The "Mayor's Award" is presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to their local Business Improvement Zone.
The award is largely in recognition of the impact made by the 13 year run of SOI's Christmas Eve Feast. This festive dinner, held annually on Christmas Eve in the West End at X-Cues Billiards & Cafe brings the spirit of Christmas to those in attendance -- 800 in 2018!
Each of those received a beautiful Italian-style meal and listened to live music. The children spent time with Santa and left with toys and a sled. The adults each received a hamper filled with food, hygiene products and warm clothing.
Co-chair Reno Augellone emphasized that this event is made possible through the help of dozens of members of SOI and their children, people from the community and police officers. For many of the volunteers, this is their Christmas.
This Mayor's Award needs to be shared with our event partners, said co-chair John Giavedoni. Our partners have shows such strong dedication to this event and their financial and personal contributions have been huge. Event partners are the West End BIZ, X-Cues Billiards & Cafe, Sorrento's on Ellice and The North West Company (Valu Lots).
Many individuals and companies donate to this event each year. In some years, we have had excess funds, and in those years, any surplus has been directed back into the West End area, including contributions to the Sargent Avenue Street Festival, Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club, Rossbrook House and Children's Hospital at HSC.
(L-R) Reno Augellone, Carman Zirino, John Giavedoni, Mayor Brian Bowman, Mario Posillipo and Travis Giavedoni.
On May 9, 2019, Mayor Bowman presented the award at a ceremony at the Metropolitan Event Centre.
A special thanks goes out to Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner, the Executive Director of the West End Biz. Gloria and her team have made a huge contribution to the Christmas Eve Feast. After more than a decade as Executive Director, Gloria is taking a well-deserved retirement. All the best to Gloria from everyone involved in the Christmas Eve Feast!
Christmas Eve Feast impact over past 13 years:
2017: Kateri Award Presented to SOI by Rossbrook House
Rossbrook House graciously presented the Kateri award to the Order Sons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge in June, 2017.
Phil Chiappetta, co-Executive Director of Rossbrook House said the following in his award presentation. "The Sons do remarkable philanthropic work throughout our City, especially ni the areas of medical research, education and inner-city poverty food banks. The Sons are represented by two members who initiated and then faithfully coordinated the generosity of their brothers to support our alternative school programs' graduation dinner over the last 8 years.
For over a decade, Reno Augellone and John Giavedoni were looking for ways to assist the work of Rossbrook House. They would advocate for some of the proceeds from a Sons of Italy sponsored golf tournament here, or a fundraising event there, to support the children and youth coming to Rossbrook House. When we'd thank them they would always say, "What else can we do, just let us know."
The day came when a church group could no longer muster the energy and resources to cater our growing annual graduation dinner. We asked Reno and John and their response was immediate - "no problem, that's what we do best; provide food for a celebration and volunteers to serve." The food is fantastic and the service is 5-stars. Up to a dozen aproned Sons show up annually with trays of pasta and salad and very big serving smiles. They make the event memorable for many deserving youth and their proud families."
Phil Chiappetta (centre) presents the Kateri Award to Alex Baksina, a longtime volunteer for SOI at Rossbrook, and John Giavedoni, Co-Chair of the SOI Christmas Eve Feast and Co-Chair of SOI at Rossbrook Grad.
A big thank you to Rossbrook House -- they are a wonderful organization and we are proud to be able to help them help others!
2015: SOI Receives Outstanding Service Organization
AFP Manitoba presented Order Sons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge with an award for the Outstanding Service Organization for 2015. The event took place at the beautiful Metropolitan Event Centre on November 13, 2015.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Manitoba Chapter presented awards at that luncheon to:
It was a truly special day to be recognized with such a prestigious group, and we wish to thank the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Manitoba the the amazing honour.
Below is a 2 minute video made by Cleave Films for the award ceremony.
It was admittedly a bit strange though; it is usually us presenting cheques, awards and scholarships -- very different to be on the receiving end. Thank you from all of our members who have worked so hard to raise funds, select deserving recipients and give away over a million dollars in our past 10 years.
A special thank you to our friends at St. Boniface Hospital Foundation for nominating us for this award. We have worked with them in the past and they are a wonderful group of very dedicated people!
The Metropolitan Event Centre was a great venue for this luncheon and awards ceremony.
President Franco Petrelli accepts the award on behalf of Order Sons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge
Sons of Italy members in attendance receive generous applause.