News Briefs

Sicilian-American Society donates to Foley Cancer Center

Courtesy of Rutland Regional Medical Center

Members of the Sicilian-American Society present a check to the Foley Cancer Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center. Front row (L-R): Grace Rizzico and Mary Henrichon. Back row (L-R): Dr. Rick Lovett, Jo-Ann Rotella Ballard, Michael Poalino, Guido Rotella, Jerry Henrichon, Dr. Allan Eisemann and Tom Huebner, pres.and CEO of RRMC.

RUTLAND–Members of the recently disbanded Sicilian-American Society gathered outside the Foley Cancer Center to present a check for $38,150 to benefit cancer patients at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

Founded in 1927, the Sicilian-American Society was a formal way for Italian immigrants to provide support to those who recently immigrated to the United States. Long-time member of the club, Guido Rotella, age 97, explained, “The first members of the Sicilian-American Society . . . came to America a few at a time seeking a better life for themselves and future generations. They spoke no English and had limited education, and although America offered more opportunities than their beloved native land, they soon realized they would have to look out for one another in their adopted home.”

The Society started a food co-op and invested dues and profits to establish a scholarship fund and provide financial support for families in need.

“Now, our society having met its goals,” said Rotella, “We decided to disband and to donate our remaining funds for the good of the larger community, specifically, the Foley Cancer Center, which has served so well so many members of the society and their families, as well as other residents of the Rutland Region. We consider this donation a perfect realization of the Society’s values and a most appropriate tribute to both its 89 years of service and the memory of its forward-thinking founders.”

“This gift is so meaningful to the Foley Cancer Center,” said Allan Eisemann, M.D. and medical director of the Foley Cancer Center. “The generosity of the Sicilian-American Society will support our commitment to patient care ensuring that our community has access to leading-edge, patient-focused cancer care.”

“We hope that this donation encourages others to do the same,” added Rotella. “Cancer touches the lives of so many people; we want it to benefit those.. .seeking help.”

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