1. VIP Day For People With Disabilities. Since 1981, the ICC has hosted a special program at Festa Italiana for the handicapped and disabled citizens in our community. Known as VIP Day, the program allows the handicapped and disabled and their caregivers to attend Festa for free during a time period when the grounds are open exclusively for their enjoyment. Some 10,000 to 15,000 VIPs and their caregivers annually take advantage of this opportunity. Festa provides their guests with free fruit and reduced prices on food and beverages.
2. Annual Thanksgiving Dinner For The Less Fortunate. The ICC provides the volunteers, donates food and offers its staff to prepare the feast and deliver it to the meal site. Generally, 400 or more meals are served. This dinner has been going on since the inception of the ICC in 1978.
3. Student Culture Day Program. Presented each October as a Culture Committee project, the program offers elementary or middle school students a hands-on opportunity to be introduced to Italian culture and history in an educational, yet fun way. The long-running program, coordinated and run entirely by volunteers, is part of the ICC’s annual celebration of Italian Heritage & Culture Month and has received high praise from the educational community.
4. Free Children’s Italian Class. For nearly 30 years, the ICC has been offering children, age 6 to 12, a free introductory Italian class on Saturday afternoons. The class is divided into two 10-week semesters in the spring and fall. Over the years, thousands of children have participated.
5. ICC offers many free educational and cultural programs for people of all ages and races. These include lectures by authors, historians and other people, folk dance programs, video presentations, and other activities. In 1992, the ICC spearheaded and participated in all of the Columbus Quincentennial activities in Milwaukee. For many years, the ICC and Festa Italiana participated in the City of Festivals Parade. Over the last several years, the ICC has presented Italian culture at the Holiday Folk Fair at Wisconsin State Fair Park.
6. Donations. Throughout the years, the ICC and its members have made numerous charitable donations, such as: earthquake and tornado relief for the citizens in L’Aquila, Italy to Barneveld, Wisconsin; bulletproof vests for the Milwaukee Police Department; the Italian Immersion Program at Milwaukee’s Victory School for the Gifted & Talented; food pantries; the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Alzheimer’s Association, Habitat for Humanity, the House of Peace, Ronald McDonald House, the Northcott Neighborhood House, and many others.