About Us

who we are

About Italian Women’s Civic Club

The Italian Women’s Civic Club (IWCC) was organized in 1919 by 20 civic-minded women who joined efforts to educate women voters in citizenship, study civic concerns, and work for the beautification of Rochester. They soon discovered that education played a key role in fulfilling these goals.

Since 1924, IWCC members have volunteered their time by participating in a variety of local events and functions. During World War II, they sold war bonds and stamps, volunteered as nurse’s aides for the American Red Cross, and assisted at the U.S.O. Members also collected books and records for Italian prisoners of war and sent food, clothing and financial aid to Italian orphanages.

Picnics were held for widows and orphans of Italian heritage and the elderly. Humanitarian efforts were directed to the people of Italy and Hungary during the Florence Flood Relief Campaign and the Hungarian Relief Fund. Locally, during that time, members provided economically disadvantaged families with the necessities to survive, and initiated projects that benefited many local charities.

Dante Scholarship Fund Creation

The Dante Scholarship Fund was created in 1921 to assist young men and women of Italian heritage in pursuing a college education. The scholarship was named after the great Italian Poet, Dante Alighieri. To raise money for this fund the IWCC joined with the Dante Alighieri Society and held their first scholarship dance. Shortly after, the society disbanded and full responsibility of continuing this event was assumed by the IWCC.

The fund has provided tuition assistance to students attending the University of Rochester since 1923, then expanded in 1954 to St. John Fisher University and Nazareth University.

The IWCC Today

The IWCC conducts philanthropic activities primarily in the Rochester area which focus on meeting the needs of local charities and organizations that serve children and women, people with special needs, veterans and the elderly.

The IWCC budget allocates money to various organizations and also allows for emergency needs. The IWCC Community Council and Chairwomen for events, research local projects for the purpose of donating to their cause. To enhance donations, various fundraisers are held; raffles, fashion shows, casino night, and giving baskets at each general meeting. All have proved to be financially successful in raising funds for these worthy causes.


Membership is open to all women with an Italian heritage and who are interested in serving the Rochester community. Currently membership averages 123 members.

The officers consist of the President, First and Second Vice Presidents, Corresponding and Recording Secretaries, Treasurer, Budget & Audit, and five members of the Board of Directors. Past Presidents also serve on the Board as advisory personnel. Also selected members chair committees and standing events.


Cathy Riehle


Linda Agresti

1st Vice President

Kathy Di Gabriele

2nd Vice President

Susan Palermo


Ellie Bonagura

Recording Secretary

Kim Fasciano

Corresponding Secretary

Annette Moscato

Budget & Audit

Board of Directors

Lorie Durfee

Mary Louise Frank

Gloria Harrington

Karyn Turner

Patty Bellittera

Become a Member

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The IWCC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and relies on the financial support from private individuals, businesses, and proceeds from various community events held throughout the year.