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Vastola (Service: UNICAN)
Rizzuto (Service: Non-UNICAN)
Cianci (Humanitarian)
Marconi (Science)
    • Application Letter
    • Application
Philip Mazzei (Americanism)
    • Grand Patriot
    • William Paca Award
    • Civis Illustris Award
Scrapbook/DVD Award
Athletic (Amateur & Professional)
    • Vincent T. Lombardi (pro)
    • Dr. D.M. Nigro Memorial

2013 UNICO National Scholarship Recipients

The Scholarship Committee is proud to present the recipients of our UNICO National 2013 Awards:

Major Don S. Gentile Memorial Scholarship: Danielle Marie Strozza, Sponsored by the Temecula, CA Chapter - Judged in New York

William C. Davini Memorial Scholarship: Christine G. Bachek, Sponsored by the Brookhaven, NY Chapter - Judged in Wisconsin

Alphonse A. Miele Memorial Scholarship: Christopher John McKinney, Sponsored by the Merrimack Valley, MA Chapter - Judged in California

Theodore Mazza Memorial Scholarship: Lauren E. Procaccino, Sponsored by the Islip-Smithtown, NY Chapter - Judged in New Jersey

Sgt. John Basilone Memorial Scholarship: Christina Janelle Prejean, Sponsored by the San Diego, CA Chapter - Judged in New Jersey

Dr. Benjamin J. Cottone Memorial Scholarship: Giuseppe Salvatore D'Amelio, Sponsored by the Waterbury, CT Chapter - Judged in Pennsylvania

Bernard and Carolyn Torraco Memorial Nursing Scholarships: Judged in Pennsylvania

Gina Christine Caifano, Sponsored by the Chicago West Suburban, IL Chapter

Julie Carcaio, Sponsored by the Roseto, PA Chapter

Carly Rae Greatorex, Sponsored by the Waterbury, CT Chapter

Lisa A. Higgins, Sponsored by the Chicago West Suburban, IL Chapter

Christie Kappes, Sponsored by the North Shore L.I., NY Chapter

Jillian Joan Palermo, Sponsored by the Hazleton, PA Chapter

Laura J. Sgalia, Sponsored by the Kearny, NJ Chapter

Sabrina Renee Weaver, Sponsored by the Kansas City, MO Chapter

DiMattio Celli Family Study Aboard Scholarship:

George Curtis Clark, Sponsored by the Passaic Valley, NJ Chapter

Brittany Ann DeLeo, Sponsored by the Scranton, PA Chapter

Ashley Beth DiLiberto, Sponsored by the Rehoboth Area, DE Chapter

Ella T. Grasso Literary Scholarship:

Kyle S. Davis, Sponsored by the Rutherford, NJ Chapter

Carmine Vincent Lombardi, Sponsored by the Lyndhurst, NJ Chapter

Our candidates demonstrated exceptional qualifications. The scholastic achievements, extra curricular activities and community service projects of the applicants are remarkable and worthy of recognition. Selecting the recipients was extremely difficult.

We extend our thanks and congratulations to all participating Chapters. By providing your nominees with the opportunity to apply, you have demonstrated great respect for, and appreciation of their accomplishments.

2013 Award Recipients

Dr. Anthony P. Vastola Award:

Joseph J. Agresti, Sponsored by: Passaic Valley, NJ Chapter of UNICO

Joe Agresti has an incredible record of service to UNICO National that has spanned many years. He has held positions on the District and National level, chaired many committees and served a term as National President. He has actually expanded his service and dedication after his term as National President through his deep involvement in a multitude of committees and his unrelenting efforts working on the National Conventions and meetings. 

Antonio R. Rizzuto Award:

Bishop Joseph Serratelli, Sponsored by: The Rizzuto Award Committee
His Holiness, Pope John Paul II name Bishop Serratelli a Prelate of Honor in 1998. His appointment as Titular Bishop of Enera and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark was announced on July 3, 2000. He was appointed Vicar of Ministries, Regional Bishop of Essex County and Vicar for the Apostolates and subsequently Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Newark. He was installed as Paterson’s seventh bishop in 2004. Bishop Serratelli has been active in giving retreats to priests an religious, diocesan convocations and lectures throughout the United States.

