Italian Cultural Center receives single largest gift from Buffalo State professor

Sep 25, 2023 1200

BY: Mark Sommer

Centro Culturale Italiano di Buffalo has received the single largest contribution in the organization’s history. Benefactor Francis S. Lestingi, professor emeritus of physics and the history of science at SUNY Buffalo State University, bestowed a gift of $600,000 that will be used to pay off the building’s mortgage, allowing the Italian Cultural Center to be debt-free, create an endowment, upgrade technology, boost staff capacity and establish a lecture series in his honor.

“I was happy to be able to do so, and more importantly, I wanted to do so,” said Lestingi, also co-founder of Signs of Gold, which produces hand-crafted, gold-leafed wood signage. Lindsey Lauren Visser, the center’s executive director, said the organization was “honored and humbled by Dr. Lestingi’s generosity.”

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