American Int'l Club of Rome

Community Service Awards 2018/2019

Recognizing your essential support and extraordinary commitment to the goals of an American in Rome to enrich our community and promote international cooperation to help deepen the impact citizens can have in solving our planet's biggest challenges, and believing we can all make a difference.

AMERICAN CLUB OF ROME'S

Global Citizen Award (2018-2019) 

 

(1st Category)

"Distinguished American in Rome"

Recognizing your extraordinary commitment to enrich our community and promote international cooperation to help deepen the impact citizens can have in solving our planet's biggest challenges, and believing we can all make a difference.

  • Rebecca Spitzmiller

  • Tracy Roberts

  • Lori Hickey

 

(2nd Category)

"Distinguished Italian Influencer in Rome"

Recognizing your essential support and extraordinary commitment to the goals of an American in Rome to enrich our community and promote international cooperation to help deepen the impact citizens can have in solving our planet's biggest challenges, and believing we can all make a difference.

  • Simone Vellucci

  • Paola Carra

  • Luigi Capello

  • Andrea Guerriero

 

(3rd Category)

"Distinguished American Religious Influencer in Rome"

Recognizing your extraordinary commitment to enrich our community and promote international cooperation to help deepen the impact citizens can have in solving our planet's biggest challenges, and believing we can all make a difference.

  • Joan Lewis

 

(1st Category)

"Distinguished American in Rome"

Recognizing your extraordinary commitment to enrich our community and promote international cooperation to help deepen the impact citizens can have in solving our planet's biggest challenges, and believing we can all make a difference.

 

(Category: Distinguished American in Rome USA Citizen) 

Rebecca Spitzmiller

Tracy Roberts

Lori Hickey

 

 

Tributes:

 

REBECCA SPITZMILLER

 

It seemed like the natural thing to do; 

“When I see a mess, I fix it. Don’t you?”

That’s Rebecca’s reply

When people ask her why 

She set out to clean up the whole city too.

 

She wanted to draw others into this story.

The first victim - er, volunteer - was the L.A. Earthquake, Lori.

Then came Paola – our Neopolitan Volcano – 

To reach the Italians, to make sure that they know,

Paola translated their message in full dialectic glory!

 

The thrill that you feel when you leap into action

Inviting others so you get lots of traction, 

And by going into schools

Why, we’d have to be fools

Not to multiply the level of Retake satisfaction.

 

Back in 2010 Facebook was new.

It turned out to be key; Retake really grew.

Then Rebecca drafted Simone,

A dir poco, un vero ciclone!

He was the perfect addition to see this thing through.

 

Over the years Rebecca’s dream continued to spread.

The movement seemed to enter into everyone’s head.

And not just in Rome, where she’s made her home;

“Let’s Retake all of Italy,” she always said!

 

This year Mattarella awarded her the Honor of Merit.

She knows it’s for all the Retakers; she’s honored to share it.

Because she has no doubt

It’s sure to come about:

Keep Italy beautiful, for future generations to inherit. 

 

 

Tracy Roberts 

 

This easy-going Californian appeared on Italy's horizon wired like Verizon.

 

With a soft, peaceful smile and a wave of LOVE clutched from home,  

she began to kindle global folks - and even motivate Rome!  

 

From a talk on a terrace the LOVE of ITALY she did inherit,

dreaming to shower its cultural treasures with the respect they truly merit. 

 

Piece by piece the ancient Wonders started tugging at her heart, 

she wished everyone could embrace them, pondering exactly where to start.

 

While banding hearts together and setting minds free (and still sooooo much to do), 

"LOVE is boundless" she persists "and conquers ALL when it is  true".

 

A fresh, new twist to keep the Wonders' HOPES alive with simple people power, 

was warmly welcomed like a flutter of eager butterflies by a lonesome field of flowers

 

Eureka! LOVE is the magic that keeps life from falling apart - like a wizard's surest potion.

The question has become "HOW CAN WE EVER STOP THIS LOVE?'" even if it's just a drop in the ocean. 

 

The culture crumbles while she moves asunder with her unbroken thunder,

but the world smiles back at her in thanks, as do the ancient Wonders.

 

Silence her game show rather than tell her fame. 

Love Italy her game, Tracy Roberts is her name

 

 

LORI HICKEY

 

There was once a brilliant beauty from LA, 

Who took Rome by storm, Hip hip,HURRAY! 

