Columbus Day Luncheon Held
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GATES, N.Y. -- Federal workers had the day off to commemorate Columbus Day, but for thousands of local Italian Americans, it's much more than a break from work.
It was the 72nd annual Columbus Day Luncheon at the Diplomat Party House in Gates. Bands played the American and Italian national anthems as flags from both countries were raised.
Organizers say we continue to honor Columbus after more than 500 years because of the impact his efforts still have on Italian Americans today.
"When Christopher Columbus discovered America, he really discovered not just a continent, but he made possible for many European people to change their life. It gave me an opportunity to come to this country and make a living that perhaps could not have been possible somewhere else," said Mario Daniele, Honorary Vice Consul of Italy.
Hundreds attended the luncheon and several awards were presented, including the lifetime achievement award to Sister Diana Dolce from Hope Hall School.