UNICO National president Richard D’Arminio and his wife, Manuela, of Ramsey, N.J., were honored guests at the second annual Brian Piccolo Athletic Award Ceremony on May 3 at Nicola Pizza in Rehoboth Beach, Del. This year’s award recipient was Kai Vitella of Cape Henlopen High School. The nominees also included Maggie Allison of Indian River High School and Salvatore Ingrassia of Sussex Central High School.
Members of the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture, which was one of the sponsors of the program, were also present to honor the nominees, who were chosen to represent their high schools based on the exemplary character traits demonstrated by the legendary Brian Piccolo: courage, friendship, loyalty, teamwork, dedication, sense of humor and antibias. The event, sponsored yearly by UNICO chapters and districts throughout the United States, began in 1977.
The guest speaker for the event was Melissa Cannavo-Marino, host of 1450 WILM-AM’s Italian radio program, Mattinata Musicale. She encouraged the young athletes to follow their dreams and to take pride in their Italian heritage.
Vitella was awarded a beautifully engraved plaque donated by David Jones, president of the UNICO Delmarva Chapter, and a $1,000 check to be donated to Cape Henlopen High School’s athletic department. All nominees and their family members were guests at the event and received a number of gifts donated by local sponsors and UNICO members from the chapters of Delaware District 1.