Cultural Italian American Organization 144 Genesee Street, Suite 102-240 Auburn, New York 13021
Cultural Italian American Organization144 Genesee Street, Suite 102-240Auburn, New York 13021



Monday, May 9*, 7:00 pm

Father Nacca Hall, Auburn, NY


(*Meetings are typically held on the 1st Monday,

but due to the St. Joseph's Day Feast on May 1,

the May meeting will be May 9.)


Membership Information here

Most recent newsletter available here



San Giuseppe Festa celebrated Sunday, May 1

“Feast of St. Joseph the Worker”


On Sunday, May 1, 2022, CIAO celebrated the day with about 100 people who attended this special event. This event took the place of the festivities from the traditional St. Joseph’s Day on March 19 (note: on March 19, the San Giuseppe Festa, in Italy celebrates Father’s Day).  This year’s celebration was after a two year absence due to Covid, but it all came together in a grandiose festa, grand feast, to pay tribute to a fine artisan from the region of Calabria, Italy. CIAO honored Raffaele "Ralph”" Rotella, a shoe repairman in Syracuse, where he owns and operates “Discount Shoe Repair.” From his store, since 2007, during the Christmas season, thousands of pairs of shoes are collected by Ralph. Through the assistance of the Rescue Mission, many thousands of needy individuals receive these shoes. Last year, 34,000 pairs of shoes were distributed. CIAO proudly honored Ralph in the presence of his family and friends from Syracuse, and now Auburn as well. Ralph, a very kind, simple and humble person, graciously accepted the plaque presented to him. Bravo! Bravissimo, Calabrese!




Another fun evening was had by all who attended our annual Pasta and LCR Game Night! About 50 friends and members attended the gathering, which included a meal pasta, salad, bread, dessert and a special (for this year!) serving of pulled pork and baked beans before playing LCR.


Members were encouraged to bring their own sauce to share, and member Frank DeOrio brought his "Pepperoni Sauce" and his homemade Amarone wine. 


Membership Dues

Annual dues are payable in January every year. Dues are as follows:


Individual - $25.00

Couple - $40.00


 Please keep your membershp current and mail a check to:



144 Genesee Street, Suite 102-240

Auburn, New York 13021


CIAO recognizes Dr. Anthony Fauci as our

"Christopher Columbus Honoree 2021"

in absentia


The Cultural Italian American Organization is proud to recognize Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as the  honoree for the 2021 Christopher Columbus Testimonial Dinner. CIAO Board members unanimously agreed to honor Dr. Fauci in absentia. Dr. Fauci was sent a letter, along with a plaque expressing the appreciation of CIAO for the pride of our Italian ancestry. The plaque reads as follows: “The Cultural Italian American Organization (CIAO) of Auburn, New York, on the commemoration of the Christopher Columbus Day celebration, proudly extends the Honoree of the Year recognition to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, for his immeasurable dedication in the medical/research field, and for caring for the well-being of the American citizenry. Grazie di vero cuore!” CIAO is proud to recognize a national hero in the medical sector for caring for his countrymen.


Pictured below holding the plaque are the respective youngest and oldest members of CIAO, John J. Elice and Gina Mironti.



2021 Columbus Day Flag Raising


Below are photos from the 2021 Columbus Day Flag Raising at Memorial City Hall in Auburn, New York. Pictured in photo 1 is CIAO member Paul Saltarello and John Elice, Jr., preparing to raise the flag.


Picture 4 in the top row is Tony Tesoro, Tony Gucciarrdi, John Elice, Jr., Paul Saltarello and Dick Paulino. The last photo includes member John Deterlizzi, from Florida.



CIAO 2021 Scholarship Recipients


Congratulations to all 2021 scholarship recipients! Pictured, left to right, with the CIAO Scholarship committee: Luca Pirozzolo, Tony Gucciardi, Arlene Ryan, Krysha Pierce, Amelia Bartolotta, Emma LoMascolo, Mary Ann Mucedola, Toni Colella, Elizabeth Moriarity



"C.I.A.O.", the Cultural Italian American Organization, was formed to promote and enhance Italian American Heritage and Culture in Cayuga County, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.C.I.A.O.'s motto is culture and caritas (charity) and to recognize Italian American achievements in our community.


We have grown and hosted several successful events since our first official meeting in June, 2014. We will continue to host different traditional events during the year ahead, and invite you to join our group!


We are also on Facebook; Like our page below for updates.



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