Wickliffe I&A to Honor Local Veterans

Wickliffe WWII Veterans

Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918.Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

On Friday November 10, 2017, the Wickliffe Italian – American Club will have its annual Veterans Day Dinner. This is the club’s opportunity to say thank you to the men and women who have severed our county in the United States Military. The event is open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and services will start at 7:00 pm with dinner to follow. If you wish to attend, please contact Phil Fratino 440-382-1811 for details.

2017 Singles Bocce Tournament

For the several years now, the Club has conducted a tournament for Club members only, to see who is the best player – one on one – in the Club. This year the tournament was held on Saturday, October 28th – a cold, rainy day where fortunately players at least could play under the covered courts. Still, the brisk temperatures forced players to play very quickly. Roughly 25 players signed up to compete. Club Member Chuck Britton Sr. organized the event both last year and this year and also established a nice plaque that would go to the winner. Players paid a $!0 entry fee, and the top 3 finalists would split the pot.

The semi-final game to determine the winner of the Loser’s bracket, pitted last year’s champion – Frank Dicillo, versus rising star, Marco Orlando Jr. The veteran Dicillo won convincingly over the younger Orlando, setting up a finals match between Dicillo, and tournament veteran Mike Kontura, who was undefeated in the Winner’s Bracket. Kontura raced out to a 10-3 lead, but Dicillo fought back steadily to tie the game at 10. The two players then traded points for the next several frames, and with the score tied 12-12, Kontura executed a pressure shot to seal the victory and became the 2017 Club Champion! Congratulations to Mike Kontura and the players who competed in this fun tournament, and a special thanks to Chuck Britton for volunteering to run the tournament for the Club.

Mike Kontura, 2017 Club Champion
Frank Dicillo watches his shot
Mike Kontura, ready to roll
The Top 3: Mike Kontura (L), Marco Orlando Jr. (Ctr), Frank Dicillo (R)

Mixed Doubles Bocce League Results

The Wednesday Night Mixed Doubles League was under new leadership this year. Under the capable guidance of Chuck Britton with assistance from Carol Formica, the 21 team league enjoyed a successful season. New this year was the addition of a double elimination tournament at the end of the season to determine the league champions.

1st place: Joe and BriAnn Ciasullo; Eugene and Margie Ciasullo.

2nd place: Chuck and Patti Britton; Chuck Britton Jr.; Pam Zab and Debbie Vitantonio.

3rd place: Marco Orlando with Maryann Insana, and Rose and Regis Matiyasic.

4th place: Tom Sr. and Debbie Tripepi; Joe and Patty Kleinheinz.

Wickliffe I&A in Columbus Day Parade

Wickliffe I & A in Columbus Day Parade

Since Columbus was Italian, we commemorate his discovery with a parade through the streets of Little Italy in Cleveland. It is fitting to hold the parade here since Little Italy resident, Joseph Carabelli, as state representative lobbied to proclaim it a national holiday.

Many area Italian clubs participate in the parade.  The Wickliffe Italian and American Club is no exception.  We not only had club members riding and marching in the parade, but this year we had a special participant. Former club president, Gino Latessa, was recognized by the Cleveland Italian Heritage Committee for his tireless work in promoting our Italian Heritage. Gino epitomizes the spirit of Italian Americans who immigrated to the United States and made their mark as hard-working, prideful, family-centric contributors to the American way of life. He is an ever-present supporter of organizations, causes and individuals who promote and preserve the legacy of our heritage.



Clambake and Fall Celebration

Mario DiNero supervises the clambake.

When the leaves begin to change color, diehard fans dream of Cleveland

Browns’ victories, and the Cleveland Indians are in the playoffs, we know fall has arrived in Northeast Ohio.  Another sure sign of fall is the arrival of Clambake Season. The Cleveland style clambake is different from those held in costal regions where they cook on a beach in fire pits with seaweed. Here we toss everything into one pot and steam it.

This year’s I&A Club Clambake was organized by Mario DiNero, entertainment chairman.  The annual event was held on Saturday, October 7 at the club’s outdoor party center and picnic grounds (which are also available for rental).

About 120 members, spouses and guests enjoyed a traditional Cleveland-style feast including clams, chicken, corn, sweet potatoes and coleslaw. After dinner, many attendees took advantage of our beautifully groomed bocce courts to challenge friends and test their skills.

Internationally Ranked Crooner to Perform at Opening Bocce Tournament Ceremonies

The Wickliffe Italian American Cub is proud to introduce Giovanni Castiglione to the participants of the 34th Annual Pat O’Brien Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce as he opens our festivities at 5:30 PM on Friday, August 25th. Giovanni “Gio” Castiglione, 15, of Solon, Ohio will return for the fifth consecutive year to sing the Canadian, Italian and U.S. anthems. Giovanni has been singing the anthems at a variety of sporting and civic events throughout the area since he was 10.

Since first singing for us in 2012, Giovanni has launched a vocal career as a soloist, a member of a professional a cappella quartet, a world-ranked barbershop chorus (Men of Independence) and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Chorus. He also performed at Carnegie Hall this past May as the youngest member of the Hudson Festival Choir, performing the classical Faure Requiem. He is also a member of the Solon High School Madrigals (an elite a cappella group) and the internationally-ranked show choir, “Music In Motion”.

Giovanni is also a film and theater talent, having appeared in five feature films and 21 live theater performances, to date. You can learn more about him on his website: giovannicastiglione.com.

Above all, Gio, the youngest son of Dennis and Suzi Castiglione, has a proud passion for his Italian heritage. According to his parents, Gio always looks forward to performing for his dear friends at the Wickliffe Italian American Club.


by Randy Continenza

Tony Continenza Celebrating 40 Years Serving the Wickliffe Community

Community service and civic involvement are important aspects of the Wickliffe Italian-American Club.  In 1977, club member and Pat O’Brien Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce Operations Officer, Tony Continenza joined forces with Mike Rajko to open Lincoln Shell in Wickliffe. Mike was already a veteran having started in the business in 1969 and owning two stations before moving to Wickliffe and joining with Tony (along with his brother Rick Continenza and business partner John Orsulic) to open Lincoln Shell. In 1992 Tony and Mike made the transition from Shell to Sunoco, added a car wash, and then expanded again adding a full convenience store to the operation in order to better serve the needs of their customers.  They have been in Wickliffe serving customers for four decades.