A journey home
On June 9, Frank Lazzaro, of Woodville, departed for a long-awaited visit to his home village Fossa, in Abruzzo Italy.
The journey was to be his first trip home since the April 6, 2009 earthquake that devastated the Abruzzo region. Frank will be taking a gift of nearly $10,000 to give to the church in his village. Most of the money was raised at a benefit given by friends and family in his honor. A fund was created, The Fossa Church Earthquake fund at Huntington
National Bank in Woodville
For many years, Frank has been donating his time and culinary talents to local charities. Lake High School, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis and Schedel Gardens are among the charities he has helped.
Frank arrived in the U.S more than 50 years ago with his family to start a new life in Walbridge. Adjusting to their new life was difficult and Frank’s family became homesick for Fossa.
The family made the decision to return to Italy, but Frank wanted to stay. At the time, Frank was only 13 years old and spoke very little English. He was allowed to stay and live with his aunt and uncle in Walbridge. He eventually earned his U.S. citizenship and graduated from Lake High School.
Frank has worked for more than 30 years at Sofo Foods as a consultant and national sales manager.
He continues to visit Fossa each year, with the exception of 2009. (During the time that trip had been planned the family was living in a tent located on a soccer field near the village and his father was living in a small apartment near the Adriatic.)
Temporary housing has been provided to the people of Fossa but the village is currently deserted. Before reconstruction can begin, the aftershocks of the quake need to stop and the mountain above Fossa needs to be secured from falling rocks.
Fossa, L’Aquila is part of the Abruzzo province and is about an hour and a half North East of Rome.
Alumni banquet held
The annual Harris-Elmore High School Alumni Banquet, held May 21 at Ole Zim’s, was attended by 226 alumni and guests.
Among those recognized were John Hovis and four members of the class of 1940; Paul Muenzer and 13 members of the class of 1950; Bill Draeger and 28 members of the class of 1960; Gaillard Oestreich and 12 members of the class of 1945; Paul Blausey and 14 members of the class of 1955 and Mike Yeagle and 19 members of the class of 1965.
The next banquet will be held May 27, 2011.
Woodward High School is seeking alumni of all classes. Alumni are invited to reconnect with fellow Polar Bears on Facebook at Woodward Polarbears.