Vincenzo La Gamba
Vincenzo Maria La Gamba was born in Polistena ( Province of Reggio Calabria) on September 12, 1946. He came to US on June 28, 1969 after graduating from the Institute of Engineering of Gioia Tauro to fulfill his American Dream.
He attended New York University to study intensively the English Language before he was employed by J.R. Stevenson for the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains in the late 60”s. From there on his involvement in various phases of public work projects is countless. The hard work, perseverance and dedication to his profession made Vincent climb the ladder of success with grace and pride. He recently retired from work after 40 years of achievements as Project Manager, Professional Estimator and Cost Analyst. He worked for four of the New York most prestigious construction companies: Elite Associates, AMCC Construction Co., AFC- Catapano and WDF, Inc.
He has been on the front line for the last 35 years with respect to the affairs of the Italian American Community: socially, culturally, professionally, religiously , projecting a new sense of pride and achievements in the entire gamut of American life.
He has been recognized by the late Pope John Paul II for a poem dedicated to him, which is part of his Poetry Book “Blossoms of Faith”, printed in October 1981.
Mrs. Nancy Reagan and Mrs. Matilda Cuomo recognized Vincenzo M. La Gamba for his involvement as Chairman of “Ponte Italia-USA-1985, an exchange program between handicapped students of Italy and the N.Y. Board of Education. This was one of the first programs in the world that took place in Italy as well as in the US three times in the late ‘80’s.
He belongs to various charitable organizations in order to help the poor, the homeless and the underprivileged. His inclination to the needy made him answer a call to become a Deacon of the Catholic Church. After two years of preparation and five years of formation at the Cathedral Prep in Elmhurst, he was ordained Deacon on May 19, 2007 by the Diocese Bishop of Brooklyn and Queens, Most Reverend Nicholas Di Marzio, Ph.D., D.D.
Bishop Di Marzio has recently nominated Deacon Vincenzo as Coordinator of the Italian Apostolate of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens with the motivation to “be vital part of realizing the common mission to evangelize and welcome all immigrants as active members of the Church in Brooklyn and Queens”.
He is currently incardinated to the Parish of St. Francis De Sales R.C.C. in Belle Harbor, where he lives with his lovely wife of 37 years Isabella and his daughter Maria Itria recently engaged to Cosimo Mazzaferro. His first born Joseph Pio, married to Micaela in 2005, will receive a Master Degree in Business Administration this forthcoming May. Both Joseph Pio and Maria Itria have graduated from St. John’s University, respectively in 1997 and 1999.
He has been recently elected President of the Calabria Regional Association, renewing his commitment to the Calabrese Community for whom he served as President from 1988 to 1992, by showing pride of his own heritage, culture, tradition and origin.
He also has recently received the “2009 Humanitarian Award” from the Brooklyn Italians Soccer Club, the oldest Italian-American soccer Club of USA, who has celebrated the 60th Anniversary on April 4, 2009 at “El Caribe”. On that occasion Deacon Vincenzo ha received recognitions from General Consul of Italy in New York Ministro Francesco Maria Talo’, Borough President Marty Markowitz, NY State Senator Marty Goldin; NY State Assemblymen Bill Colton and Peter Abbate; City Councilmen Dominic Recchia and Vincent Gentile.
His hobby is journalism, which he started in Italy at the age of 19 by working for “La Gazzetta del Sud” of Messina. He has been a free-lance writer for “Il Progresso Italo-Americano” and “America Oggi for the past 35 years. He has currently a weekly by-line on Religion in the daily newspaper “America Oggi”.
Deacon Vincenzo has received in the past four decades numerous awards for his outstanding role in the Italian-American Community in addition to his involvement in religious, social, sport, cultural activities, his love for Poetry, dedication to his work and profession.Honorary President of 'A.T.L.HA (Associazione Tempo Libero Handicappati- Milan), Father Antonio Mazzi, President; "Calabria-America 1996 Award" from Centro d' Arte e Cultura "Bruzio" of Gioia Tauro. "Man of the Year 1993 Award" from Calabria Regional Association of Brooklyn. Special recognition in the the Book “CalabriaAmerica”, written by RAI Journalist Pino Nano of Cosenza and printed by Amministrazione Provinciale di Catanzaro 1988; Certificato di merito della Camera dei Deputati dello Stato di New York, from Assemblyman Hon. Frank Barbaro. 1989 - Certificato di merito della Camera dei Deputati di Washington from Congressman Hon. Joe Addabbo. 1993; Citation from NY City Councilman Hon. Salvatore Albanese, 1993; Proclamation from Borough Brooklyn President Hon. Howard Goldin. 1993; Citation from NY Congressman Hon. Charles Shumer ( currently NY Senator ). 1993; Citation from NY State Senator Hon. Robert Di Carlo, 1993; Citation from NY Assemblyman Hon.Peter Abbate.
Other Awards: Consolato Italiano a New York, Federcalcio Statale di New York , Brooklyn Italians Soccer Club, San Vito di Ciminna, San Francesco di Paola-Amantea, Liac (Lega Italo-Americana Calcio) di New York and Long Island Soccer Football League.
La Gamba, Biography» 15 Maggio 2009,