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Local Students Win Sons of Italy Awards Scholarships

On Sunday, June 12, Sons of Italy-Columbus Lodge Scholarship Chairman Ed Bochynski awarded 18 scholarships at the Columbus Lodge Hall located in South Farmingdale.  

The awards were given to graduating seniors from Massapequa, Bethpage, Farmingdale, Plainedge and other local area high schools who are entering a full-time college program in the fall.  Massapequa’s Dianna DiCocco received the lodge’s Excellence in Italian Language Award.   

“Our scholarship program and the ceremony we have at the lodge is something that we (Columbus Lodge membership) are very proud of,” said Bochynski.

The awards ceremony, followed by a special luncheon sponsored by Massapequa’s John Capogna, DDS, featured citations and awards to each student from state, county and local dignitaries.  During the ceremony, Bochynski announced the winners of the Columbus Lodge high and average scholastic awards, Italian Language awards, and awards for students pursuing a career in health care.

Among this year’s 18 winners were Massapequa High School graduating seniors Brittany Ciranni, Diana DiCocco, Kathryn Gawrych, Kelsey Koetzner, and Lisa Labriola; Farmingdale High School seniors Anthony Ammirati, Sabbrina Carrieri, Joe Catanzaro, Joseph Musarra, and Fred Penna; and Plainedge High School seniors Marcia Dotzer, Stephanie Haasnoot, Francesca LaFata, and Anthony Tardalo.  Other recipients included Leandrea Brownell, Adam Colucci, Charlene Frankini and Monica Lenis.

Dignitaries were on hand to offer words of encouragement and to hand out citations and certificates of achievement.  Among those in attendance were NYS Assemblyman Joe Saladino, Nassau County Legislators Peter Schmitt and Joe Belesi, TOB Supervisor John Venditto, TOB Clerk Steve Labriola, TOB Councilman Joe Pinto, Anthony Macagnone, and Joe Muscarella, and Judge Angelo Deligotti.  

According to Bochynski, these dignitaries not only support this program with their presence, but they are also annual financial supports of the Columbus Lodge scholarship journal.  This year’s journal featured a tribute to lodge founder Judge Angelo Roncallo, who died in May 2010.  The journal front cover was an award-winning Columbus Day watercolor painting from a local fifth-grader.