11th Annual Filo Gala - Women in Education
Another year has come and gone; another sold out Filo Gala; another evening of solidarity and inspiration among women. February 28th marked the 11th annual Filo Gala where women, young and old, reunited at the Centurion Conference Center with the purpose of celebrating the accomplishments of 3 inspirational women in the Italian community.
The evening began with a wonderful reception buzzing with the laughter and joy of friends and family. This year included the unique addition of Elizabeth Kilvert and her assistants from The Unrefined Olive (the Glebe) offering tastings of specialty olive oils and balsamic vinegars. In the main hall, two musicians sponsored by Pat Adamo serenaded the guests as they made their way to their tables, admiring the beautiful decorations by Laviolette Flowers and Wedding Décor. This year’s theme of Women in Education was elegantly represented with centerpieces of ruby red apples, backdrops of classroom images and chalkboard nametags.
Entertaining the guests were the beautiful MC’s Enza Baiamonte, Pierangela Pica and Marietta D’Alessio. The two former performed a beautiful rendition of the song The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli which brought tears to the eyes of many of the women. Enza started off by quoting the words of the revolutionary Italian educator Maria Montessori, “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” These words rang true to the 70 plus teachers who were present and were being honoured for all their hard work and dedication. For the rest of the evening the MC’s enlightened and engaged the guests in between courses of the exquisite meal that consisted of stuffed fazzoletti pasta and chicken kiev which left the women satisfied and delighted.
Towards the end of the dinner, the guest speaker, former teacher and now Justice of the Peace, Ivana Baldelli, took her place at the podium and gave an inspirational account of her life experiences and what it meant for her to be a woman in this field. She encouraged everyone to keep active, saying that a healthy body gives a healthy mind. Her energy and positive attitude remained the same as her days as principal of St. Rita Italian Elementary school, greeting all the students as they came in on Saturday mornings to learn the language of their grandparents.
Finally the time came to announce the recipients of the 3 awards; the Rosa Tiezzi award, the Jenny Prosperine award and the Mary Ierullo award. These were awarded to Renata Coppola, Graziella Laboccetta and finally Ivana Baldelli. What qualifies a woman to receive one of these awards? Just reading the resume of these 3 remarkable ladies explains enough. All of them have dedicated countless hours over the years to the Italian community and never asked for anything in return. Their hard work and passion have made their faces recognizable to most in our community. Everyone present at the event would agree that they truly deserved this recognition.
As an honorable mention, the Filo founders Anna Chiappa and Ariella Hostetter acknowledged the former opera singer Maria Pellegrini for her contributions to Italian culture in Ottawa.
All in all the evening was delightful and amicable with wonderful raffle prizes and beautiful silent auction items. It could not have been possible without the hard work of the incredible ladies of the Filo committee; Enza Baiamonte, Angela Ierullo, Bonnie Favilla, Irene Martin, Rita Cuccia, Silvana Timpson, Isa Truglia, Natalina L’Orfano, Lisa Gallinaro, Fabiana Alloggia, and Giuliana Ferri. They dedicated many hours to planning and organizing every aspect of the gala. It also would not have been possible without the outstanding presence and solidarity of every woman at the gala. Finally, it would not have been possible without our Platinum Sponsors:
Airmetrics Energy Services Inc., Centurion Conference and Banquet Center, Davidson’s Jewellers – Bonnie Favilla, Il Postino – Italian Community Center, Kelly Funeral Homes and Chapel, Laviolette Flowers and Wedding Decor Retire-at-Home – Irene Donofrio Martin, Suite Dreams Home Emporium Unrefined Olive (Glebe) We are graciously thankful for the support of our many sponsors.
We will all look forward to next year’s Filo gala taking place on March 6th at the Centurion Conference Center. The Filo committee encourages everyone to mark this date in their calendars and reminds them that tickets are still $45.00. Pictures from this year’s Gala can be viewed on our new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Ottawa.womens.filo Until next year…alla prossima! Pictures on Page 16.