DC 37 celebrates Italian Heritage
DC 37 Exec. Dir. Lillian Roberts, the Italian Heritage Comm., local officers and members celebrate at this
year's dinner dance. The theme of the festivities on
Oct. 22 was a Venetian carnival.
At the 16th annual Italian Heritage Dinner Dance on Oct. 22, Committee Chair Michael DeMarco, the president of Traffic Employees Local 1455, described the event as an occasion to "celebrate with pride the many accomplishments of hard-working Italians and Italian Americans. We honor their strength, their idealism and the many contributions they have made to this country."
The theme of this year's dinner was the carnivals - "carnevale" - celebrations held throughout Italy since the Middle Ages. Traditionally, the carnivals marked the beginning of the Lenten fast.
Italian Heritage Committee members Joseph Lopez and Renee Conde designed a colorful fact sheet describing the carnival of Venice. "The committee wanted to choose a classic party theme and we wanted to link it to a celebration of Italian history. The Venetian Carnevale is an important part of that history," Lopez said.
The tradition includes the wearing of masks and a water procession at the end of every carnival. Festively decorated boats and masked rowers, the flight of the doves, and fireworks are all part of the final grand ball.
At the dinner dance, attended by hundreds of members of DC 37 locals, each participant found a traditional mask next to their table setting. "We wanted to add a little touch of Venice," DeMarco said. "Please wear your masks on the dance floor," and many of the celebrants donned their masks as they took to the floor.
DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts encouraged everyone to have a wonderful time and thanked all of the celebrants for joining together at the dinner. Her remarks evoked memories of the many Italian Americans who built DC 37 in its earliest days and continue to play key leadership roles in the union.
DeMarco thanked the members of the committee for "working so hard to make this event such a success. It's great to see the DC 37 family come together for this celebration each year."
— Jane LaTour, Public Employee Press, Dec. 2011-Jan. 2012