Around the UFT

Bocce, awards on the menu

UFT Italian-American Committee events

Bruce Cotler

Contestants and others after the games. More photos >>

Miller Photography

Pallotta (fourth from right) with current and former District 10 chapter leaders (from left) Farheen Malik, Paulette Camarinos, Marcus Escobar (the current UFT District 10 representative), Irith Insler, Kiew Steshenko, Gail McLean and Veronica Sutton.

Bruce Cotler

Pietromonaco, doubling as judge, measures the distance of the bocce ball nearest the small ball, known as the pallino.

June was a busy month for the UFT Italian-American Committee. First up on June 16 was the group’s annual bocce ball competition, held this year at Staten Island’s Basilio’s Restaurant. Wet courts at the restaurant forced the attendees to move the event 300 yards to the public courts, where 32 players broke into teams of four. There was to be no home-court advantage, as the team from the Bronx won. “They had the advantage — they didn’t practice,” quipped event organizer Emil Pietromonaco, the UFT borough representative for Staten Island. The event also raised more than $1,000 for the union’s Disaster Relief Fund. The committee regrouped on June 21 at a West Village restaurant, to honor NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta with its Jeannette DiLorenzo Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the late social studies teacher who served as union treasurer from 1972 to 1993. Pallotta, a 24-year classroom teacher who was subsequently appointed Bronx’s District 10 representative before becoming a NYSUT vice president in 2009, was cited for his “long career as a union activist, union leader and educator.” While much of the evening inevitably took on the character of a roast, it had its reflective moments, too. “These events make a big difference to us,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. “It allows us a moment to relax, reflect and celebrate.”

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