Founded in 1980, The Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of the Bronx and Westchester
honors the achievements, talents and expertise of outstanding Italian Americans at our annual Champagne Luncheon.


The Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of The Bronx and Westchester honors the achievements of outstanding contemporary Italian Americans for their talents or expertise. Il Leone di San Marco Awards are presented, at an annual luncheon, to individuals who have made significant contributions in various fields including, but not limited to, medicine, science, music, literature, sports, the arts, education, politics, business, entertainment, and law enforcement.

Award recipients have included actors Paul Sorvino, Stanley Tucci, Vincent Gardenia, Mira Sorvino, Armand Assante, Brenda Vaccaro, Tony Lo Bianco, Danny Aiello and Susan Lucci, entertainers Tony Danza and Regis Philbin, and sports legends Phil Rizzuto, Rick Cerone and Vince Promuto; in the field of Music, Hall of Famer Dion, Lou Christie, Felix Cavalieri, Steven Van Zandt, Oscar winner in music Prof. John Corigliano, and multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano; and in the fields of medicine and science are Dr. Robert Lanza, a top doctor in stem cell research, Dr. George Lombardi, a specialist on tropical diseases who cared for Mother Theresa, Dr. Michael Brescia, Medical Director of Calvary Hospital who invented a life-supporting kidney machine and NASA astronaut Dr. Charles Cammarda.

Over the years, Dr. A. Bartlett Giamatti, former president of Yale and later Commissioner of Baseball, and his son, Oscar-nominated actor Paul Giamatti, playwright and actor Chazz Palminteri, and in Journalism, Michael Gargiulo, Rosanna Scotto, Mary Calvi, Lisa Colagrossi, Rosanne Coletti and in Literature, writers Lisa Scottoline, Adriana Trigiani and many others have received the award.

The awards ceremony serves to promote the positive image of Italian Americans. It is important to preserve our heritage which values the work ethic and the principles of honesty and integrity, the foundation upon which character is built. The awards we present are not only a tribute to outstanding Italian Americans, but a symbol of what we are and what can be achieved. In celebrating our heritage and culture it is our hope that these achievers, many from humble beginnings, serve as role models for future generations. Each year we also provide inspiration to our audience with an array of Italian-American musical talent.

Our organization was founded by the late Bronx Community College Community Relations and Media Specialist Dolores Magnotta and the late educator Betty L. Santangelo, wife of Congressman Alfred E. Santangelo. The first event was held in 1980. The Committee's Officers are: Patricia Santangelo, President; Aurora Caponegro, Vice-President; Gary W. DeLeo, Treasurer; and Lisa Salvati, Secretary. Committee members include Maria Iovieno Swieciki, Andrea McArdle, Madeline Balmeceda, Charles Santangelo, and Susan Schaeffer.

For further information please contact Patricia Santangelo at

Upcoming Events

The Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of the Bronx and Westchester

cordially invites you to attend the
44th Anniversary Celebration
at a Champagne Luncheon
Presentation of

Il Leone di San Marco Awards

Sunday, September 29, 2024
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Davenport Mansion
400 Davenport Avenue, New Rochelle, NY

Registration 11:30 a.m.
Luncheon 12:00 p.m.
Awards Program 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Patricia Santangelo, President
Aurora Caponegro, Vice President
Gary W. DeLeo, Treasurer
Lisa Salvati, Secretary

Tickets limited and sold in advance