Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization is a registered 501(3)(C) charity. Member dues ($75 annually) cover all our administrative expenses (such as printing, postage, insurance, etc.). We host two major fundraisers each year and all monies raised go to charitable causes. No members, Officers and Board of Directors receive any compensation for their time and services. Members in good standing receive the “Conversare”, a monthly newsletter designed to keep members informed of upcoming events, future meetings and charitable donations. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at local area eating establishments selected by the dining committee, and are open to all who wish to attend. Membership is available to all who wish to join, provided they are interested in helping others.
History of CIACO
Originally founded in the late 1970’s as the Chicago Chapter of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, members of CIACO have been fixtures in the Chicagoland charitable community for over 25 years. The members agreed to leave that group in 1998 and form their own organization singularly devoted to helping people in need. And CIACO was born.
“Bringing smiles to the faces of those less fortunate will always be our greatest motivation.”
Annually CIACO gives thousands of dollars in scholarships to deserving entry level college students regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation or national origin. This follows and continues a tradition, in which approximately over $300,000 has been awarded to deserving students, including special awards for the physically challenged.
Since 1996, the members, families and friends annually assemble and distribute Baskets of Love to needy families in the Chicagoland area. This year over 600 Baskets of Love are distributed. Over 800 children annually receive Christmas presents as a result of CIACO’s Christmas program. Donations are solicited and new toys are distributed to needy families, churches and orphanages.
During other times of the year, CIACO donates time and money to a number of charitable causes that are brought to the attention of its members. The money used to help so many people is derived from dues and donations as well as the two major fundraisers. Administrative expenses are kept to a minimum and are often offset by those contributions.
At CIACO’s Annual Golf Outing, over 150 golfers and guests enjoy a day of golf, dinner and good spirits. Monies from hole sponsors and donations from this event account for our operating funds used to further CIACO’s charitable endeavors.
As winter comes to an end, we hold our second major fundraiser, CIACO’s Honor and Hope Gala. Formerly the Man of the Year and Scholarship Banquet, CIACO has altered this format to not only award scholarships to deserving students (Hope) but also to Honor wounded heroes. Funds are raised by selling various-sized ads in the Program Guide, or in the form of special sponsors. Revenue from this event contributes to our operating fund and is used solely to further CIACO’s charitable endeavors throughout the year.