NIAF News Releases



Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

While David Greco, owner of Mike’s Deli—the original Arthur Avenue Deli, was preparing eggplant parmigiano on The Food Network, Anne Del Raso, wife of NIAF President Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq. was watching. A year later when Ann met David during NIAF’s gala convention weekend, she quickly turned to Joe and suggested a much needed trip to Mike’s Deli to purchase Italian delicacies and tour the famous Arthur Avenue Market. Joe expanded her idea to include NIAF’s leadership and community members in New York. With am immediate call to Bronx’s own John F. Calvelli, NIAF secretary and Wildlife Conservation Society executive vice president for public affairs, a date was set!

NIAF board of directors with David Greco, owner of Mike’s Deli
A tour of the Bronx’s Belmont neighborhood was scheduled for December 5. Belmont is the newest business improvement district (BID) in New York City and one of the only (BID)’s in the country promoting Italian heritage and culture. To celebrate the neighborhood’s designation, John Calvelli, Frank Franz, chair of the Belmont Improvement District, Judge Dominic Massaro and Bronx native Rocco Commisso led the tour. Matthew Di Domenico, Sr., Salvatore M. Salibello and Michael A. Zampardi, members of the Foundation’s board, participated in the tour. The group was also joined by NIAF’s area coordinator Susan Paolercio and scholarship recipient, Giuseppe Poderati of Palermo, Italy. RAI-2 ,CUNY-TV and WLIW filmed NIAF’s visit to a host of delis, bakeries and fisheries surrounding the Market as well as our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Casa della Mozzarella, Borgatti’s and the Belmont Branch Library and Cultural Center. Prior to lunch, David Greco was presented with an honorary award and plaque. Joe Del Raso spoke about the warm hospitality and friendship the Greco family has shown to NIAF.

NIAF leadership during the walking tour on Arthur Avenue

The tour and presentation concluded with a special luncheon at Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue. Delicious pizzas, pastas and Italian specialties were served as everyone enjoyed the camaraderie.of the Christmas season. At another table, NFL hall of fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, was also enjoying lunch with this family and friends from the Bronx. NIAF leaders greeted and gifted him with Foundation pins. After a relaxing lunch, everyone scurried out to stores including Mike’s Deli, Biancardi Meats, Madonia Breads and Randazzo’s Seafood to purchase Italian delicacies sampled throughout the day to bring home to their families.

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