Contact: Les Lombardi, President
Italian American Foundation to honor 'Signore, Signora of the Year' at mini festival
The Ulster County Italian American Foundation has named Dr. John Ioia, a local orthopedic surgery specialist, "Signore of the Year" and Linda Saccoman, co-chairperson of the UCIAF Cultural Committee, "Signora of the Year."
The pair will be honored at the foundation's mini Italian Festival on Oct. 11 at the TechCity parking lot on Enterprise Drive in the town of Ulster.
Ioia, a Hurley resident, is president of the Ulster County Medical Society. He and his wife, Barbara, and their two children, John and Samantha, have a deep commitment to their community and volunteer in civic, cultural and educational organizations, according to UCIAF President Les Lombardi.
"John was one of the founding 20 Americans of Italian descent who got together in March 2015 to start the foundation," he said.
Additionally, Ioia has served as the by-laws chairperson and member of the educational awards committee since the start of the foundation. He has also been involved as secretary of the hospital medical staff, chairman of credentials and bylaws, scout master, Little League coach, karate instructor, American Kennel judge, AKC delegate and secretary of bylaws.
Saccoman is a lifelong Kingston resident, who also has given back to the community, Lombardi said. She has served on the boards of Junior League of Kingston, Zonta, All Women in Business, Kingston Area Library and the Ulster Performing Arts Center. More recently, Saccoman received an award from the United Way of Ulster County for her work as a mentor in the organization's Raising HOPE program.
"She has been heavily involved in developing numerous cultural and educational events for UCIAF, including our Summer Movie Series, 'Sip and Slate.' pasta- and Easter bread-making classes as well as foundation field trips. Each year, she coordinates a UCIAF trip to Ravello, Italy," Lombardi said.
"Both John and Linda are proud of their Italian heritage. John has family roots in Naples and Sicily and Linda’s family roots are from Calabria. These two outstanding people bring their enthusiasm and community commitment to UCIAF and deserve this honor,” he said.
Because of COVID-19, UCIAF is holding a modified and scaled-back mini Italian Festival at the TechCity parking lot this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. It will include an awards ceremony with elected officials, dignitaries and past honorees and special music by local singer Andrew Hoben and Joe De Sarle. Food will be provided by the Green Palate, Reginato's Ristorante and Michael's Diner.
To close out the evening, the film "My Cousin Vinny" will be screened. Attendees can watch the festivities from their cars and are encouraged to social distance and wear face coverings.
For free tickets and more information on Sunday’s UCIAF mini Italian Festival, click here.