The second award of the evening was presented to Frank T. Saponara of Gaetana’s Cucina Italiana. The son of Italian immigrants, Frank grew up in the Village and uses his restaurant as a means to give back to his community. Every year, he hosts dinners for the elderly on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, never expecting to be recognized for his act of kindness. He sees his contribution as setting an example for his 21-year old daughter, who is about to finish her studies in theater this May.
After the short awards ceremony, the celebration of the community kept going with dinner and dancing and the Yankees game on mute. As a thank you, attendees received a hard-cover book named after the event which celebrates a variety of contributors to the Village culture.
The rest of the night was enjoyed by all as the band played classic tunes like “The A Train” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Judging from the dance floor, I learned the Villagers not only care about their community – but also know how to swing some old school style moves.
Photography by and � Keith Lew
More photos on page 3 and 4!