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History of the Columbus Citizens Foundation

Each year the Columbus Citizens Foundation reaffirms its pledge to adhere to the ideals for which it was founded – perpetuating pride in our Italian-American heritage, contributing to charitable causes, and encouraging and supporting the educational goals of young people through our grant and scholarship programs.

It was the foresight of two extraordinary men, Judge S. Samuel Di Falco and Generoso Pope, and that of the Founding Members, the sons and daughters of immigrants, that inspired the creation of the Foundation in 1944. With dedication and determination, they fervently agreed to memorialize and foster the contributions of millions of their Italian forefathers who brought to these shores a rich and diverse legacy of tradition, talent, culture, and love of family. Keeping these goals in mind, they charted a course that to this day preserves these attributes and fosters wide recognition of the ever-increasing importance of Italian-Americans in the mosaic that is the United States.

Since its inception, the Columbus Citizens Foundation has disbursed millions in scholarships, grants, and gifts to charitable organizations and worthy causes.

Under the organization and sponsorship by the Foundation, the Annual Columbus Day Parade has become one of New York’s landmark events. Viewed by millions on Fifth Avenue and on television over the years, the line-of-march has been led by many noteworthy and outstanding Grand Marshals, men and women of Italian heritage. The Parade, the Celebration of the Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick, and the Celebration Gala are a tribute to all immigrants who followed Christopher Columbus to America and who helped create our great nation.

At present, the Foundation's Membership includes over 600 prominent men and women of Italian heritage representing the fields of law, medicine, government, business, education, and the arts. Two important and hard-working adjuncts of the Foundation are its Ladies Auxiliary and Young Adults Auxiliary. They are two of the Foundation's strongest fund-raising arms and leading contributors to charitable causes. The accomplishments of the Members individually and in unison as the Columbus Citizens Foundation are many, and they are a source of wide recognition and pride.

Indeed, the Columbus Citizens Foundation has earned its reputation as one of the most prestigious Italian-American organizations in this country.

Membership is by invitation only.

Applicants must be sponsored by two Members of the Foundation.  All applicants must submit an application and are subject to a background check and an initiation fee. 

For additional information, contact Columbus Citizens Foundation at with subject line “Membership Inquiry.”