June 13, 2024

In keeping with a long-standing tradition of serving the Italian American community for 92 years, the Lido Civic Club of Washington, D.C. held its annual Charitable Fund Raiser, Gala and Past President’s Night on November 19, 2022 at the Hilton Hotel in Tyson’s Corner and presented the Lido Club’s Man of the Year to civic leader Louis Donatelli.

The Lido Civic Club, founded in 1929, is an Italian American organization dedicated to serving the Washington Metropolitan community through its civic and charitable activities. Since 2002, the Lido Civic Club has provided more than $1M in college scholarships to deserving students.  It has worked with organizations such as the Aleethia Foundation in its Wounded Warriors rehabilitation program, the Villa Rosa Nursing Home, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, Easterseals, and the Casa Italiana Language School.

Our awardee this year is Louis Donatelli.  The Club recognized Mr. Donatelli for his many outstanding civic achievements with a highlight of his career being the delivery of over 2,500 affordable housing units over 20 years. He revitalized neighborhoods and brought needed housing and retail business to historically underserved communities.  This in itself is “Quite an Achievement!”

Lou is an alumnus of Villanova University where for 9 years he served on its Board of Trustees, was a member of the Executive Committee and received the President’s Medal.

Mr. Donatelli also served on the Boards of Directors of Gonzaga College High School, The United Service Organization (USO), The Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. and the Yellow Ribbon Fund.

Lou is a member of The Sovereign Military Order of The Knights of Malta and is affiliated with Associated Catholic Charities, which benefits needy children and families in the Washington area. In 2009, he received the Catholic Business-Man of the Year Award.   Lou is a lifelong Washingtonian, married for 62 years to Ann, a father to 4 children and a grandfather to 11. Lou is a proud Italian American and has made considerable contributions, both civically and professionally, to the community. In 2013, Lou was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) for Contributions in Business.

Following a speech by Mr. Donatelli the Lido Club President. Rich DiPippo honored our past awardees in attendance at the Past President’s Night’s Gala with special recognition allowing all attendees to honor past accomplishments. Keen eyed viewers may be able to spot former Congresswoman Connie Morella “somehow” sneaking into this photo op!

All 280 attendees at the event had a great evening.  The evening began with a Silent Auction, moved on to an outstanding dinner prepared by the Hilton Tyson’s Corner, VA and culminated with dancing to the music from the King Soul band.

The silent auction featured items such as a Tuscan dinner evening, tickets for local professional sports teams, golf outings, hand crafted oil paintings, amazing cabernets, crystal ware and many more wonderful items.

The award presentation was overseen by the Club’s Master of Ceremonies S. Joseph “Joe” Bruno.  As the Master of Ceremonies Joe guided the entirety of events during the evening from dinner to presenting the award to overseeing the fund raising.  With Joe’s guidance the Lido Civic Club what may be a record breaking year for funds raised for charity.

The evening culminated with a great evening of dancing to the chords of the King Soul band, capped by a great performance “Ride Sally Ride: sung by our own Paul Biciocchi.


by Frank Guglelmo

Source: Lido Civic Club