April 2014

Dear Friends -

Festa Italiana 2014 is fast approaching and your Festa Chairmen, Frank Cherrito and Michael Mange, and Festa Committee are working hard to make this year as memorable as in years past. Please make sure you have marked your calendars for the entire weekend because we have a full slate of activities starting on Thursday going thru the entire weekend.

Thursday night is a meet-n-greet with Louis Prima Jr. with dinner at Cascone’s North. Dinner is $50 per person and reservations should be made by contacting Cascone’s directly at 816-454-7977. This is a UNICO fundraising event and proceeds support our Festa, so please join us for a great night of food and fun.

Entertainment for the weekend has never been better thanks to our Entertainment Chairman, Jerry Viviano, as we bring back the favorites from the last 2 years featuring Louis Prima, Jr. on Friday night and The Bronx Wanderers on Saturday. If you have not yet purchased a VIP table for one of these nights, make sure you take the opportunity to enjoy front row reserved seating to these great entertainers. Tables are reserved from 6pm to 10pm, include seating for 10 with catered dinner and 5 bottles of wine. Contact Mr. Cherrito to reserve your table 816-985-3192.

Sunday continues to be the foundation of our heritage with Sunday Morning Mass outside and the scholarship ceremony in the afternoon. UNICO Awards 2014 will be at 2pm on Sunday and will be hosted by our Scholarship Chairman, Dave Sullivan. I am very excited to announce that we will be awarding $56,000 in scholarships to high school seniors of Italian American Heritage this year. This is entirely a result of the hard work of this organization, and the generosity of our community and our members. I want to sincerely thank you for every meeting you attend, every hour that you volunteer, and every dollar you spend to support this great organization!

We will continue to seek additional fund raising support for this year because we need your addi-tional attention. Our sponsorships are down this year, and that will have an impact on what we are able to do for 2015 scholarships. Please spread the word and do all you can to support us with our continued efforts.

  • All levels of sponsorship are still needed for Festa Italiana.
  • Family banners can be purchased at $100 each and will be on display.
  • Ad space can be purchased in our publication.
  • Scholarship donations can be made directly to our scholarship fund thru our Annual Appeal document.

If you know of a potential partner, or are able to support financially, please contact Mr. Cherrito directly. All of your help is very much appreciated.

“UNICAN’s who eat together, stay together.” - Frank Cherrito

Our next membership meeting will be held at Carlo’s Copa Room on Wednesday April 16th. Drinks will be at 6pm and Dinner at 7pm. We invite all who can attend to join us for dinner and drinks and don’t forget to bring a guest.

We are putting a little more fun together for our May meeting. In May we will meet at Argosy Casino on Friday May 16th, and we invite all UNICAN’s to bring their spouse or significant other. Cost will be $30 per UNICAN, and UNICO will cover the cost of their spouse. Additional guests are invited and welcome to attend, but for this dinner their cost will also be at $30 per couple.

To be a good UNICAN, you have to be a giver, not a taker.” - Phil Balano, Sr.

With all of the fun that always comes with Festa, there is also a lot of work behind the scenes with plan-ning, and during the entire weekend from set-up on Thursday and Friday, to the take-down on Sunday evening. With this event we are always in need of volunteers starting on Thursday all the way thru Sun-day night. Our Volunteer Chairman, Joe Nastasi, will be collecting volunteers for shift support all week-end just as in years past. We are looking for a 4hr commitment from all members, and with such, we will be able to easily satisfy all of our staffing needs for the weekend.

“We all joined UNICO for a reason, what’s yours?!” - Michael Mange

Now is the prime time to begin recruiting additional candidates for UNICO membership. If you know someone like yourself, who is willing and able to support our organization and our community in a fun and social atmosphere, surrounded by great members and delicious food… now is the time to invite them to a meeting! UNICO will cover the initial dinner cost of a first time guest (well, except for the May dinner), so grab a friend or family member and bring them to the next meeting.

In closing, I would like to challenge every UNICAN in attendance over Festa weekend to please seek out and find at least one member of the Festa Committee and thank them for all of their hard work. They should be easy to find in their “Festa Committee” polo shirts they purchased to wear over the weekend. We are an organization of volunteers and every one of these members is the embodiment of “Service Above Self.” They have contributor countless hours to the preparation of this festival and do it simply because they believe in the purpose of this organization. Not a single one of these committee members does this for the accolades… but I think it would be great if we thanked them anyway.

Thank you for your continued support of the Kansas City Chapter of UNICO, and I look forward to seeing you in the very near future.

Distinti Saluti,

Michael Cucchiara

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