UNICO Presents Scholarships, Member Awards


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The Verona Chapter of UNICO National, the nation’s largest Italian-American service organization, is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2023 scholarships. Scholarship applications were sent to Verona High School, Mount Saint Dominic, Seton Hall Prep and St. Peter’s Jersey City and any graduating senior who was a Verona resident could apply. 44 applications were received, so awarding only eight scholarships was a challenge. Students and two guests were invited to a Scholarship Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 23 at the Verona Community Center Ballroom where they were presented their award letter and a $1,000 check.

Congratulations to the 2023 scholarship recipients:

  • Alati Family Scholarship – Natalia LoCurto, Immaculate Heart Academy
  • Msgr. Cappozzelli Scholarship – Lucas Ferrara, Verona High School
  • Nicholas J. Martini Scholarship – Caitlyn Heimerle, Verona High School
  • Andy Durborow Memorial Vocational Scholarship – Owen Merle, Verona High School
  • Brian Piccolo Athletic Scholarship – Anthony Nigro, Jr., Verona High School
  • Labor Day 5-K Classic Scholarship – Juliana Squilanti, Verona High School
  • UNICO Verona Scholarship – Isabella Rosaria Lachina, Verona High School
  • UNICO Verona Scholarship – Valentina Carpinelli, Cedar Grove High School

We are thankful to the Scholarship Committee members: Pam Riley Blake, Vincenzo Cappello, Nicki Carpinelli, Mickey Lawrence, Nancy Magrans, Kathy Mortara and chairperson Father Jerry Racioppi. The Committee is grateful to Ms. Selene Rivera at Verona High School who was instrumental in compiling the information needed for each application. Also, we say Grazie to Ms. Mary Farrell at the Verona Community Center for her assistance in scheduling our Installation of Officers and Awards Dinner.

The officers that were installed were:

  • President – Dr. Thomas Malanga
  • Vice President – Joe Lachina
  • Treasurer – James Fasanella
  • Secretary – Mickey Lawrence
  • Corresponding Secretary – Linda-Gail Alati
  • Sergeant at Arms – Peter DiPetta
  • Chaplain – Father Jerry Racioppi

During the evening, the Chapter also presented the following awards:

  • UNICAN of the Year, Verona Chapter – Joe Lachina
  • Special Lifetime Achievement – Santi Condorelli
  • Community Service Recognition – Anthony Violante

The Chapter is grateful to Joe Lachina for his dedicated service to the Chapter and great community since joining. A huge thank you is given to Santi Condorelli, the Chapter’s most senior member, for years and years of service and for his most recent instrumental role in assisting with the installation of the crosswalk light on Grove Avenue. Anthony Violante of Violante & Son Meat Market in Cedar Grove has been extremely supportive of the Chapter in donating food to multiple events. If you have not been to his store, be sure to check him out on Pompton Avenue or check out his website, violanteandson.com.

What’s next for the Chapter?

Sponsorship of another Verona Concert in the Town Hall Square this Summer, and our largest event — the 41st Labor Day 5-K Classic Run on Monday, September 4. For more information on the race, visit: runsignup.com/verona.
For more information or if you would like to become a member of UNICO Verona, take a look at our Facebook page: “Verona UNICO” or email us at [email protected].

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