WCS's John Calvelli Will Grand Marshal the 33rd Annual Bronx Columbus Day Parade

Morris Park, NY August, 2009- The Morris Park Community Association salutes Italian Heritage Month with the 33rd Annual Bronx Columbus Day Parade and Concert on Sunday, October 11, 2009 in Morris Park.  The Bronx Columbus Day Parade Committee is honoring John F. Calvelli, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs of the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, as the Grand Marshal.

Tony Signorile, Chairman of The Bronx Columbus Day Parade commented, “As always, I look forward to this wonderful parade celebrating Italian culture, heritage and achievement.  It brings the whole community together and has grown so much that people come from all over the city as well as Westchester and Rockland Counties to see it.  These are people who have lived in the Bronx and have grown up with the Bronx Parade.

“We are very proud to honor John F. Calvelli this year. John is probably best remembered as the Chief of Staff in Washington, DC for Congressman Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) but his public service has spanned two decades and includes work in the Office of then U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani and as Associate Counsel to the New York State Assembly. His current position at the Wildlife Conservation Society builds upon his government work. WCS, headquartered here at the Bronx Zoo, is a global organization committed to saving wildlife and wild places. John’s role as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs keeps him busy but he has never forgotten his roots. He recently returned from Italy where he has spearheaded a public-private partnership between the Italian American community and the U.S. State Department to direct our nation’s response to the L’Aquila earthquake disaster. His years of government and community service coupled with a deep commitment to his Italian heritage make him a natural choice.”

The Bronx Columbus Day Parade is celebrated in the grand tradition of New York Parades and is the largest Columbus Day Parade in the borough as well as the second largest in New York City and possibly, New York State.

Mr. Signorile concluded, ”I am very excited about this year’s event, as we have a spectacular line up in store for the parade.  It means so much to carry on a tradition that so many Italian Immigrants in the area grew up with.  There is also going to be an exciting concert which will be held in Loreto Park after the parade. We are very proud to bring this celebration of Italian pride to everyone in the region.”

Contact:  Mary Dixon, mdixon@wcs.org, 718-220-3711

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