PHOTOS: Familiar Faces at Sold Out Columbus Day Dinner Honoring Renato Berzolla

Left to right: Tod Laudonia, Lou Coppola, Kristen Laudonia Peterson, Tony DeVita, Denise Longo, Jimmy Capparelle, Mark Longo, Renato Berzolla at the St Lawrence Club Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Left to right: Tod Laudonia, Lou Coppola, Kristen Laudonia Peterson, Tony DeVita, Denise Longo, Jimmy Capparelle, Mark Longo, Renato Berzolla at the St Lawrence Club Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The St Lawrence Society held its 30th annual Columbus Day dinner, this year honoring Renato Berzolla.

The St. Lawrence Club in Cos Cob was packed as the event sold out in advance, a testament to the community’s admiration for the honoree, and perhaps, the wonderful cooking.

Dinner started with antipasto and salad, followed by Italian wedding soup. Primo was penne alla vodka. Secondi was melt-in-your-mouth sliced beef tenderloin, shrimp scampi and seasoned vegetables, with some hot peppers not for the feint of heart. Dolce was delicious cannoli and figs!

St. Lawrence Society has a tradition of volunteerism. The organization’s president, Tod Laudonia, said volunteering and giving punctuate the spirit that their brotherhood was built upon.

John Raben and Tod Laudonia at the St Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

John Raben and Tod Laudonia at the St Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Mayor of Shelton Mark Lauretti, with US Cogressman Jim Himes, Jeffrey Wright and Fred Camillo at St. Lawrence Club. Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

 Joe Siciliano, Carmella Budkins, John Toner and Minnie Manuli

Joe Siciliano, Carmella Budkins, John Toner and Minnie Manuli

Mark Longo and Chris McHugh at St. Lawrence Club, Oct, 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tending bar, Mark Longo and John McHugh at St. Lawrence Club, Oct, 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jimmy Capparelle and Linda Moshier

Jimmy Capparelle and Linda Moshier at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Some of the local charitable organizations the St. Lawrence Society donates to include the Greenwich Senior Center, Kids in Crisis, Toys for Tots, The Silver Shield, Boy Scout Troop 10, Cub Scout Pack 20, St. Catherine of Siena, the Lusgarten Foundation, the Greenwich High School Hall of Fame and the Greenwich Old Timers’ Athletic Association.

Laudonia put the origin of the club in historical context, noting that when its founders arrived from Italy, there was no tomatoes, chocolate or tobacco.

“There was no Italy, only a number of small kingdoms,” Laudonia said. “Italy became united in 1861, and there wasn’t a democracy until 1946. …Remember, there was not an Italian in Greenwich until the 1880’s, so the first migration of our ancestors who came here, were leaving a newly formed country. The United States was already a democratic republic for over 100 years, and Italy was a newly united monarchy.”


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“Renato is, as I jokingly refer to, ‘a real Italian,’ born in Italy,” Laudonia said of the 2017 Columbus Day award honoree. “I checked the trophies and the last real Italian I could find on there was Angie Piro in 2004.”

Laudonia introduced Mr. Berzolla, saying, “Renato has accomplished what we all strive for by putting the two cultures together and proudly assimilating into the United States and becoming an American Italian. He is a positive influence in our town.”

Fred Camillo congratulated Mr. Berzolla and commented on the significance of Columbus Day. “With all of the foolishness going on in the country at this time, it is nice to be in Cos Cob where the people respect the legacy of Christopher Columbus, celebrate this holiday, continue the tradition of the Italian people, and are grateful for the opportunity to honor men like Renato Berzolla, a devoted citizen and great American.”

First Selectman Peter Tesei also congratulated Mr. Berzolla, proclaiming October 9, 2017 Renato Berzolla Day.

Mr. Tesei noted that Mr. Berzolla has 14 grand children, one added as recently as the previous day. Renato and his wife Andrea have four children, all married and in attendance at the Columbus Day dinner event.

After transferring from school in Milan to Manhattan College in New York City Mr. Berzolla obtained both a bachelors and then a masters degree in electronic engineering from NYU.

Mr. Berzolla began his career as an electronic engineer and airport planner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, then worked for Cooper Industries, and later served as the president of OCM Engineering.

He has also volunteered as a soccer coach in Old Greenwich and Boy Scout leader. He was ordained as a deacon at the Bridgeport Diocese and served St. Catherine of Siena in Riverside for 37 years.

Renato and Andrea Berzolla with their children Catherine Berzolla, Laura McDermott, Greg Berzolla and Chris Berzolla. Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Renato and Andrea Berzolla with their children Catherine Berzolla, Laura McDermott, Greg Berzolla and Chris Berzolla. Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Karen Fassuliotis and Rick Margenot

Karen Fassuliotis and Rick Margenot at St. Lawrence Club on Columbus Day, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Renato Berzolla

St. Lawrence Society president Tod Laudonia presents a trophy to 2017 honoree Renato Berzolla. Oct 9,2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Past Columbus Day honoree Peter Orrico and Eleanor Orrico at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Past Columbus Day honoree Peter Orrico and Eleanor Orrico at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Renato Berzolla and daughter-in-law Donna Berzolla at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Renato Berzolla and daughter-in-law Donna Berzolla at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kerrin Coyle and Dolly Margenot

Kerrin Coyle and Dolly Margenot at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Francis Judice, Anthony DeVita Sr and Tony DeVita at the St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Francis Judice, Anthony DeVita Sr and Tony DeVita at the St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tony DeVita and Tod Laudonia at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tony DeVita and Tod Laudonia at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Anthony DeVita Sr and Denise Payton

Anthony DeVita Sr and Denise Payton at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Linda Moshier and Toni Boucher at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Linda Moshier and Toni Boucher at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jimmy Capparelle and Sal Longo at the St Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jimmy Capparelle and Sal Longo at the St Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jane and Tod Laudonia at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jane and Tod Laudonia at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Francis Judice and Anthony DeVita at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Francis Judice and Anthony DeVita at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

 

Vicky DeLuca and Diane Fox at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Vicky DeLuca and Diane Fox at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jane Laudonia and Steve Warzoha at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jane Laudonia and Steve Warzoha at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tony and Shirley Mazullo at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tony and Shirley Mazullo at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

First Selectman Peter Tesei with honoree Renato Berzolla on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

First Selectman Peter Tesei with honoree Renato Berzolla on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Mary McNamee with David and Lauren Raben at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Mary McNamee with David and Lauren Raben at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Fred Camillo shared remarks about Columbus Day at the St. Lawrence Club. Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Fred Camillo shared remarks about Columbus Day at the St. Lawrence Club. Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

John Margenit, Rick Margento, Joan Margenot and Dolly Margenot at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

John Margenit, Rick Margento, Joan Margenot and Dolly Margenot at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Andrea Berzolla and Renata Berzolla at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Andrea Berzolla and Renata Berzolla at St. Lawrence Club, Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Pat and Kerrin Coyle at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Pat and Kerrin Coyle at St. Lawrence Club on Oct 9, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

See also:

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Columbus Day Features Italian Flag Raising and A Little Bit of Sinatra at Greenwich Town Hall 

Cos Cob Roots Grow Here: A Visit to the St. Lawrence Club


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Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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