June 2011

UNICO NATIONAL- Kansas City Chapter, Inc

Dear UNICO Member,

After 9 months of preparation, we have finally made it through the 2011 Festa! Our Treasurer and Finance Manager have been pulling the numbers together and I’m looking forward to reviewing our totals. There are a few invoices that need to be mailed to us, but I’m told the event totals look to be our best yet.

For starters, I want to thank all UNICO members and their wives for volunteering at this year’s event. Without your commitment and generosity, we could not have made the event so successful. A very special thank you goes out to Father Joe for his prayers throughout the week and for saying mass on Sunday. We did not receive a drop of rain and I’m very grateful we were able to get the weekend in completely dry. I can single people out, but know I will unintentionally forget someone. I would like to acknowledge our Festa committee. The dedication and hard work that was put forth by the committee should be commended. I can’t say enough about this group and I’m glad to have worked alongside each of them. Each year we add new attractions to the Festa and have continued to enjoy the success. Every person that I have spoke with since the Festa has commented on what a great time they had and are looking forward to it again next year. I even had a call on the Monday after Festa and was asked, “My cousin is getting married next year and she wants to have a June wedding, but doesn’t want for it to fall on the same weekend as Festa. Do you know the dates yet?”

For those of you that did not get the chance to meet our UNICO National President, I’m here to tell you, Chris was very down to earth and seemed like he was a member of our own chapter. On behalf of the Kansas City Chapter UNICO, I presented Chris with a gift for him and his wife. The gifts were made and donated to UNICO by Balano Jewelry. Both pieces were top-shelf items. Ann was given a UNICO button that was made into a necklace that had diamonds placed around it. Chris was given a gold ring with the UNICO button in the center and it also had diamonds placed around it.

Past UNICO National President, Andre DiMino and his wife Jenny spent the entire weekend at Festa. After talking to Andre, he had informed me that he has attended many Italian Festivals throughout the United States. He said that our Kansas City Chapter is the ONLY chapter that he knows of who put together an Italian Festival from start to finish. All other festivals throughout the country are organized by government or professional event-planners and UNICO chapters rent booth space. He still is amazed that a small group in Kansas City organizes such a Festa of this caliber. This is something we should all be proud of. Andre is already excited about next year. He played a key role in getting Deana to come to F esta this year and has made some calls for entertainment for Festa 2012.

We also had a visit from Mayor Sly James. The Mayor had some very nice words to say about our Festa and more importantly he acknowledged the importance of our scholarship program awarding $51,000.

New Business: (I hope you didn’t expect me to use this whole newsletter patting ourselves on the back). One door has closed, however one more still remains open. The next task at hand is our annual Microbrew Festival. The Brew Fest will be held on August 13th at Zona Rosa from 3pm to 9pm. We will need many volunteers to pull this event off and hope our members are able to help support this fundraiser. There is strength in numbers!

Congratulations to John Kean and his UNICO Bocce Team. The team finished in 13th place, which is a big improvement from last year, 16th place-Dead Last!

We have organized a nominating committee for our next slate of officers. I will present a proposed slate for 2011/2012 at our dinner meeting. Our chapter will need to approve the slate of officers at our meeting Wednesday June 22nd. All newly elected officers will be sworn in at our July meeting and will officially take office August 1st. This will be a special meeting and we invite everyone’s spouse or significant other to the July meeting when officers are sworn in.

  • President — Mike Mange
  • 1st Vice President — Mike Cucchiara Jr.
  • 2nd Vice President — Joe Cherrito
  • 3rd Vice President — Marc Enna
  • Secretary — Joe Cygan
  • Treasurer — Mike Cucchiara/Tom Rago
  • Health & Welfare — Charlie Malaponte
  • Scholarship Chairman — Dave Sullivan
  • Presidential Advisor/Membership Retention-Expansion — Frank Cherrito

At our next dinner meeting I’d like to honor all past UNICO Presidents and have all of you come together as a group and take a photo. I’d also like for each of you to say a few words about UNICO. I hope all past Presidents can attend. I think it is equally important to recognize where we have been in order to see where we are going!

I still believe that Unicans that eat together will stay together!

Frank J. Cherrito

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