UNICO National Hosts Successful Eastern Regional Meeting & Italian American Awards Gala in Long Branch, New Jersey Honoring Thomas Arnone, County Commissioner Director

UNICO National is the largest Italian American Service Organization in the United States

James Scanelli, Joe Scelsa, Tom Arnone, Ralph Contini

 UNICO National hosted its Italian American Awards Gala on November 5 at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch, NJ. The special event honored Thomas Arnone, County Commissioner Director, with UNICO’s Public Service Award, for his effective leadership in Monmouth County. Dr. Joseph Scelsa, Italian American Museum Founder & President, received the Cavaliere Joseph Coccia Award, recognizing his efforts to promote Italian heritage. James Scanelli received the Dr. Emanuele Alfano Mille Grazie Award for promoting a positive image of Italian Americans.

Roberto Ferragina, Borough of Atlantic Highlands CEO, presented the award to Director Arnone. The Amerigo Vespucci Society and the Italian American Association of the Township of Ocean also attended. Monmouth County has one of the highest concentrations of Italian Americans in the nation.

Tom Arnone is serving his fifth term on the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners where he was elected Director. Arnone oversees the County’s Department of Public Works & Engineering and liaisons Public Information, Tourism, Economic Development, Office of Shared Services, Department of Transportation, Brookdale Community College, Prosecutors Office, Environmental Council, Improvement Authority, and Shade Tree Commission. 

Dr. Scelsa founded the Italian American Museum, located between Mulberry and Grand in the historic Little Italy of Manhattan. Recently UNICO proudly donated $50,000 to the museum, in addition to individual UNICO members' supporting. Scelsa previously was Director of City University of New York (CUNY)'s Italian American Institute and later Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.

“We were proud to recognize these distinguished honorees for their leadership, service, and valuable contributions. For more than one hundred years, UNICO has promoted the Italian American community and celebrated our Italian culture and heritage,” said UNICO National President Cav. Ralph Contini.

UNICO recognizes local heroes who are the pillars of their communities, as well as nationally known figures.

Past UNICO honorees include sports greats like Mario Andretti, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and John Calipari; US Army Generals Tom Cosentino and Bob Caslen; Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. Domenico Praticò, and business leaders Tony Capuano, Marriott International CEO; Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN Chairman; and Joe Moglia, former Chairman & CEO of TD Ameritrade.

Founded in 1922 on the principle of “Service Above Self,” every year UNICO provides scholarships and charitable assistance totaling over one million dollars. UNICO supports mental health wellness, cancer research and prevention, Cooley’s Anemia, food banks, shelters, and other local community needs. In New Jersey, UNICO proudly supported New Beginnings for Tomorrow, which helps adults with autism and disabilities, partnered with the American Cancer Society and Rutgers University to support prostate cancer research, awarded student scholarships, and endowed the Italian Studies chair at Seton Hall University.

Source: UNICO National