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Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation to honor Florence Condidorio and Joseph Teresi Jr. on Oct. 5

By Billie Owens

Press release from the Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation:

Two “Outstanding Italian-Americans” will be honored at the Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation's Fall Fundraiser on Oct. 5 at Terry Hills -- Florence Condidorio and Joseph Teresi Jr.

Tickets are available at Ben’s Appliance, V J Gautieri & Sons Construction or from any board member. Guests will be served a fabulous “Italian Plate.” This is the foundation’s only fundraiser and all proceeds go to our scholarship program.

Please come out and enjoy a wonderful evening and celebrate the contributions Italian-Americans have made right here in Genesee County. October is National Italian-American Heritage Month!

Any questions and for reserved seating contact Michele Fuller (585) 768-7016.

Florence Condidorio

Florence Condidorio was born in Batavia to Salvatore and Mary Kay DiSalvo. Her grandparents hailed from Roccanova, Potenza Province in Italy. At just 5 years old, she was diagnosed with polio and spent six months at the Rehabilitation Hospital in Ithaca, where she learned to walk again. Her struggle was the impetus which fostered her desire to live helping others.

She married Joseph Condidorio at St. Anthony’s Church in 1953. They are the proud parents of 10 children, 23 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. That doesn’t include all the in-laws either! Despite their size they are a very close family, which they credit to their Italian roots. A past member of St. Joseph’s Church in Le Roy and a devout Catholic, the clergy affectionately recalls them attending mass, the children meticulously groomed, and taking up several pews.

Successful due to her determination and inner strength, NYS certified, Florence opened a day-care center in her home in 1959. She nurtured up to 20 children a day to help supplement their income. After nearly 15 years she decided to go to college. She graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Education. In 1982 received her master’s in science from Brockport and in 1986 a School Administration/ Supervision certificate.

Fresh out of college she was hired by the NYS School for the Blind where she left her mark on the world. She was instrumental in developing a program sending the students home on weekends to be with family and often took home kids that had nowhere to go. Her philosophy being, “There is always room for one more at the table and in our hearts.” She was a key factor in developing the Sensory Park initiative and worked closely with the architects and the Lions Club, which were large contributors. Her commitment and work ethic were exemplary.

Florence still made time to be involved both at school and community. For years she and Joe made their Italian sauce for the spaghetti suppers, was treasurer for HFS PTA, Lioness Club member, foreign exchange student host, chairwoman for Heart Assoc. Drive, and VP for Independent Center for Living.

Her faith in God has never wavered in spite of her life’s challenges. She has touched and made so many lives in Genesee County (especially children) better that it was clear she is an “Outstanding Italian-American.”

Joseph Teresi Jr.

Joseph Teresi Jr. is the son of Joseph A. Sr. and Josephine Zito Teresi. His four grandparents were from Valledoma, Palermo, Messina and Corleone, Sicily. So we think it is an honest assessment in concluding he is 100-percent Italian!

Joe is very proud of his Italian heritage and exemplifies the best qualities of growing up an Italian-American. A lifelong Batavian, he graduated from Notre Dame High School and went on to graduate from Canisius College in 1985. A very devout Catholic, he was a former member of St. Anthony’s Church and its Holy Name Society. Currently, he and his family are members of Padre Pio Parish.

Joe and his wife, Mary Beth, have three sons, Joseph lll (Beverly), Michael and Paul. Both Joseph and Beverly are currently serving active duty with the Air Force. He has a beautiful granddaughter, Emma, and another due in October. His sister Dr. Gina Teresi (Scott Spears) had a practice in Batavia for many years. Joe is all about family and they are definitely his top priority.

Joe is a vice president for Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc. Although his career is very demanding, he is a firm believer in giving back and being involved with your community. Over the years he has volunteered in coaching at Notre Dame High School, Batavia Minor League, Youth Football, GASA, St. Anthony’s Basketball and the YMCA Challenger.

His commitment to service doesn’t end there. Joe has given his time and talents to serve on the boards of Regional Action Phone, NDHS Foundation, Batavia Youth Football, Glow YMCA, Challenger Sports, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

His very impressive resume, pride in his heritage and love for his family and community made him the perfect candidate for the foundation's “Outstanding Italian-American Award.”

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