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Tributes and honors galore at Italian-American Foundation’s gala


A who’s who of the Delaware Italian-American community gathered on Feb. 29 to pay tribute to their own at the biennial gala of the Delaware Italian American Foundation.

Honoree Nick Caggiano with Italian Consul General of Italy to Philadelphia Cristiana Mele.

The highlight of the event, which was held at the Newark Executive Banquet & Conference Center near Glasgow, was honoring three of Delaware’s most influential Italian-Americans: Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Holodick, Nemours Children’s Health Executive Vice President Gina Altieri, and the Nick Caggiano family, owners of Nicola Pizza, an iconic destination for Delaware beachgoers since the 1970s.

Patricia Silicato (center) and family members participate in the tribute to Steve Silicato.

Additionally, the gala featured memorial tributes to Steve Silicato, who entertained generations with his “Smooth Sounds” musical performances; Dante Marini, farmer and proprietor of Marini Produce and Christmas in Brandywine Hundred; and Phil Vavala, who was a teacher at Salesianum School for more than 40 years, helping to educate thousands of young men (sometimes multiple generations of families) in the tradition of St. Francis De Sales. 

From left: Sen. David Sokola, Gov. John Carney, and House Speaker Valerie Maglio Longhurst.

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