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As the winter months pass behind us the Italian American Police Society of New Jersey begins a new season of events. Our Annual Gala Benefit Dinner Dance was another huge success enjoying an evening of dancing, gourmet food and fun for a sell out crowd. Our Society was able to recognize leaders of New Jersey's Italian American community and honor a true police hero that lost his life in the line of duty. I thank the Gala Dinner Dance Committee Chairman Alan Sierchio for his hard work. As you read this newsletter the Society is preparing for the Annual Pasta Night for Special Olympics. The Executive Board members will show off their talents in Homemade Italian cooking to prepare a authentic Italian feast in order to raise money for a very important cause. Our Society continues to be a platinum Sponsor of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Over the past few months I have been meeting with the leaders of the NJ State Lodge of the Sons of Italy to discuss issues of mutual interest. The Sons of Italy worked tirelessly with our assistance to pass legislation making October Italian American Heritage Month in the State of New Jersey. Additionally the Sons of Italy continues to work hard to fight the negative stereotyping of Italian Americans in the media. Our meetings continue to grow in attendance as we move them to different regions of the state. I have instituted a program to invite speakers to some meetings to make the meetings more inter-esting. At the March meeting the Society honored hero NY Waterways Ferryboat Captains Brittany Catanazaro and Vincent Lombardi that res-cued the passengers of the US Airways flight that crashed in the Hudson River. Upcoming guests include several Italian Americans from the NY/NJ Media that have been following the progress of our organization. Recently, the Society lost a member that was a dear friend to all of us. Morris County Sheriffs Department Detective Lisa DiPalma lost her life in a battle with cancer this past month. Lisa was a beautiful and courageous young lady who was active in many law en-forcement organizations and rode each year to Washington DC in the Police Unity Tour, even when her disease made it difficult. Lisa will be remembered forever in our hearts and minds. I am truly proud to serve as your president and look forward to making 2009 another successful year for the Italian American Police Society of New Jersey.
William Schievella President