CIACO / Past Events


Honor and Hope Gala

10 Nov 2021 Posted by SylviaCiaco in News

Saturday, November 6, 2021
Medinah Shriners
550 Shriners Drive
Addison, IL 60101

George Gatto - C.I.A.C.O. Honor and Hope Humanitarian of the Year

Humanitarian of the Year: George Gatto

 A titan of industry and giant of generosity

The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization is proud to honor Gatto Industrial Plating Inc. Chairman George Gatto as its 2020 Man of the Year. “George is an extremely successful businessman, but he’s one of the most down-to-earth guys you’ll ever meet,” says Tom Reboletti, chairman of CIACO’s annual Honor and Hope Gala. “He’s not very vocal, but he’s the first to write a check and help the cause.”

One of six children of Dominick and Norma (Gentile) Gatto, George was born on Dec. 9, 1945, at Mother Cabrini Hospital in Chicago. He spent the first six years of his life surrounded by aunts and uncles in a six-flat at Polk and Kedzie owned by his maternal grandfather. He traces his roots to Bari on his dad’s side and Calabria on his mom’s. Though his parents were both born in America, Italy still exerted a strong culinary influence on his upbringing. “Every Sunday, my mom would cook pasta with neck bones and meatballs and we would have dinner at 2 o’clock,” he fondly recalls. “We would go out and pick dandelions for salads, of course, and we had a tomato garden in the back.”

A less-than-stellar student, George was still a couple of courses shy of a diploma after four years in high school, and he had a choice to make. “I was planning on going back to finish my degree, but my mom asked, ‘You haven’t been studying for four years, and now all of a sudden you’re going to start?'” he recalls with a laugh. “‘Go be a tool-and-die maker. That’s what you want to do anyway. What are you going to waste another year for?'” That’s exactly what he did, working his way up to journeyman before launching his own business at the age of 27. A motorcycle enthusiast, he started out manufacturing and plating springer front ends for Harley-Davidsons like the ones they rode in the movie “Easy Rider.” When that fad faded, he switched to plating parts, mainly for the furniture industry.

In 1976, he joined forces with his father and brother Bob to buy a metal plating company from his brother’s father-in-law, and Gatto Industrial Plating Inc. was born. He and his father bought out his brother a year later. With his dad running the office while he built the business, the company blossomed into one of largest metal platers in the nation. Active in his industry throughout his career, George is a past president of the Chicago Metal Finishers Institute and former executive board member of the Tooling and Manufacturing Association. He currently serves on the board of the Lawndale Business Renaissance Association.

Though he has always been quiet and steady by nature, George had a bit of a wild side as a young man, building and racing top-fueled dragsters right out of high school and then switching to motorcycle racing on the ice in his mid-20s. But he gave all that up after he married Ann Marie Osborn in 1978 and the couple had their first child the next year.

Now George is the chairman of a company that employs 150 people and the proud patriarch of a family that has grown to include company President George Jr., daughter-in-law Melissa, and grandsons George, Teddy and Leonard; and daughter Maria, son-in-law Eric Pearson, and grandchildren Emma and Colin.

George credits his parents for both his financial success and charitable nature. “They instilled in all six of us the value of honesty and hard work and to have compassion for others that are less fortunate,” he explains. To that end, he has given generously to the Shriners, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals and Marklund, and serves as a board member of Rainbow Hospice. He has also contributed in the name of St. Francis, patron saint of animals, to PAWS Chicago, the Humane Society and Save-a-Pet.

He was introduced to CIACO by his lifelong pal, Henry Gentile, and immediately liked what he saw. “They’re a great group of guys who do a lot of good for so many people,” he says. “I’m proud to be a member and I’m proud to be honored.”

CIACO 2020 Scholarship Recipients

11 Oct 2020 Posted by SylviaCiaco in News

Photo of CIACO 2020 Scholarship Recipients

Honor and Hope Gala is our second major fundraiser. 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.


CIACO’s tradition of giving lives on!

They say you can’t keep a good man down. The same goes for a good organization. The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization has a remarkable legacy of giving that dates back to its founding in 1999. Each year since then, we have provided hundreds of needy families with full Thanksgiving meals, presented tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to college-bound students, and bestowed tens of thousands of dollars more upon veterans in need and other worthy causes. The pandemic may have curtailed our activities, but it hasn’t dampened our spirit of generosity.

We had to cancel our Honor & Hope Gala, golf outing and Baskets of Love campaign for safety reasons, but several members and benefactors came through in the clutch with generous donations. As a result, we were able to present 19 scholarships to worthy college-bound students and three grants to families in need. Please accept our best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

CIACO’s 2020 Scholarship Recipients

Photo of Anthony Arnoni

Anthony Arnoni

Photo of Nicholas Atkins

Nicholas Atkins

Photo of Kylie Bentley

Kylie Bentley

Photo of Gaetano Console

Gaetano Console

Photo of Angelo and Dominic Giannotti

Angelo and Dominic Giannotti

Photo of Frankie Guida

Frankie Guida

Photo of Angelica Herrera

Angelica Herrera

Photo of Joe Leonardo

Joe Leonardo

Photo of Reanna Madeson

Reanna Madeson

Photo of Emily Mytych

Emily Mytych


Photo of Lorraine Noonan

Lorraine Noonan

Photo of Juliana Saviano

Juliana Saviano

Photo of Carmela Scambiatterra

Carmela Scambiatterra

Photo of Ava Vaccaro

Ava Vaccaro

Photo of Elena Vaccaro

Elena Vaccaro

Photo of Luc Vasilevich

Luc Vasilevich


Photo of Jack West

Jack West

Photo of Tyler Wottman

Tyler Wottman

Three grants to families in need

Photo of the Soeprasetyo Family


Husband and father, Kyle, is battling epilepsy. CIACO’s donation will help with uncovered medical expenses and specialized equipment.

Photo of the Lima family


Daughter Lilly suffers from anoxic brain damage. CIACO’s donation will be used to buy specialized equipment, including an adaptive tricycle.

Photo of the Gooch family


Husband and father, Robert, is a military veteran suffering from a traumatic brain injury. CIACO’s donation will help the family recover from financial hardship.

Honor and Hope Gala 2019

28 Apr 2019 Posted by SylviaCiaco in News

Saturday, April 28 
Medinah Shrine Center
550 Shriners Dr, Addison
Tickets are $125 per person
Open Bar | Hors d’Oeuvres | Seven-Course Dinner | Dancing | Sweet Table

On the occasion of our 20th anniversary,
we invite the community to join us in


In the two decades since its founding, the Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization has created a remarkable legacy of giving. Each year, the group provides hundreds of needy families with full Thanksgiving meals, presents tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to college-bound students and bestows tens of thousands of dollars more upon veterans in need and other worthy causes.

“None of what we do would be possible without the involvement and support of our members,” says CIACO president Bob Urbinati. “That’s why we decided to present our Humanitarian of the Year Award in memory of deceased members at this year’s gala.”

Members are the lifeblood of every organization, and when a member passes away, a part of the organization passes with him. As we gather on April 27 to celebrate our 20th anniversary, the Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization will dedicate our Honor & Hope Gala to the memory of those members who have gone before us. Theirs are the shoulders on which we stand as we reach for the stars.

That honor roll includes:




Honor & Hope

Each year at our Honor & Hope gala, CIACO makes sizable donations to veterans in need and other worthy cases in addition to bestowing more than a dozen scholarships. Your ticket purchases and other donations make this remarkable level of generosity possible. We encourage you to attend our event and support our efforts.

Annual Scholarship Awards

CIACO will also present 15 deserving students each with a $2,500 scholarship and over $30,000 in Special Donations.


Golf Outing 2018

09 Aug 2018 Posted by SylviaCiaco in News

August 9, 2018
Bloomingdale Golf Club
181 Glen Ellyn Rd, Bloomingdale

Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization Cordially Invites you to a Day of Fun and Fundraising at our Annual Golf Outing.

Honor and Hope Gala 2018

28 Apr 2018 Posted by SylviaCiaco in News

Saturday, April 28
Medinah Shrine Center
550 Shriners Dr, Addison

The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization is proud to honor Remo Turano as our 2018 Humanitarian of the Year.

As a boy, Remo Turano helped out in his family’s bakery business. As a young adult, he instilled knowledge as a classroom teacher. As a young husband, he circled back to the family business, branching out into sweets and pastries.

He has been particularly generous in his support of the needy through the Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization, says board member Tom Reboletti. For that, CIACO is presenting Remo Turano with its highest honor.

“The selection committee made their decision based on Remo’s continued support of CIACO and the Italian-American community,” says the organization’s president, Robert Urbinati. “Remo was selected and graciously accepted to receive the Dominic Saverino Humanitarian of the Year Award at this year’s Honor & Hope Banquet on April 28.” “Every time you need something, Remo doesn’t hesitate to contribute,” Reboletti adds.

Turano hastens to point out that other CIACO members share the trait of generosity. “I’ve known most of these guys a long time and they’re wonderful people,” he says. “They’re all givers. They’re all good guys.” Most of them also share an Italian heritage, which for Turano started in Calabria. Turano’s parents, Attilio and Giosina, came from Castrolibero, near Cosenza, in 1956 when he was 4 years old. He earned a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University, and taught high school and special needs students in Leyden Township. “Teaching was a passion of mine at the time,” Turano recalls. “Then I got married and rejoined the family business.” He recalls working in the business when he was only 8 or 9 years old, helping his uncle Mariano, his father’s brother, deliver loaves of bread house-to-house out of his station wagon or van. Sometimes he would go with Mariano’s sons, Remo’s first cousins, Renato and Tony. It was a large family: Remo’s father had three brothers in the Chicago area and two more brothers and two sisters in Italy.

“The selection committee made their decision based on Remo’s continued support of CIACO and the Italian-American community.”

When Remo rejoined the business as an adult, he concentrated on sweets and pastries, watching and learning from bakery employees who had emigrated from Sicily. By 2008, Turano and his brothers, Egidio and Marco, spun off the sweets end of the operations into a separate entity, which they called Chicago Pastry. “We’re still together as a family, and we share a lot of the same information,” he explains. “I wanted to go my own way with Chicago Pastry, but we’re still involved as sister companies.” In addition to his work, Turano has given back by serving on the board of Calabresi in America Organization and as chair of the Bloomingdale Business and Cultural Development Committee. Turano and his wife, Janette, have three children. Peter and Jenna work with their father at Chicago Pastry, with Peter overseeing sales and Jenna handling retail, social media and the website. Another son, James, works in the banking industry. Remo has two grandchildren, Matthew and Noelle.

Remo sees his charitable work as part of a grand family tradition. “I want to be involved with organizations that are doing charitable work, and I want to teach that to my kids, too,” he says. “I learned that from Turano Baking — from all the charities we contributed to.”

CIACO raises funds mainly through two annual events: a gala and a golf outing. It awards $2,500 scholarships to 15 to 18 students annually. It also awards funds to the families of veterans going through challenges, as well as other needy families. At Thanksgiving nears each year, CIACO distributes about 600 baskets of food to families in need.


Golf Outing 2017

10 Aug 2017 Posted by SylviaCiaco in News

August 10
Bloomingdale Golf Club
181 Glen Ellyn Rd, Bloomingdale

Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization Cordially Invites you to a Day of Fun and Fundraising at our Annual Golf Outing.

Golf, delicious luncheon buffet, cart beverages and fruit cart on course, goodie bag for each participant, fabulous buffet dinner

Putting contest and cash prizes

Registration and putting elimination

Rounds start at 9:30 a.m. sharp

$150 per golfer


9:30 a.m.—10:45 a.m. Check-In

11 a.m. Lunch

12:15 p.m. Shotgun Start

6 p.m. Dinner and Cash Bar Followed By Super Raffle

Honor and Hope Gala 2017

29 Apr 2017 Posted by SylviaCiaco in News

Saturday, April 29
Medinah Shriners
550 Shriners Drive, Addison

Charitable Donations and Academic Scholarship Award’s Banquet
Dominic Saverino Humanitarian Award Recipient:  Lou Scaramuzzo

The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization was proud to honor Louis Scaramuzzo as our 2017 Humanitarian of the Year. A top performer in the luxury automobile market for three decades, Lou pours his heart and soul into every aspect of his life.

Lou ScaramuzzoWith paternal grandparents Louis and Immaculata Scaramuzzo hailing from Caserta near Naples, and maternal grandparents Carmelo and Rosina Termine emigrating from Marsala in Sicily, Lou’s Italian roots run deep. The oldest of Peter and Mary Scaramuzzo’s four children, Lou was born in Chicago and raised in Oak Lawn. “My parents grew up on Taylor Street and they instilled in me the old-neighborhood values of working hard and treating people with respect,” he explains. Lou and his siblings — Rosemarie, Mark, Carl — share fond memories of an Italian upbringing filled with family and tradition. “My maternal grandmother lived with us and my paternal grandparents lived nearby,” he fondly recalls. “We’d gather every Sunday and on holidays for big family meals where we kept our Italian customs alive.”

