Make Nonna Romana the next Grand Marshal of the NYC Columbus Day Parade!

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For the past decade Nonna Romana Sciddurlo has been a beacon of light in the Italian-American Community. Through the web based Cooking show that she appears on with her granddaughter Nonna Romana has managed to touch the lives and enter the hearts of the millions of viewers who experience her natural warmth. 
As the Columbus holiday continues to face division and controversy and Italian American icons like Mother Cabrini are ignored by the media we think an entity as prominent as the Columbus Citizens Foundation and parade should take this opportunity next year and thereafter to begin recognizing and honoring the unsung bedrock of our Italian American identity: The Nonna!

I was on Facebook yesterday and saw a post jokingly referring to Nonna Romana becoming the Grand Marshal of the parade. I thought to myself why not make this real? Why not honor someone who is a universal figure of love who can bring people of all opinions together, because if there’s anything people in our community can agree on it’s that our Nonna’s are all precious and should be celebrated.

I’ve been a fan of Cooking With Nonna for some time now and watching Nonna Romana brings me back to a place of complete love. Love for my heritage and love for family. This is what it should mean to all of us to be Italian-American!

Facebook: 10/14/19

My Nonna Romana came to this great country from Mola di Bari, Puglia in 1964 as a 31 year old widow with two small children. Her only dream was to save enough money to be able to afford a humble apartment in her hometown. For more than 20 years she worked making men’s coats at the Howard clothing factory in Brooklyn for $40 a week. She endured, she suffered. She never once complained and is a living, breathing example of what I believe is the greatest generation that ever lived.

Fast forward a half a century and Nonna Romana fills so many with joy as soon as the phrase “hallo, imma Nonna Romana” leaves her lips. When I sit and think of the cultural phenomenon she has become I am moved to tears. I feel so fortunate to have grown up with her comforting presence in my life and I’m so glad I’ve been able to share her with the world. In so many ways, she has become everyone’s Nonna!

As I sit at my desk this evening signing a stack of cookbooks for fans I feel so grateful for the career I was able to build for myself knowing that without my Nonna’s tremendous sacrifice, none of it would have ever been possible.

Today as I walked the Columbus Day Parade in NYC I couldn’t shake the feeling that we are a community divided, a community under constant attack. We need to be reminded of the values that make Italian-Americans one of the greatest immigrant groups in this country. A group that considers family and tradition sacred. A group that values hard work, and most of all, love ❤️