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The mission of LUnione Italiana is to preserve and honor the culture, traditions and heritage of the Italian Community and to maintain the historical facility as a functioning memorial to the working class immigrants.
We will support this mission through the dues and contributions provided by the members, their families, friends, and government. In return we will add value to the membership by providing social activities, fellowship, Italian arts and culture; these activities will provide for growth and stability in the membership, creating a safe and comfortable environment for both members and employees. This atmosphere will provide opportunities for personal and professional growth for our members and our employees.
As the oldest historical leader and the voice of the Italian community, we will operate in an environment characterized by the highest ethical standards and provide open and honest communication with the members and the community.
Over a century ago, LUnione Italiana was founded by a small visionary group who realized that by uniting together, the Italian community of Tampa could overcome many of the social and economic challenges that confronted those "turn-of-the-century" immigrants from Italy.
Since reaching our 100 year anniversary of this venerable organization, we now become the "turn-of-the-century Italians. Because of the courage, imagination, resiliency and pride that our ancestors brought to this country and instilled in us, we find ourselves, at the end of this century, so much better off socially, economically and educationally than our immigrant ancestors were. The image of the gaunt, threadbare, and downtrodden immigrants carrying suitcases has been replaced by the appearance of thriving, frequently fashionable, and confident entrepreneurs, educators and professionals carrying briefcases.
The significant transformation in both the status and the stature of Tampa's Italian-American community, now well into its fourth generation, has provided us with new challenges, evolving needs, and concerns much different than those which faced our predecessors. As a result, the formulas by which LUnione Italiana has operated for over a century no longer effectively served the needs of modern Italians. Since L'Unione Italiana does, indeed, aspire to serve the modern Italians as effectively as it served those early immigrants, we must re-direct our goals to reflect more accurately the interests, identities and profiles of today's Italian-American population. The challenge is to modernize our focus, without abandoning or disregarding the rich heritage that has contributed to what we are today. (Dennis Diecidue, President 1991)
- Katie Olender
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