Mission Statement
& History

Our Mission Statement

We are dedicated to preserving and promoting the Calabrese heritage and traditions for the children and future generations of CalabresiAmerican people.

The Calabresi in America Organization proudly stands in harmony with our members to support our heritage, our sister organization, Società San Francesco di Paola, and our home at Casa Italia.

How We Started

Our family and friends who traveled to America as far back as the 1940’s from their birth town of Calabria Italy soon came to know their new home in Chicago but they instantly realized that their solidarity as Calabresi-Americans was the only way to uphold their bloodlines deeply rooted in the culture, the traditions, and the fellowship of their hometown. 

A few prominent individuals in our Calabresi-American community such as missionary Fr. Roberto Simionato and Joe Bruno, helped to spearhead our not-for-profit initiative and founded the Societa San Francesco di Paola in honor of the patron saint of the region of Calabria. Societa is an organization devoted to religion and donating to charities, local parishes, and Calabria since its inception in 1982. Together with Frank Cesareo and Pompeo Stillo, and under the direct request from the Region of Calabria, they created a sister organization then called Association of Calabresi in Chicago for the sole purpose of “being together” to honor their past and to uphold the traditions of the Calabrese heritage. Some of the founding members are still active and participating and to name them all would be impossible. If we leave someone out it would be like betraying your Italian brother! 

On the 18th day of July in 1991, Calabresi in America Organization, was incorporated under the provisions of the Not For Profit Act with Mr. Anthony Spina as our registered agent who is now the proud Historian for our club.

How We Evolved

L’unita fa la forza!

– Calabrese Proverb

How we Give Back

The Calabresi in America Organization hosts various fundraisers throughout the year in order to continue to advance our scholarship program and to give financial donations to various religious, sister organizations in need.

Through our generous donors, sponsors, and members, we have been able to make significant contributions toward the education of our young Calabrese students. Over the past 34 years, our organization’s fundraising efforts have given us the opportunity to donate approximately $400,000 in scholarship awards to various colleges.

Our partnerships in this initiative demonstrate our sincere dedication to our community and showcases the collective spirit of giving, that continues to define our heritage.

The Officers, Board of Directors, and members of our organization, are grateful for the ongoing support from our generous donors and sponsors, without their generosity, the following would not be possible:

Scholarship Awards, support to our home, Casa Italia, and to various affiliate organizations including:

How We Stand Today

Calabresi in America Organization, otherwise known as CIAO, has evolved tremendously over the last 5 years. While most of the original members have become non-participating due to health, age or who watch over us from heaven above, they are wildly content knowing their Calabrian roots live on through the mission of our organization with ongoing efforts of maintaining today’s trends.

It is based solely on the volunteer work of so many dedicated individuals. There are ten Officers, ten Board of Directors, and six Advisory Board members to name a few of the positions that one can hold. Each term is served for two years which is determined through Nominations, Elections, member voting, or by being appointed.

A person’s family heritage gives us the truest sense of belonging and helps to characterize who we are as individuals. The Calabrese heritage and the family that we have become through this organization is a proud achievement.

CIAO will continue their mission of “being social” and stand in solidarity with our members and affiliate organizations to support our home at Casa Italia to ensure that our roots live on for many generations!

Follow us on Facebook
Email us with questions at ciao@calabresiinamerica.org