| Retired Writer
On Sept. 16, it is going to be “Ciao and Grazie” for a half-century Ravenna landmark, the constructing on the nook of South Chestnut Road and Hazen Avenue that has been house for the Italian American Society, which goes up for public sale.
In an period by which youthful Individuals are not the joiners their dad and mom and grandparents as soon as had been, the Italian American Society’s dwindling membership makes sustaining and working the constructing not possible, two of its leaders, lawyer Stephen Colecchi and businessman Charles Garro, mentioned when telling of the constructing’s impending sale.
Each mentioned the Italian American Society’s members have voted to promote. The proceeds from any sale might be used for a not-for-profit goal as a result of the Italian American Society is a not-for-profit group.
“I’m within the Elks and they’re having the identical drawback,” Garro, the proprietor of Garro Tire, mentioned. Colecchi, who for years was president and CEO of Robinson Memorial Hospital and now serves as CEO of Hattie Larlham, mentioned the Italian American Society will survive with a smaller membership, “however we simply should not have the common membership essential to assist a constructing like that.”
Service golf equipment throughout America are dealing with dwindling membership numbers. For instance, the Kent Kiwanis Membership as soon as had a formidable presence in Kent, however it not exists. Its remaining Kiwanians should be a part of golf equipment like Ravenna’s or golf equipment in different neighboring communities for his or her membership to proceed.
Each Garro and Colecchi characterised the choice to promote as “a enterprise choice” that’s painful one for them as a result of generations of their households performed distinguished roles within the Italian American Society and its predecessors, the Christopher Columbus Society and the Portage Italian American Residents League.
Colecchi, the present secretary and treasurer of the Italian American Society, mentioned his grandfather, Joseph, his father, Paul, and his uncle, Vincent, had been all presidents of the Christopher Columbus Society and the Italian American Society at one time or one other. He mentioned he labored as a supervisor of the ability’s bar and rental corridor to earn cash to pay his tuition at Kent State College and the College of Akron’s Faculty of Legislation. Garro, who serves on the society’s board of administrators, mentioned his father, Chet Garro, was additionally as soon as president of the Italian American Society.
The Christopher Columbus Society and the Portage Italian American Residents League merged in 1967 and inside a few years bought the property that had been the placement of the Roger Brown Lumber Co. to assemble the constructing that may quickly go up for public sale.
In its heyday, Garro mentioned, the Italian American Society’s membership roster had a ready record of these keen to hitch. The rental corridor hosted fantastic wedding ceremony receptions. Its month-to-month spaghetti dinners, open to non-members in addition to members, had been a spot to go to fulfill pals and distinguished residents. Its bar was a congenial watering gap for members. For many of its years, The Italian American Society’s rental corridor was the place the place the Portage County Democratic Get together congregated on election nights. It made the Italian American Society “a should go to” for any information media reporter wanting to fulfill candidates and elected officers and hearken to their interpretations of the Portage County election outcomes.
The premises nonetheless have effectively designed bocce courts with surfaces much like what an individual would discover on an excellent tennis court docket. The society’s Bocce League at one level had 20 competing groups and even final yr had as many as 14 groups competing.
Wanting by the information, Colecchi mentioned he discovered that the Christopher Columbus Society, based in 1917, required every member to pay a month-to-month charge to a medical health insurance fund that was then used to pay medical payments that had been incurred by members. This was earlier than employer paid medical health insurance when medical payments may place a heavy monetary burden on most households who within the early days had been, he mentioned, “decidedly blue collar” working at locations like A.C. Williams, Oak Rubber, the Cleveland Worsted Mills, Romito-Donnelly and different industries.
On the similar time, Colecchi mentioned, many members owned their very own companies like Solitro’s Dry Cleansing, Drago Plumbing, Garro Rubber, Portage Distributing and different firms.
He mentioned the membership lists are a “who’s who” of Italian American households who’ve resided in Ravenna, “names like Trocchio, Colecchi, Iarussi, Romito, Solitro, Drago, Spagnuolo, Sicuro, Cimino, Petrella, Di Mauro, Cariglio, Samaco, Marozzi, Castaldi, Coia, Garro, Cipriano, Maroni, Labajetta, Verrona, Petrone, Trilli, Cristino, D’Amicone, Porcase, Coates, Impolite, Gilly, Esposito, Tondiglia, Tontimonia, Saracco, DiCoia, Mendiola, Triscori, Giulitto, Mascio, DiGirolamo, and lots of extra.”
Kiko Actual Property and Public sale is dealing with the sale. The constructing might be auctioned at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 16. The public sale might be in-person and on-line. The non-public property might be auctioned on-line solely on from midday Sept. 10 to midday on Sept. 17.
The Italian American Society will dwell on, Colecchi mentioned, “and we intend to place the proceeds to good use.”
Present officers of the Italian American Society are: Dave Impolite, president, Stephen Colecchi, secretary/treasurer, with three trustees, Mark Petrella, Mickey Marozzi, and Charles Garro.
David E. Dix is a former writer of the Document-Courier.