Celebrating Olympic 'sisterhood'
Close to 400 folks joined the Italian Center of the West in Salt Lake City's "Little Italy" on Jan. 13 to celebrate the official "sisterhood" of two great Olympic cities, Salt Lake City and Turin, Italy, with Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and Vice Consul of Italy Giovanni G. Maschero signing the proclamation.
It was cold, but hearts were warm. Blue and white Olympic volunteer jackets were everywhere and Olympic pins glittered on almost every lapel.
The 2002 Games' most senior volunteer, Ida Brunatti ("I was 90,'' she said), wore her volunteer jacket and attended with son Dennis Brunatti; Lauren Cortes wore only a few of her 300 pins.
Homewood Suites by Hilton (423 W. 300 South) opened two party rooms, thanks to George Smith, and Tzumba! Italian Band provided the sound of tradition. Mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson and sister Miriam Costa-Jackson provided the sound of beautiful opera.
Food and drink hosts included Paul Colosimo serving Colosimo sausages on a bun, and Chris DeVito's Pizza Cart making a rare winter (and indoor) appearance, joining a parade of Luna's Italian Ices, Italian Sodas, Carlucci's Bakery pastries, goodies from Biaggi's Italian Restaurant and Tony Caputo's Deli and Market.
"We hope this becomes an annual event to keep the Olympic Torch burning in our hearts," Jinger LaGuardia said, adding, "Tanta grazie!" for the support.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Luncheon
Keepers of the dream
The 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Luncheon Jan. 15 brought 450 people to Little America Hotel to honor the civil-rights leader's life and words, with special praise for the late Coretta Scott King, who died in January 2006.
John Florez, educator and founder of Latino civil-rights organizations, received the 2007 MLK Civil Rights Award for his efforts to advance civil rights in the state, and Jean Tracy, convention sales director for the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, received the Rosa Parks Award honoring a Utah woman who has helped to "Keep the Dream Alive."
Emcee and NAACP Tri-State Conference President Edward L. Lewis Jr. introduced honored guests including Florez, Tracy, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, honorary event chairman Kent Murdock, Betty Bergquist, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and guest speaker John Jackson, NAACP Chief Policy Officer, while Salt Lake Branch President Jeanetta Williams welcomed guests and presented the essay contest winners.
Among the guests
Boyer and Pat Jarvis, M. Donald Thomas and Janet Coleman Thomas, Denise Elbert, Kimberly Fountain, Dorothy Anderson, Sophia Allcott, Marian and Robert Runnells, Frances Battle, Judge Andrew Valdez, retired Judge Raymond Uno, Wendy and Robert Rendon, Ann Mayne, Luckie Giahyou, Myra Harris and Carrie Drew.
* Womenade of Salt Lake City will meet Wednesday, 7 to 9 p.m., Sego Photo, Art and Frame Gallery, 620 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City, to help women achieve self-sufficiency. Bring a dish to pass, a friend or two and $35.
* Join Rotary Club of Sugar House and several of your favorite charities for the annual Chili Open Friday, 5:30 p.m., Grand America Hotel, 555 S. Main St., Salt Lake City. Tickets are $75; call 801-867-1867 or 1-888-209-0230.
* The Salt Lake Chamber honors Larry H. Miller as "A Giant in Our City" Feb. 7, 6 p.m., Grand America Hotel, 555 S. Main St., Salt Lake City. Black tie invited. Tickets are $150; call 801-328-5050.
* Salt Lake City Public Library Gala is Feb. 10, 8 p.m. to midnight, at the Main Library, 210 E. 400 South. Music, dancing, hors d'oeuvres. Tickets are $100; call 801-524-8200.
* Join the McGillis School Mardi Gras on Feb. 10, Salt Lake Marriott Downtown, 75 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City. Social hour begins 5:30 p.m., live auction 8 p.m. Tickets, $90; call 801-583-0094.
* Utah Arts Festival Tardi Mardi time is Feb. 24, 7 p.m. to midnight, Salt Lake Hardware Building, 105 N. 400 West, Salt Lake City, complete with Texas Hold 'em Tournament. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Visit http://www.uaf.org or call 801-322-2428.
* Experience "Dining for the Arts" with the College of Fine Arts dinner series. Next available is "Irish Luck," March 15, 6:30 p.m., Governor's Plaza, 560 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City. Suggested donation is $75; seating limited to 40. Call 801-581-6764. Other dates available: April 12, May 3 and June 23.