Southington UNICO was formed in 1944. Its 28 founding members embraced three objectives: service to community, promoting Italian heritage and supporting charitable projects. They also adopted the organization’s motto of “Service Above Self.” UNICO, translated into Italian, means “unique.” Its letters are an acronym standing for unity, neighborliness, integrity, charity, and opportunity.
“Italian Americans have a rich history in Southington,” said UNICO president Sharon Williams in a press release. “The true spirit of the organization is represented by generations of members that offer their time, talent and generosity to advance our town. The Diamond Jubilee will be a big celebration of a rich, impactful history of giving back to our community.”
The chapter’s annual fundraisers include the John L. ‘Jiggs’ DiCaprio Memorial Golf Tournament, partnering in the Italian American Festival, Big Breakfast, Italian Dinners, Notte di Amore (Night of Love) and participation in the Apple Harvest Festival.
The philanthropic efforts enable UNICO to distribute $30,000 annually to local and national charitable organizations including Southington Community Services, Bread for Life, Southington YMCA Campership program, Southington United Way, Southington High School’s Unified Sports and Theater, Southington High School’s scholarship program, Gold Medal Dinner and supporting children living with Cooley’s anemia, a disease affecting people of Mediterranean descent.
Dr. Anthony P. Vastola started the first UNICO chapter in 1922 in Waterbury to unite people of Italian heritage and provide services benefitting the community. There are currently over 5,500 UNICO members nationwide. Each year, UNICO Foundation, UNICO National and chapters across the country donate approximately $1 million to charity. It is the largest Italian American service organization in the United States.
Tickets to the Diamond Jubilee are $75 and can be purchased at Fasulo and Albini, CPAs in Plantsville, or by contacting any Southington UNICO member. The event will feature food, music, open bar and prizes.
For more information about Southington UNICO visit www.southingtonunico.org.