Two Oneonta businessmen will be honored as Citizens of the Year by Hartwick College in October, the college announced Friday.
A reception to honor Vincenzo Avanzato and Antonio Avanzato, co-owners of Stella Luna Ristorante in Oneonta, will be held Oct. 26* in the Foreman Gallery of the Anderson Center for the Arts.
The event will be hosted by the Hartwick College Citizens Board, which selects honorees for the annual award. The award, established in 1980, honors a member or group of members of the greater Oneonta community for exemplary service to Hartwick College and the surrounding area.
“Both in my role as President, and on a very personal level, I am delighted that the Citizens Board has chosen to recognize Vincenzo and Antonio as the Hartwick College Outstanding Citizens of the Year,” Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich said in a media release. “They have been loyal supporters of, and advocates for, the college for many years. Their long-term commitment to serving as a high-quality business presence has benefited our entire community. They are fully deserving of this recognition.”
Tickets to the reception, which will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, are $20 per person or $30 per couple. The fundraising that is taking place in their honor in conjunction with this event will support projects within the Binder Physical Education Center and the Anderson Center for the Arts on the college campus.
Among the lengthy list of accomplishments which were considered in Vincenzo Avanzato’s selection as co-Citizen of the Year, he has been: Host and sponsor of the Wick Athletic Association Wine Auction for 10 consecutive years; coordinator of the Children’s Christmas Program for local children; and volunteer for St. Mary’s Church.
“I am grateful,” Vincenzo Avanzato said of the recognition. “I never expected to be honored. I wasn’t looking to be in the limelight; it is rewarding to be connected with Hartwick and to be able to have an impact in the area.”
Antonio Avanzato’s list of achievements which led to his selection as co-Citizen of the Year include: Host and sponsor of the Wick Athletic Association Wine Auction for 10 consecutive years; coordinator of the Children’s Christmas Program for local children; volunteer for St. Mary’s Church; and host of the weekly radio show “Voice of the New Italy” on WZOZ 103.1 FM.
“I am humbled and honored,” added Antonio Avanzato. “I am happy to be working with Hartwick to support both athletics and the arts.”
Both brothers have made donations to the college for several years.
*Editor's note: This story was edited at 11 a.m. Oct. 3 to correct the date of the event.