ASILM Celebrates 51 Years

Otylia Coppola (February 27, 2017)
The 2017 Gala of The American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit (ASILM) Dinner Dance & Awards Ceremony at New York’s Essex House.

Yet another special evening was organized by ASILM (The American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit) for the occasion of its 51st year. Under the guidance of president and Knight of the Grand Cross Lucio Caputo, the evening saw the unity of those who received one of five Italian honors.

For those who aren't familiar with the Honorary Orders, they consist of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Order of Military Merit, Order of Labor Merit, Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, and Order of Vittorio Veneto. These are awarded by decree of the President of the Republic who by virtue is the “head” of all Italian Orders of Knighthood. Each is internationally recognized as being rooted in Italian history and as a privilege of Italian sovereignty.

ASILM was founded in 1965 on the basis of strengthening the traditional bonds of friendship between Italy and the United States. It’s national in scope, international in spirit, and functions at the highest levels of the chivalric, diplomatic, and beneficent arenas. While providing financial assistance to a wide range of cultural and humanitarian endeavors, ASILM’s prestige as a pre-eminent institution, headquartered in New York’s splendid Columbus Townhouse, ranks the Society as an important American base for conveying the shared interests of both nations to a wider audience.

The event was held at the prestigious Essex House in front of Manhattan’s Central Park. Notable representatives from Italian institutions, businesses, and press were all present in New York.

President of ASILM Lucio Caputo and Consul General Francesco Genuardi enthusiastically opened the honorary portion of the evening and bestowed the annual Grand Award of Merit. This year’s guests of honor were judge of the US Court of Appeals Guido Calabresi, author and journalist John Mariani, art conservator & partner of Grassi Studio Professor Marco Grassi, and the famous political analyst & Professor Emeritus at Yale Joseph LaPalombara.

The event began with an elegant cocktail reception. It then continued with a dinner full of exceptional Italian food and wine. Music was an important ingredient for an evening that unfolded in a typically Italian climate, full of friendship and good times.

Closing the evening, dancing got almost all the guests up and on their feet.

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American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit
Officers     (01-01-2017 – 01-01-2019)
Cav. di Gran Croce, Dr. Lucio Caputo
Executive Vice President
Uff. Hon. Eugene Nardelli
Cav. di Gran Croce, Lawrence E. Auriana
Cav. Carlo Romairone
Gr. Uff. Guido Calabresi
Comm. George M. Pavia, Esq.
Chief of Protocol
Gr. Uff. RoseMarie Gallina-Santangelo

Directors     (01-01-2017 – 01-01-2019)
Cav. di Gran Croce, Hon. Dominic R. Massaro, Honorary Chairman
Comm. Stefano Acunto
Gr. Uff. Amb. Daniele D. Bodini
Cav. Vivian Cardia
Uff. Francesco De Angelis
Cav. Gaetana Marrone-Puglia
Cav. Berardo Paradiso
Cav. Joseph Perella
Comm. Salvatore Rotella
Comm. Enzo Viscusi
Uff. Dr. Thomas S. Bellavia, M.D., Regional Vice President

Amb. Armando Varricchio, ex officio
Amb. Sebastiano Cardi, ex officio
Min. Francesco Genuardi, ex officio