Madelina Leonard, Verona High School
  • Brian Piccolo Athletic Scholarship – Carolyn Feeley, Verona High School

We are thankful to the Scholarship Committee members: Pam Riley Blake, Larry Columbo, Mickey Lawrence, Nick Procia and new chairperson Father Jerry Racioppi. The committee is indebted to member Nancy Magrans who was a huge support and has led this committee for many more years then we can count. A tremendous amount of gratitude is showered on Diane Newman in the Counseling Department at Verona High School. She was a tremendous help in working through paperwork submission during a pandemic.

Maddie Leonard, recipient of UNICO’s Labor Day 5-K Classic Scholarship

The 38th Annual Verona Labor Day Classic 5-K will continue as a virtual race. Runners may enroll at https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Verona/VeronaLaborDayClassic. The cost of the race is only $10 per runner and the registration ends on September 7 at 8 p.m. After registration is submitted runners may complete the virtual run any time during Labor Day weekend (September 5-7) either on the certified course for the Verona Labor Day Classic 5K or you can pick your own route to run. All participants will be entered in a raffle for a $100 gift card to Fleet Feet Montclair. We have once again partnered with (and are grateful to) the Essex Running Club. Proceeds of the race help fund the UNICO Verona Scholarship Program and local charities selected by UNICO Verona and the Essex Running Club.

For more information or if you would like to become a member of UNICO Verona, check us out on Facebook at “Verona UNICO” or email us at [email protected]. Ciao!

Carolyn Feeley, recipient of UNICO’s Brian Piccolo Athletic Scholarship

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