Norwich’s Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee will hold its annual Columbus Banquet on Friday, October 7, 2022 at 5:30 p.m., 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 the Norwich Free Academy before attending college at Holy Cross and Georgetown medical school. After his stay in Georgetown, he returned to Norwich and has practiced general surgery at Backus Hospital for the past 32 years. He is currently medical director of the Backus Hospital Wound Care and Hyperbarics Center.
dr. Tramontozzi serves on the board of directors of Dime Bank and chairs the foundation boards of the Norwich Free Academy and Three Rivers Community College. He also serves on the board of directors for the Hartford HealthCare East Region and is a past chairman of Backus’ medical staff. He is the treasurer of the Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee of Norwich. He has received awards 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 February 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, from Terlizzi, Bari, Italy.
Grillo grew up on Peck Street, in Norwich. He attended the Norwich Free Academy, graduating in 1957 and receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from the University of CT School of Pharmacy in 1961. He was the first of his family to ever go to college and graduate; an achievement that brought great joy to his parents.
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 of Charlotte Brunau.
Grillo served on the Board of Trustees of William W. Backus Hospital from 1982-1996 and served as 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, that in the 1970s reviewed policies and procedures for the implementation and use of drugs in drug therapy studies.
The selection committee of the Heritage and Cultural Committee selects recipients based on the following criteria: A person of Italian descent who has contributed through his efforts to the advancement 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 for their continued efforts on behalf of Italians and Italian projects in the community; A person living in the greater Norwich area.
Past recipients include: 1993 Frank Demicco & Frank Jacaruso Jr.; 1994 Paul De Sio & Frank Falcone; 1995 Lena Demicco & Atty. Vincent Laudon; 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 Honor all Italians whose names are inscribed on the Columbus Monument in 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, former 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 In honor of the Italian immigrants on the 25th anniversary of 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 buffet dinner is served with antipasto, pasta, sausage, meatballs, fried chicken, oven potatoes, vegetables, wine, coffee and dessert. 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.