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Greater Rockford Italian American Association appoints Hall of Fame in 2021

ROCKFORD – The Greater Rockford Italian American Association held their annual Hall of Fame Banquet at the Venetian Club on Saturday.

Rockford Italian Hall of Fame induction is community nominated and selected annually by the GRIAA’s Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Committee.

Mike Doyle was inducted into the Italian Hall of Fame in 2021. Mike has a long career as a writer, Rockford Register Star sports writer, and high school journalism teacher. He has written two books on the fatal Belvidere tornado in 1967 and edited and co-authored many books and publications. He is editor of the GRIAA publication Pappagallo and lead author of the season produced for Rockford’s Festa Italiana.

The Giamalva family, owners of the Palace Shoe Service in downtown Rockford since 1926, were also honored with a special recognition award. This long-standing and popular company has closed its doors in four generations of the family after 95 years of uninterrupted business.

The Giamalva family was honored by the Greater Rockford Italian American Association at the Venetian Club in Rockford on October 9, 2021.

Fran Cicero Nelson and Jerry D’Agostin also received special recognition awards for their longstanding volunteer work at GRIAA’s annual Festa Italiana. The festival is run by volunteers and collects funds for student scholarships.

Fran Cicero Nelson, photographed with her family, was honored by the Greater Rockford Italian American Association on October 9, 2021 at the Venetian Club in Rockford.Jerry D'Agostin, photographed with his wife Kathie and family, was honored by the Greater Rockford Italian American Association on October 9, 2021 at the Venetian Club in Rockford.

Those honored were also honored on Sunday during the annual Columbus Day Mass in St. Anthony of Padua Parish in South Rockford.

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