Local Italian Americans look to help Italy after earthquake - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local Italian Americans look to help Italy after earthquake

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Local Italian American clubs are looking to help Italy after earthquake. (WFSB) Local Italian American clubs are looking to help Italy after earthquake. (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

As the death toll continues to climb in that devastating Italian earthquake, closer to home many are keeping a close eye on it.

That’s because Connecticut is home to a large number of Italian Americans.

On Wooster Street in New Haven, you can find a number of Italian restaurants and pastry shops, and it’s also home to the oldest Italian American Club in the state, whose members have been monitoring the news.

Tony Vitolo, the club's vice president, is heading over to Italy next month and Wednesday morning he sent texts to two friends who are currently there visiting. 

"Asking them if they felt the aftershocks, the tremors, they haven't replied, so I’m wondering if communications is down or disrupted,” Vitolo, of the Santa Maria Maddalena Society, said.

Around the corner at the Saint Andrew Apostle Society, Andrea Colavolpe, who settled in the U.S. in 1947, said he has three sisters still living in Italy, and the 87-year-old says learning of the quake brings a tear to his eye.

"Definitely it makes me worry. I've got a sister in Rome and two nephews,” Colavolpe said.

Down along the West Haven shore, at the bocce court, the games are good fun, but today, they're played with the grim news of a country many have a connection to.

"Just devastating, it's amazing just how much destruction there is. For a whole city to get wiped out, you can't imagine that,” said Anthony Vendrella, of West Haven.

Many Italian Americans in Connecticut said they are ready to help, which is something they’ve done before.

"We’ve sent support in the past, financial support, when the earthquake struck our region,” Vitolo said.

The Santa Maria Maddalena Society said they'll likely rally its members and then hold some sort of fundraiser to help the victims of the earthquake.

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