A graduate of Brother Rice High School, Lou spent the first 20 years of his professional career in wholesale liquor distribution. But when the industry began to consolidate in the late 1980s, it was time for a change.” A dear friend of mine who has spent his entire career in auto sales, Dominic Pugliani, convinced me that I had a brighter future there,” Lou recalls. “I made the switch and I couldn’t be happier.”

For Lou, auto sales is more than a just a profession. “With the automobile being the second largest purchase that most people make, you end up developing more than just loyal customers. Many of the them become good friends,” he explains. “My job is to make sure that they have the right car for the right price and to be there to answer all their questions, both before and after the sale.”

During a storied career in both sales and management, Lou earned the trust and respect of customers, fellow salespeople and management alike. He earned the title of Master Manager for several years running during his tenure at a local Cadillac dealership. He served on an elite team from across the nation that met quarterly to advise corporate leadership. Five years of sales experience at Mercedes-Benz dealerships followed, culminating in his current position at Mercedes-Benz of St. Charles. “This is more than a new opportunity for me,” Lou says. “It feels like I’ve come home.”

A member of CIACO since 2003 and a board member since 2006, Lou has been a driving force in the organization. He served as secretary as well as second and first vice president, and recently completed a seven-year stint as president. “My good friend Tom Reboletti invited me to join the organization,” Lou explains. “I saw the good they were doing and the opportunity they offered to give back to the community and celebrate my Italian heritage. It was a perfect fit.”

Lou is also passionately involved in the Chicago West Suburban Chapter of UNICO National. “Both groups are like extended families for me,” he shares. “There’s a brotherhood and a camaraderie there that can’t be beat. With all of his professional and philanthropic accomplishments, Lou is most proud of the family he has created with his children Carla, Peter and Laura; his grandchildren Sydney, Isabella, Kylie, Sophia, Courtney, Joseph, Isla and Declan; and his life partner, Linda Gagliano. “I’m proud to have been able to raise my children as a single parent and I’m so grateful to have Linda in my life,” he says. “I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people and so much love.”

Anthony Alfano

My son Anthony was born premature at 24 weeks weighing just over one pound. He was an identical twin, but his brother Angelo passed away after 67 days. Anthony had a grade 4 brain bleed that was discovered at about a week old. This has lead to him having Cerebral Palsy, auditory neuropathy and other developmental delays. Anthony cannot walk or talk and is in a wheelchair, but he has a smile that could light up a room and an even bigger personality.

Brian Krull

Brian was a Barrington Firefighter for 19 ½ years. And had three deployments as a medic in the U.S. Navy. Brian has 14 years of military service and has recently been diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, a lung disease. He is currently not receiving any financial assistance and was medically discharged from the military. Brian is currently on unpaid leave from the fire department and no longer receives medical insurance from the Village of Barrington. Brian’s wife Maria started working minimum wage job to get the medical coverage they need. Almost all of her salary goes to cover the cost of their insurance. Brian has continued to try to find work but with his degraded lung capacity he cannot perform vigorous activity and tires easily. Brian’s condition has affected his lungs, spleen, stomach and liver. They are anticipating losing the home they raised their three boys in. Their oldest son passed away a short time ago due to brain cancer. Their middle son is currently serving in the Navy and the youngest is attending Loyola University. Fortunately Brian was able to transfer his GI Bill to his son to cover the tuition expense.

Danny Angerame

Danny and Sue Angerame were both born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago and graduated from Holy Cross and Guerin Academies. They had 2 sons, Patrick and Timothy, who are now 24 and 23. Patrick is severly autistic. He is non-verbal, unable to use the bathroom on his own, has seizure disorder and at times, has meltdowns which lead to self-injury. For these reasons, he needs constant 24/7 care. Danny Angerame  Danny’s life motto was “Family First”, and they understood the challenges of raising a child with special needs. Sue was a stay at home mom. It was difficult with only one income, but it was important that their sons have a parent always home. Danny was a great help. He cooked meals for Patrick, calmed him when he was upset, and helped him bathe. Unfortunately, Danny’s health started to deteriorate last year and he was admitted to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day. After three weeks, Danny passed away in December, 2016. Sue is unable to work since Patrick needs constant care. However, their family and friends make up an invaluable support system that provides them with the help they need. Even with everything they’ve been through, Sue is a firm believer that God won’t give you any more than you can handle.