Brooklyn powerhouse FIAO marks 40th anniversary at festive gala

The Federation of Italian-American Organizations (FIAO) celebrated its 40th anniversary on Sunday, March 26, with a gala dinner and a ceremony at El Caribe Country Club part of which included presenting scholarships to students preparing to go to college.

Three honorees were in the spotlight during the event, including attorney Arthur L. Aidala, managing partner at Aidala, Bertuna, and Kamins, P.C., a law firm specializing in civil and criminal litigation.

Also honored was Francesco Pedulla of Pedulla Ceramic Tiles, Inc. One of five brothers born in Italy, Pedulla emigrated to the U.S. with his brother Domenico in 1969. The brothers started their now-renowned company in 1979 in a little shop at 60th Street and 20th Avenue. Pedulla donated all the tiles used in FIAO’s new community center, Il Centro.

The last of the three awards went to a married Brooklyn-born couple collectively involved in over 10 institutions in total.

For Anthony Pennachio Sr. that means being a member of the Knights of Columbus and  the board of directors of the Ben Bay Kiwanis Club on top of owning ASP Graphics, Scarpaci Funeral Home and the Floral Fantasy of Bay Ridge.

For his wife Dolores, community involvement is defined by her board membership inthe Pietro’s Fight campaign, fundraising for foundations like Toys for Tots, and her title as class mom in the last 12 years at St. Bernard Catholic Academy.

Over 500 people attended the gala. “The amount of people supporting the Italian Federation was overwhelming,” Pedulla’s daughter Daniela told this paper.

El Caribe is located at 5945 Strickland Avenue.

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