Giving Back

Clark UNICO Celebrates Its Italian Heritage; Annual Essay Contest Winners Announced

Winners of the Clark UNICO annual Columbus Day essay contest with UNICO members and visiting dignitaries. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Reese Passuth read her award-winning essay in which she discussed Columbus as the founder of the Age of Exploration. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Kaitlyn Donkersloot with Valley Road School Principal Joseph Beltramba and teacher Bryan Lowe. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Emily Destito, a 7th-grader from St. John the Apostle School in Clark, wrote about Amerigo Vespucci. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Julia Jaskiewicz, an 8th-grader at Kumpf Middle School, won for her essay on Amerigo Vespucci. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell
Caileigh O'Donnell, a 9th-grader at ALJ, wrote about Joseph Petrocino, a New York City police officer who pioneered the fight against organized crime in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell

CLARK, NJ – As it does every year, the Clark Chapter of UNICO International honored the memory of Christopher Columbus at a ceremony held on Sunday, just a day before the holiday that bears his name. Heavy rain forced the ceremony indoors.

“I’m sure Columbus had much worse weather crossing the Atlantic all those years ago,” UNICO board member and ceremony chairman Henry Varriano quipped.

Joining in the annual celebration were Union County Freeholder Al Mirabella, UNICO District 10 Governor Bill Heron, Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, Superintendent of Schools Edward Grande, Clark UNICO president Ralph Bernardo and members of the Clark Township council, Angel Albanese, Al Barr, Bill Smith, Pat O’Connor and Brian Toal.

Sign Up for E-News

Clark UNICO sponsors an essay-writing contest each year that asks entrants to discuss a famous Italian or Italian-American. The winners were in attendance to share their award-winning essays.

Fifth-graders Reese Passuth (Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School) and Kaitlyn Donkersloot (Valley Road Schoo) wrote about Christopher Columbus.

Eighth-grader Julia Jaskiewicz (Carl H. Kumpf Middle School) and seventh-grader Emily Destito (St. John the Apostle School) wrote about Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Caileigh O’Donnell, a ninth-grader at the Arthur L. Johnson High School, wrote about Joseph Petrosino, a turn-of-the-20th-century New York City police officer who was a pioneer in the fight against organized crime.

Each award-winner received a certificate from Clark UNICO, a certificate from Union County, a Barnes & Noble gift card and a book about immigration.

---------------  is Clark’s official electronic news source and the only free daily paper.  Sign up for our daily enews  and follow us on Facebook and Twitter  @TAPintoClark. Reach our local readers, advertise your business here, email


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union County College’s Drama Club to Present “12 Angry Jurors”

April 26, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College’s Drama Club will be performing for their spring show the play, “12 Angry Jurors,” as adapted by Sherman L. Sergel and based on the Emmy award-winning television movie by Reginald Rose. The play is based on the same plot as “12 Twelve Angry Men,” but by being named “12 Angry Jurors” both men and women appear in the ...

It Must Be Election Season in Garwood

April 26, 2018

It must be election season in Garwood, because we have the inevitable "spin" of Bruce Paterson making its appearance on the editorial page.  I will respond, point by point, with actual facts, to last week’s letter.  

Sara Todisco is an elected member of the so called “insider committee” elected every two years by registered Garwood Democrats referred ...


Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more