“I am extremely proud to be standing here to give the toast,” President Vincent Festino said in an opening statement. “Our club is a vehicle that connects Italian Americans from different regions, but it is also a way of life. We see it in the respect with which we treat one another, and in the way we celebrate our origins, heritage and friendship. We are one big family.”
As in the best of family traditions, Festino recognized his predecessors by calling up to the stage the Club’s past presidents: Rocco Zizza, Charles Scioli, Jr., John Nocella, Anthony Barbarino, Ottavio (Bill) Passanisi and Alessandro (Sonny) Caruso. Also remembered were past presidents Henry De Santis and Richard Scioli, who have passed away. Also called to the stage were the Club’s current officers: Roger Janson (Vice-President), John DeLeo (Treasurer), and Anthony DePalma (Finance Secretary).
“This is one of the most active groups I have met here in Massachusetts,” said the evening’s special guest, Consul General of Italy in Boston, Giuseppe Pastorelli. “I have been to visit your Club in Stoneham and I saw with my own eyes the many activities you organize on a weekly basis. You do a terrific job.”
Among the activities the Appian Club provides to its members, there are Italian language classes, scholarships, achievement awards, bocce tournaments, and the chance to get together twice a week (Wednesdays and Fridays) at the Club’s headquarters in Stoneham. “For me, Friday night at the Appian Club is a way to stay connected to my heritage and have a good time with friends,” said President Festino. “Throughout the years we have witnessed many changes. Our club membership is constantly growing, also thanks to the Ladies of the Appian Club.”
On behalf of the Ladies of the Appian Club, Barbara Sterner thanked the president for his nice words and unveiled a new Club banner—a gift from the Ladies Club. The banner reads: “The Appian Club — Where Friendship is a Story without end.”
“I know our legacy will continue for many years to come,” Festino concluded, as he raised his glass for a toast. “Salute and auguri to the Appians!”