WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Orange/West Orange chapter of UNICO, the largest Italian American service organization in the country, will host its 39th Annual Sports Awards Breakfast on Sunday, February 24th at 10 am in the Tarnoff Cafeteria at West Orange High School. 

The event honors ‘unsung heroes’ from local high schools and within the community. It also pays tribute to the late Brian Piccolo, the famed Chicago Bears running back who died of cancer at the age of 26. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $300,000 dollars for student scholarships and local organizations.

Each year the breakfast honors an outstanding male and female student athlete from four local high schools, including West Orange High School, Orange High School, Seton Hall Preparatory School and Golda Och Academy. 

“We wanted to honor those individuals that embody the spirit of teamwork and selflessness,” said Ben Spinelli, who was the driving force to start the breakfast and serves as master of ceremonies. “It is a great community event that is looked forward to annually.”

Vince Papale is a former Philadelphia Eagle whose story inspired the Hollywood movie ‘Invincible.’ Papale will be the  guest speaker at the breakfast. He is one of the top motivational speakers in the country as well as  a critically acclaimed author. Past sports celebrity speakers include former Rutgers University athlete Eric LeGrand, football legends Wayne Crebet and Carl Banks, sportscaster Warner Wolf, Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello, famed sports writer Jerry Izenberg, N.J. Gov. Richard 
J. Codey and Brian’s Piccolo’s brother, Don Piccolo.

For additional information, please contact Rob Parisi at 973-325-3372 or rdparisi@rdparisiassociates.com. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the door.

For more info: