Pannese Society, Rosario Club join forces to help community


It’s no secret that Joseph Spremulli, the ageless president of the Pannese Society of Rhode Island, has made a habit of helping people in need, especially during the holiday season.

“I don’t like seeing people struggle, especially when it comes to food,” Spremulli, who will soon turn 88, said recently while loading up a record number of food baskets that the Pannese Society donated to Our Lady of Grace Church Food Drive, which annually helps families in need during the holiday season. “Our society has made this a tradition.”

Never before, though, has the Pannese Society joined forces with the Rosario Club, which is located in the Silver Lake section of Providence, for an act of cooperative giving.

Thus, Spremulli – who is a longtime member of the Rosario Club – called Treasurer Frank A. Ciccone III and suggested that the two Italian-American nonprofits do something special for needy families and that he had an idea of just who to contact.

Ciccone, who doubles as a Rhode Island state senator and chairs the Labor Committee, agreed, so the two men set up a meeting with Tony Zompa, director of the Johnston Senior Center, to discuss their plan.

“This was really nice,” Zompa said. “It was without question perfect timing; it came at the right time just before the holidays.”

Zompa, who was thrilled with the idea, told Spremulli and Ciccone, “we have people with families in need, especially during this time of year and this will go a long way in helping those people.”

So, on behalf of the two societies, Spremulli and Ciccone hand-delivered 25 spiral hams to Zompa at the JSC, and the two men later declared, “we just might do this again next year!”

To which Zompa added: “Thank you for thinking of us. We always have families in need of food and this donation is greatly appreciated.”


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