From the Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation:
The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation Fall Awards Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 24th, at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia.
The Foundation welcomes two recipients this season, Anita Dziekan and Bruno DeFazio.
We will also have our 20/20 Raffle, which supports our Senior Scholarships for high school students.
Tickets event are available from the Foundation board members and VJ Gautieri Constructors Inc., located at 45 Liberty St. in Batavia, and Ben's Appliance, Kitchens and Bath, which is at 634 E. Main St., Batavia.
About Anita Dziekan
Anita Dziekan is the daughter of James R. Mocciaro and Louisa Scammaca from Sicily, who settled in Batavia and had 14 children.
Anita married Richard Dziekan; they had three children Christina, Kathy and Thomas. Anita and her late husband love their grandchildren, Casey, Karlie, Ryan (deceased), Mason and Carson.
A graduate of Batavia High School, she worked at the Surprise Store and the Hiding Place.
But Anita is best known for working at John Kennedy School, where she baked for three Batavia elementary schools. She was the onsite manager at Robert Morris School, Anita worked 26 years for the Batavia School District.
Anita’s ambition for volunteering came from her parents who taught her and other siblings the importance of family values and hard work. She grew up learning to help one another, to love, be respectful of her family and friends, and be proud of her heritage. She is passing this Italian mindset to all who know her.
Anita’s volunteer accomplishments are many. She volunteers at St. Jerome Gift Shop, the United Memorial Medical Center waiting room and she distributes menus to patients. She also assists in the visitor’s booth at the Chamber of Commerce, and for the MOPS -- Mothers of Preschoolers -- at Northgate Free Methodist Church.
In addition, she lends a hand at the Annual Mammoth Sale at St. Joseph Regional School. She's a Counter and Sacristan at Resurrection Parish, helps at the Crossroads House Annual Garage Sale, and donates her time to the American Red Cross blood drive and for Catholic Charities.
Anita is currently a member of OFA Advisory Board, Sodality at Resurrection Parish, St. Jerome Guild, UMMC League, and RSVP for the county Office for the Aging. She serves as an inspector for Genesee County Board of Elections and belongs to the Suncatcher Garden Club.
She participates in planting for Business Improvement District on Main Street downtown and assists in maintaining flowers at the Richmond Monument at the Harvester Cementary.
The spice of Italian life is essentially Anita Dziekan. Her family life, upbringing, culture and care are quintessentially Italian and completely deserving of this Paolo Busti Italian American Award.
About Bruno DeFazio
Bruno DeFazio was born in Teglio, Italy in 1952. He lived there for seven years.
In April 1959 with the help of Catholic Charities he was adopted by Alphonso and Genevieve (Caccamise) DeFazio.
He attended St. Joseph’s School and graduated in 1970 from Notre Dame High School. He graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree from Genesee Community College in 1972.
In 1973 he married Elizabeth (Lee) Costa and together they raised two beautiful daughters, Christina (Tim) Carvel and Stacy (Jason) Wentworth.
His family is the most important part of his life. He is always there for them and now can spread the love and support with his six grandchildren as well: Brayden, Nolan, Matthew, Addison, Tyler and Dominic.
Bruno is an active member of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Le Roy.
He retired from Le Roy Central School District in 2017 where he was a maintenance mechanic.
Living in Le Roy for 46 years, he has been active in many organizations and sports programs. He was one of the first coaches for Le Roy Youth Soccer, and he also coached Le Roy Youth Football and Le Roy Little League. He was supportive of his daughters during their involvement in sports and continues to cheer the local teams.
He has served on several boards including: Le Roy Jaycees; Knights of Columbus Edward Powers Council 2936; the Le Roy Historical Society -- where he currently oversees all building maintenance; the Le Roy Christian Community Project; Oatka Festival Committee; and as councilman for the Town of Le Roy, where was once was deputy supervisor. He currently serves on the Genesee County Parks and Water Commission.
Just last week, the Botts-Fiorito Post #576, American Legion, Le Roy, announced De Fazio is this year's “LeRoyan of the Year."
His community involvement is a tribute to his Italian-American heritage, good work ethics, and strong family foundation instilled by his family. If you live in a community be a part of it. It’s the right thing to do! The Paolo Busti Italian American Award is being proudly presented to him.
(Photo of DeFazio, courtesy of Joan Fernaays.)