History of The Piave Club Founded 1919 The Piave Club of Columbus was founded by American men of Italian descent in 1919. A Charter was issued by the City of Columbus recognizing the social and service organization comprised of business and professional men in Central Ohio. A Ladies Auxiliary was formed soon there after. The name Piave is taken from a river located in northeast Italy, near Venice, which was the site of a historic battle in World War I.

In the spring of 1918, the Italian army prevailed against the Axis Austro-Hungarian Army as it tried to cross the Piave River and invade northern Italy. Proud Italian-Americans celebrated by naming their club “Piave”. The Club has been in continuous existence since its formation and has served as a fine example of a social organization that can do good work through charitable giving within the community.

In 1955 the Piave Club President, Mr. John Bruno at the time, was instrumental in accomplishing the meeting with our sister city, Genoa Italy. The Christopher Columbus Statue was received from the mayor of Genoa, which now stands at Columbus City Hall. The Piave Club was also instrumental in establishing the Columbus Day celebration in Columbus which was an annual event from the mid 1950’s until 1996. 2005 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Christopher Columbus Statue. The Piave Club commemorates with a wreath laying ceremony on Columbus Day in October.

The Piave Club started a Columbus Italian Festival Parade in 2007 with high school bands competing for a monetary prize for the school band. The Piave Club has held Columbus Day Ceremonies at times at the Santa Maria on the Scioto River, Columbus, Ohio. Continued support by The Piave Club of the Columbus Italian Festival held at Saint John The Baptist Italian Catholic Church located at Lincoln & Hamlet in Italian Village.

In 2009 Norman Young (Di Vittorio) of The Piave Club instituted getting the Columbus Day Memorial Monument from the city of Columbus and reconditioned it for outside and located at Saint John The Baptist Italian Catholic Church located between the church and Italian Cultural Center. This Monument honors past grand marshals of the Columbus Day Parade. 2010 had the parade start at Goodale Park to the Columbus Italian Festival at the church.

Battle of the Piave River flyer

Columbus Piave Club 9th Decade (1999 – 2008)

The ninth decade began with Bill Sabatino serving his second term followed by George Mussi (5 terms), Tony Mangine, Robert Contino (2 terms) and Ernie Reid.

Our Templeton fund grew to a record high of $99,407.98 on November 27, 2006 even though $21,000 had been withdrawn from April 2001 thru January 2006 to balance annual budgets. We continued to award the Scholar Athlete Scholarship at the August Meeting as we have done for many years. There were periodic golf outings, several trips to Indianapolis to watch the Colts and our annual family picnic.

In 2006, Robert Contino initiated an annual mass at St. John’s the Baptist in memory of all deceased club members.

In 2007, we began to take a more active role on the Columbus Italian Festival with Joe Contino as Vice Chairperson and several other members as chairpersons of various activities. John Contino was a Chairperson of the Columbus Italian Parade sponsored by the Piave Club, although small in scope it was the first parade since 1992.

Our Membership ranged from 79 in 1999 to 58 at the end of 2008.

Columbus Piave Club 10th Decade (2009 – Current)

Our tenth decade began with Ernie Reid serving as President (2 terms) followed by John Contino (2 terms). John Contino was chairman of the Columbus Italian Festival 2010 -2011.

The Columbus Italian Parade sponsored by the Piave Club grew to a major event at the festival. Kenton Ridge High School winning the band competition in 2010 and Grove City High School in 2011. The Piave club over the last 6 years has raised more than $18,000 for high school music departments.

Former Columbus Italian Festival chairman and Piave Club member, Gene D’ Angelo was inducted to the City of Columbus Hall of Fame. Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus attended the Piave Club wreath laying ceremony in 2011 and he plans to attend in 2012.

The Piave Club was recognized by the City of Columbus for organizing and promoting Italian culture events in the city. The Piave club will continue efforts into the future with current club president David Ross (2012).