Member Login

About Us

Columbus Citizens Foundation, a non-profit organization in New York City, fosters appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. Through philanthropic and cultural activities, the Foundation provides opportunities for deserving Italian-American students through scholarships and grants. Since 1929, the Foundation’s most public activity is organizing New York City’s annual Columbus Day Parade - the largest celebration of Italian-American heritage and achievement in the world. Columbus Celebration Weekend includes CCF's Annual Gala Dinner, the wreath laying at Columbus Circle, the Columbus Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue.

More About CCF

Who We Are

The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929.

The Foundation’s Members are prominent and successful Italian-Americans in their communities and beyond, who are proud of their heritage and their American citizenship. They are committed to improving the lives of Italian-American students, and their families, by providing scholarship funding that will help the students develop the skills and tools needed to succeed in life.

The Foundation’s most public activity each year is organizing New York City’s Columbus Celebration, including the Columbus Day Parade, which is the largest celebration of Italian-American heritage and achievement in the world. The celebration is organized by the Foundation’s Members on a strictly volunteer basis, donating their time and expertise to help create the Foundation’s Annual Gala Dinner, the wreath laying at Columbus Circle, the Columbus Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue.

The Columbus Day Celebration is a series of events that celebrate the culture and traditions of Italy, both in the United States and abroad, and is a fundraising initiative that benefits the Foundation’s philanthropic endeavors, one of which is its scholarship programs and their funding.

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.

Mission Statement

Recognizing the incredible impact that our Italian heritage has had on our lives and its contribution to our individual successes, we the Members of the Columbus Citizens Foundation dedicate ourselves to preserving and enhancing the culture, traditions and values we were so blessed to receive. Furthermore, we will commit to honor those that came before us by ensuring that their love of country, family and tireless work ethic are passed to our children and all future generations. We firmly commit to raise and distribute financial aid to educate children in need and pledge to extend ourselves in perpetuating the philanthropic work that has been synonymous with our Foundation.


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.”

Meet The Officers & Staff


Christopher Loiacono, President
Anthony F. Giordano, Vice President
Lawrence Auriana,  Secretary
Claudio A. DeVellis. Treasurer

Board of Governors

Marian U. Pardo, Chair
Michael Arena
John M. Desiderio
Geri Di Costanzo
Joseph Gurrera
Thomas N. Iovino
Dennis Loiacono
Jodi M. Pulice-Smith
Salvatore M. Salibello
Michael D. Sapraicone
Dr. Thomas P. Sculco
Jason DeSena Trennert
Aldo Verrelli 
Angelo Vivolo
Richard T. Warus

CCF Ladies Auxiliary

Annalisa Perfetto, Chair
Dana Romita, Vice Chair
Eileen Tarantino, Secretary
Marissa DiMartino, Treasurer

CCF Young Adults Auxiliary

Diana Picarella, Chair
Gabriella Scala,  Vice Chair
Christopher Marazzo, Secretary
Dennis Mitola, Treasurer


CCF Foundation Staff

Lisa Ackerman, Executive Director

Lisa Hoskins, Assistant Controller

Romeo Nesi, Dining Room Manager

Joseph O'Fallon, Marketing & Communications

Gene Raicovich, Beverage Manager

Juan Ramirez, Maintenance Manager

Antonella Recchia, Director of Audience Engagement

Jo Riordan, Membership Coordinator

Michelle Santoro,  Director of Program Advancement

Deanna Stinziano, Controller

Maria Wilson, Special Events / Banquet Manager

Marguerite Zappa, Executive Assistant


Contact Us

Take a virtual tour of the CCF Townhouse and learn more about CCF's Ladies Auxiliary (LAX) and Young Adults Auxiliary (YAA) below: