It was a very special Wednesday evening at the McLure Hotel Ballroom as the public learned this year’s Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival’s “Italian American of the Year.”
First is Tony Polsinelli, who immigrated to the US at 17 and is a past Italian Festival board member from Marshall County. He helped to establish what became the Little Italy Cultural Plaza and assisted in the pasta making demonstrations for many years.
“It is a great honor to even mention my name,” said Polsinelli. “And I thank the board and everybody on it because I’ve been involved with the festival since day one, with the first four founders. So I’ve been involved a long time.”
The second honoree is Tom Triveri, owner and operator of Triveri Aluminum, Inc. Tom is also in charge of all the bocce-sponsored events for the festival. Unfortunately, Tom was out of town for Wednesday’s event, but we were represented by his brother.
“(Tom) runs the CRP handicap bocce tournament, and he really loves doing that,” said Bob Triveri. “And he runs the whole tournament; he really loves that. And he’s like a little drill sergeant. Everything has to go his way.”
Also named Wednesday night were the winners of the Festival Scholarship Program, which over the years has distributed more than $250,000 to area students. This year’s winners included 12 students, two each from Belmont, Brooke, Hancock, Jefferson, Marshall, and Ohio counties.
The Italian Heritage Festival is only two months away and begins on July 26.