Giusy Versace broke through the heart of the Italian community living in New York. The exciting story of her ‘second life’, the one that began on the road Salerno-Reggio Calabria on 22 August 2005 when the then 28-year-old Calabrian lost both legs following a car accident and as described in a bestseller published by Mondadori in 2013, was at the center of a meeting organized by the Italian American Sport Foundation at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, in the Park Avenue headquarters, conducted by Director Fabio Finotti and in the presence of the Consul General in New York, Fabrizio di Michele.
Two intense hours of conversation, during which Giusy managed to move and be moved by remembering the darkest and most difficult moments of the first months after the accident, and the happiest ones linked to her rebirth, to her first victories on the athletics tracks, the participation in the Paralympic Games in Rio, the victory of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and then again the conduction of the TV show “Sunday Sports’ on RAI 1 and, finally, entry into the Italian Parliament. A passionate hymn to life, a warning never to give up and to seek new opportunities in difficulties, which drew long applause and a few tears from the large audience present.
Still in the same venue, the evening then continued with a Benefit Reception in favor of Disabili No Limits, the association founded by Versace in 2011, and organized by the Italian American Sport Foundation. During the evening, Alessandro Pinto – Founder and President of the IASF – presented the Foundation’s Awards 2022 to the supporters of the evening, people who believed and supported the initiative from the very beginning. Stefano Versace (no relationship with Giusy), CEO of Konos Ice Cream; Matt Rizzetta, President & Founder of the North Six Group; Al DiGuido, Publisher & CEO of America Domani; Fabio Finotti, Director of the IIC of NY (Italian Cultural Institute of NY) with special mention to the staff of the Institute and in particular to Malina Mannarino for the attention and cordial collaboration offered to the event.
The dinner was enlivened by the music of Jill McCarron, winner in 1995 of the thirteenth Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville.
“I would like to thank Alessandro Pinto and the IASF for organizing this event in support of my association – says Giusy Versace – despite the numerous obstacles encountered in the last year and a half due to the pandemic, which forced them to move the date twice. The result was not to be taken for granted and I found a special and cordial welcome not only in the audience present, but also and above all by the IIC and the Italian Consulate in New York, who did not lack their support for the cause and for this I am really grateful. It was a precious opportunity that enriched me by allowing me to personally meet the President of the Sons of Italy Foundation in America Joseph Sciame, of whose association (OSDIA – Order of Sons and Daughters of Italy in America) I was also named honorary member in 2021.