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Chris Zizza Receives 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Chris Zizza with the 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Chris Zizza – photo by Tiago Anes

Chris Zizza, president of C & R Flooring in Needham, received the 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 11. The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations bestows the medals each year upon American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their ethnic group while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Martin Scorsese and Bill Clinton have received the award in the past.

“This is an incredible honor,” Zizza said. “I am very aware of my roots and I marvel at the bravery it took for my grandparents to come to America for a better life for their family. With every opportunity that comes my way, I say a little thank you to them for bringing us to this great country.

“Ellis Island has always been a symbol of opportunity, a gateway to a new life,” Zizza said. “But I think it also symbolized — and still symbolizes today — an opportunity for people of all ethnicities to come together and create a new and better country. America is the great melting pot where everyone can succeed. But it is also a country where people lend a helping hand to those who need it.”

Zizza and C & R Flooring provide materials and labor to many charitable projects, including the Room to Dream Foundation. Zizza also personally supports Catholic Charities of Boston, the Rodman Ride for Kids, Friends of the Valley Foundation (which he co-founded) and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored for his relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi and Hurricane Irene in Southern Vermont.

From Left to Right:  Ava Zizza, Chris Zizza, Heidi Zizza (wife) and Emma Zizza

From Left to Right: Ava Zizza, Chris Zizza, Heidi Zizza (wife) and Emma Zizza – photo by Tiago Anes

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