The Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee of Norwich will hold its annual Columbus Banquet on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:30 pm, when it will honor the committee’s two Italians of the Year – Mark Tramontozzi and John Grillo.
Who is Dr. Mark Tramontozzi?
Dr. Tramontozzi was born to Dr. Anthony and Patricia Tramontozzi. His grandparents, Domenic and Antoinette Tramontozzi, emigrated from San Donato, Italy in 1914.
He attended Norwich public schools and Norwich Free Academy before going to college at Holy Cross and medical school at Georgetown. After his residency at Georgetown, he came back to Norwich and has practiced general surgery at Backus Hospital for the past 32 years and is presently the medical director of the Backus Hospital Wound Care and Hyperbarics Center.
Dr. Tramontozzi serves on the board of Dime Bank and is the president of the Norwich Free Academy and Three Rivers Community College foundation boards. He also serves on the board of the Hartford HealthCare East Region and is a past president of the Backus Medical Staff. He is the treasurer of the Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee of Norwich. He has received honors from the following organizations; Hugh Hussey Award for Excellence in Medical Student Teaching, Norwich Free Academy Alumni Distinguished Service Award and Cancer Liaison Outstanding Performance Award. He is married to Mary (Cullinan) Tramontozzi and they have three sons, Anthony, Michael and Peter.
Who is John Grillo?
Santo John Grillo was the firstborn child of Joseph J. and Johanna (Amodeo) Grillo. Born in Norwich on Feb. 17, 1939, he was named after his paternal grandfather, Santo Grillo, husband of Christenza (Ferrigno) Grillo, of Messina, Sicily. His maternal grandparents, were Pasquale Amodeo and Maria (Romano) Amodeo, of Terlizzi, Bari, Italy.
Grillo was raised on Peck Street, in Norwich. He attended Norwich Free Academy, graduating in 1957, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from University of CT School of Pharmacy in 1961. He was the first of his family to ever attend and graduate college; an accomplishment that gave his parents great joy.
He married the former Joan Olson, of Norwich. They raised three children; Sandra Grillo, (husband Wallace Gagnon), Christine (John) Paparelli, and Robert (Lisa) Grillo. He is the proud grandfather of Andraya (Terence) Brunau, Alexa Paparelli (John Lamparelli), Joseph Paparelli and Samantha Grillo, and great-grandfather to Charlotte Brunau.
Grillo was a member of the Board of Trustees of the William W. Backus Hospital, from 1982-1996, and served as the Chairman of the Board from 1992-1994. He worked under the tutelage of Dr. Harvey Mandell, on a Human Investigative Committee, now known as the Institutional Review Board which reviewed policies and procedures in the 1970s implementing and utilizing medications in drug therapy studies.
The Heritage & Cultural Committee selection committee selects recipients based on the following criteria: A person of Italian descent who through their efforts has contributed to the progress and betterment of the community; A person who has demonstrated an understanding and belief in Italian culture and heritage; A person who has served the Italian community through deeds and action; A person who has the respect of the Italian community because of their continuing efforts on behalf of Italians and Italian projects in the community; A person who lives in the greater Norwich area.
Past Recipients are: 1993 Frank Demicco & Frank Jacaruso Jr.; 1994 Paul De Sio & Frank Falcone; 1995 Lena Demicco & Atty. Vincent Laudone; 1996 Nancy DePietro & Hon. Sabino Tamborra; 1997 Dr. Larry Coletti & Dr. Anthony Tramontozzi; 1998 Mary Jo Sisco & Joseph Gualteri; 1999 Anne Macaione Mitchell & Matthew De Sio; 2000 Asunta D’Elia Kozel & Dr. Joseph Levanto; 2001 Honored all Italians whose names are inscribed on the Columbus Monument at Chelsea Parade; 2002 Atty Paul F Chinigo and Isabella DePinto Fusaro; 2003 Joseph A Fatone and Rose Marie Manuzzi Mackin; 2004, Kenneth Capano, Sr., and Alberta Ballaro Fidrych; 2005, Ron Aliano and Richard Podurgiel; 2006, Past and Preset Members of the United Italian Society on their 100th Anniversary; 2007 Marie Gabriella Chinigo Taylor and Police Chief Louis J. Fusaro, Sr.; 2008, Eufemia Fedelde Pillari and Atty Frank Manfredi; 2009 Marianna Conzato Fells and Arturo C. Montorsi; 2010 Alice DePinto Hammond; Joseph Barile, Sr.2011 Anthony P. Orsini and Stella Fasolino Smigiel;2012 Dr Anthony Alessi, and Betty Coletti La Freniere; 2013 Monsignor Anthony S. Rosaforte; 2014 Douglas Demicco, and Wally Lamb; 2015 John Iovino and Rosario (Rosey) Presti; 2016 Honoring the Italian Immigrants on the 25th Anniversary ot the dedication of the Cristoforo Colombo Monument;2017Art Sharron; Jim Leone.2018-Vincent Malerba and John Marino. 2019 Phil Pavone and Joe Barile Jr.
A family dinner buffet of antipasto, pasta, sausage, meatballs, baked chicken, oven potatoes, vegetables, wine, coffee and dessert will be served. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn, Norwich.
Tickets are $40 at the Liberty Store East Main St., 860-889-1369, or call Frank Jacaruso at 860-889-0864 or Utley & Jones 112 Lafayette St Norwich 860-887-2538.
No tickets will be sold at the door.