Five accomplished Italian Americans whose families are part of the fabric of Monterey County will be honored Saturday by the Italian American Cultural Center Foundation at its ninth annual celebration dinner.
The event at the Marriott Hotel in Monterey will honor brothers Michael and Frank Bruno, Mary Melicia Benech, Jeff Davi and Joseph LoManto. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour, followed at 7 p.m. by a program to be emceed by Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala.
The nonprofit Italian American Cultural Center Foundation was created to honor and preserve the traditions and culture of the Italian families who immigrated to the Peninsula and Central Coast more than 100 years ago.
· Michael Bruno, a third-generation Italian American who was born in 1960. He had a 10-year career as an Alaska fisherman, was an electrician who founded Bruno Electric in 1984 and is involved in buying and selling real estate. He is a board member of the John Spadaro Youth Football Foundation and Monterey High School Baseball and Softball, and is a youth baseball coach and a charity fundraiser.
· Frank Bruno, who was born in 1947, is a general contractor who has owned and operated Frank Bruno Builder Inc. since 1980. He has coached baseball and softball for 25 years, was a board member for Monterey PONY Baseball for the past 14 years and was co-chair of the Bronco World Series for 18 years.
· Mary Benech, who worked as a packer on Cannery Row after graduating from Monterey High School, then served as catalogue manager at Montgomery Ward for 20 years. Her charity work includes 37 years of service at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. She is a 17-year member of Italian Catholic Federation Branch No. 36 and has volunteered at Festa Italia and the Alliance on Aging, among other places.
· Jeff Davi, a third-generation Monterey County resident, who was was born in 1957 and attended Stevenson School. He has nearly 25 years in real estate sales, management and financing, and has received multiple prestigious titles, positions and awards. He was selected Realtor of the Year by his peers in 1993.
· Joseph LoManto, who was was born in 1932, attended local schools and served in the Navy. An insurance career led in 1980 to the formation of Dillenbach and LoManto Insurance Agency in Monterey. He was a 30-year board member for the Gateway Center and has volunteered for 51 years for the Crosby Clambake and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. LoManto was involved in Boy Scouts, helped create a girls softball league and assisted with the Bronco World Series. He spent 20 years with the National Draft Board and served a year on the Monterey County Grand Jury.
Dennis Taylor can be reached at 646-4344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.