Joseph P. Cianci Humanitarian Award:

Paula Varsalona Marino, Sponsored by: Montville, NJ Chapter of UNICO

Paula Varsalona Marino, internationally recognized as one of the principal couture designers of bridal apparel, has been a leader in the fashion industry for over 40 years. As a designer of and manufacturer of the Paula Varsalona Group, she offers unique and personalized fashion statements for every bride. She was one of the first female members of the Montville Chapter of UNICO and the first woman to be elected to the Board of Trustees for the UNICO National Foundation. In 2012, as Chair of the Dorothy Varsalona Cancer Fund, she raised $21,000 for the UNICO National “V” Foundation donation to benefit the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine.

Basilone Freedom Award:

Joseph P. Patin, M.D., Sponsored by: Rehoboth Area, Delaware Chapter of UNICO

Joseph P. Patin was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army reserves while an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. In the summer of 1969, Dr. Patin was activated into the Army. As Chief of Surgery, specializing in trauma, he and his team worked day and night in the operating theatre often extending 24 hour stretches during the heat of battle. The team also treated Vietnamese citizens and soldiers in addition to soldiers of the Viet Cong. Their mission was to save lives. For his service he was decorated with a Bronze Star and received the Army Commendation Medal along with the Vietnamese Commendation Medal.


Louis Attilio DeFillipo Award:

Army Specialist Nicholas Staback, Sponsored by: Scranton, PA Chapter of UNICO 

Nicholas Staback joined the Army in 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011as a member of the ACO 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. On October 24, 2011, while on patrol he was seriously injured by a exploding IED. The resulting damage to his body included severe injury to his right hip and right arm and traumatic loss of his lower limbs from above the knee. Nick is currently recovering from those injuries at Walter Reed Military Medical Center. Each day he surpasses the expectations of this medical team and does so with an attitude and spirit that does his family and county proud.

Vincent T. Lombardi Professional Athletics Memorial Award:

Anthony Fasano, Sponsored by: Verona, NJ Chapter of UNICO

Anthony Fasano just finished his seventh season in the National Football League and his fifth as the starting Tight End for the Miami Dolphins. He has been incredibly reliable and consistent starting every game he has played in, missing only four games due to injury. As an undergraduate he played at Notre Dame where he ranked second in both receptions and receiving yards for a Tight End in school history. As proud as Fasano is of his on field accomplishments, it is the work that he does off the field and in the community that truly motivates and inspires him. In 2008 he started the Anthony Fasano Foundation in an effort to facilitate his philanthropic interests. Throughout the year the foundation fills the calendar with events that support families in need.





 Dr. D.M. Nigro Memorial Award for Amateur Athletics

 Carlo Calabrese, Sponsored by: Verona, NJ Chapter of UNICO

Carlo Calabese participated in 12 games at Notre Dame University, starting five in 2012. He recorded 49 tackles, nineteen solo stops, three tackles for loss and one forced fumble. He started his first game of the season against Miami, and recorded three stops against the Hurricanes and was a key cog in the red-zone defense against Stanford, making stops on the final two stands of the game and denying Cardinal Running Back Stepfan Taylor on back-to-back runs from the one-yard line. He picked up his second start of 2012 against BYU and had four stops, notched five tackles, including a half tackle for loss against Oklahoma. He also had seven tackles against Purdue, forced one fumble against Wake Forest which was converted into a touchdown and had seven tackles, four of them unassisted against the Demon Deacons. In 2013, Carlo, a fifth year senior who has earned his degree in design, will return to Notre Dame for his final year of eligibility.

Philip Mazzei Americanism Award-Civis Illustris:

Joseph N. Valenzano, Jr. Sponsored by: Greater Ramsey, NJ Chapter of UNICO

Joe Valenzano has spent over forty years in the publishing and communications industry,currently serving as President and CEO of epWorld, Inc. Under his direction, he led EP from the verge of bankruptcy in 1993 to the most recognized and respected communications company serving the disability community in the world. From a single six-time-a-year magazine in 1992, EP has become a multi-media communications company which includes a Custom Communications Division responsible for publishing clinical reports on complex medical issues. Mr. Valenzano is a frequent speaker at publishing industry conferences, companies, the United States Military, nonprofit organizations, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities serving people with special needs. He has published and spoken extensively around the world about Universal Newborn Screening,which has become his passion in life.