Federazione Abruzzese del Michigan Joins National Italian American Foundation

Mar 22, 2023 530

BY: Sandra Tornberg

The Federazione Abruzzese del Michigan (FADM) recently joined the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) as an Affiliate Organization, the first organization in Michigan to do so.  This membership brings many benefits to the FADM, including: Affiliate Organizations are featured on NIAF’s website on a dedicated page; NIAF and its Affiliate Organizations will mutually help to promote each other’s events and programs; Individual members of Affiliate Organizations may become members of NIAF receiving the benefits of a Sustaining Membership at the discounted rate of $50 (a value of $100); Affiliates may nominate local candidates to participate in the Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery program (a $3,000+ value). NIAF will select one (1) candidate per Affiliate Organization to participate in the program. 

The Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery program is an all expenses paid, fourteen-day trip to Italy for full-time college students.   Students must be between the ages of 18-23 at the time of travel, of Italian heritage, have never previously visited Italy, a US citizen or a permanent resident alien, and a member of NIAF.  For many students, this exposure is a life-changing experience that puts their Italian-American heritage in a context that was never realized before.

FADM President Pietro Fuciarelli quickly took advantage of the chance to send a young person on this fabulous trip, soliciting applications from the membership.  Though the deadline for submissions was imminent, he was able to ensure participation so that a student would be able to take advantage of this opportunity this summer.

Emilia Serraiocco a junior at Michigan State University was selected to represent the Federazione Abruzzese Del Michigan on the Voyage of Discovery scholarship to Italy this summer.  Emilia is pursuing a music degree and next football season she will be the leader of the Mellophone section in the marching band.  Her nonno Gino and nonna Nellina have inspired Emelia all her life and she is very appreciative of them.

I am the regional representative for NIAF for the state of Michigan, a volunteer position I am proud to hold.   My goal is to increase Michigan membership in the NIAF by means of raising awareness of the value of this great organization.  The NIAF is a 501 (c) (3) nationwide organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.  “NIAF’s two most important purposes are to encourage Italian Americans to continue keeping their culturally rich heritage and traditions alive and present, and to ensure that the entire community never forgets the great contributions that Italians have made to the history and progress of the United States.”  

At one time, our area was uniquely represented at the NIAF. Detroit businessman, community leader and philanthropist the late Frank Stella played an import role in NIAF history.  Mr. Stella joined the NIAF Board of Directors in 1978, He served as NIAF Chairman from 1990 to 1999, and prior to that served President of the Board for more than nine years.  

Please contact me for more information regarding NIAF membership levels. I would be happy to address the various Italian clubs to discuss how they can benefit from becoming Affiliate Organizations to the NIAF.

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