She’d studied urban planning

And the fires she’s been fanning,

Have given the Eternal City hope that will never go away. 

 

Never one to sit idly by

While others pout, complain and cry,

Lori shakes things up

In ways subtle or abrupt

She always has a plan – even if she claims to be “shy.” 

 

Her ideas are never short of grand.

She will always take a stand.

You can count on her support

Be it for serious stuff, or sport,

There’s no one better to lend you a hand.

 

At first, her proposals may shock you.

To get your attention, she may stalk you!

But if you can get on her wave length

You’ll be wowed by her amazing strength

Oh… and her sense of humor will really rock you!

 

When she heard of Rebecca’s hairbrain scheme

To initiate a Retake Team

She didn’t laugh, or hesitate, 

She made a plan; she made us levitate!

And now it all seems like the stuff of a dream. 

 

In nearly ten years, she’s pulled lots of strings

To mastermind amazing events, the craziest things!

Her creativity is practical;

Her MO is tactical, 

She has turned us all into Retake Queens and Kings!

 

Always wanting to stay in the background, 

She always lets others advance to the foreground

She’s taught us all the power of positive thinking,

And puts thoughts into action, without even blinking!

She’s graced us all us in ways that are lasting and profound.♾️

 

Starting in 2010 at Villa Borghese, 

She’s had some wild ideas, uno al mese! 

She simply won’t stop, 

"Bella, Roma"? CHOP CHOP!

Lori is here to keep Italy beautiful, the bel paese!

 

 

(2nd Category)

"Distinguished Italian Influencer in Rome"

Recognizing your essential support and extraordinary commitment to the goals of an American in Rome to enrich our community and promote international cooperation to help deepen the impact citizens can have in solving our planet's biggest challenges, and believing we can all make a difference.

 

(Category: Distinguished Italian Influencer in Rome) 

Simone Vellucci

Paola Carra

Luigi Capello

Andrea Guerriero

 

 

SIMONE VELLUCCI

 

There once was a diligent student of law, 

Striving to eliminate his every single flaw, 

Off to Seattle to study law at U-“DUB”,

He won that battle and returned to the HUB 

of the Eternal City, where he began to draw…

 

on talents he didn't even realize he had:

Speaking up and Cleaning up - to make good out of bad!

He set out to conquer urban degradation:

Litter and tags were spreading across the nation.

He advised taking ACTION instead of complaining and being sad.

 

He came across a kind group of rebels called Retake,

They thought it was possible to give Rome a Remake,

Raising awareness about all we could do

By organizing, energizing and cheering: “YOOHOO!”

He gave it a try, and he made no mistake.

 

The feeling of satisfaction was music to his ears.

His fellow Retakers would offer lots of cheers

For the inroads he’d make.

And for all that’s at stake, 

He’s served as Retake’s President for 5 long years!

 

He’s painted and scraped, and laughed and cried,

“Wake up” “Speak up” “Clean Up”! It’s a crazy ride! 

He damaged a few serrande 

But inspired us all alla Grande!

With concrete hope that can’t be denied.

 

Svalvolati galore, in every part of the city, 

They Retake everywhere, making our neighborhoods pretty. 

From Padova to Palermo

Retake non sta un attimo fermo

Simone's put together the real nitty gritty.

 

Still not even thirty, this young man is now 

Ready to find even broader pastures to plow. 

He’s off to charge up the European scene, 

Planting Retake seeds – staying clean and green,  

Simone, we thank you; please… take a bow!

 

PAOLA CARRA 

 

This wonder woman from Naples is quite a piece of work. 

There was never a challenge she was willing to shirk. 

When Lori and Rebecca reached out to her for aid

In reaching Italians; they were surprised she stayed!

Anyone doubting her abilities must be a real jerk.  

 

She didn’t shun these two strange American dreamers;

She pitched right in, a champion among schemers. 

Her volcanic energy fit right in;

Their antics only made her grin.   

They set out to save Rome from ruin, as happy redeemers. 

 

Her pragmatic approach and ready smile

Were her best weapons against all things vile.

From garbage to cynicism, tags to hate,

Paola to the rescue; she won’t be late!

….Or maybe just a little,  in perfect Italian style. 

 

And when she gets there everyone knows the solution is at hand,

She’ll spark up the party or clear that patch of land.

Her many charms are renowned

That’s why we knew we had found, 

The perfect third co-founder of our Retake brand!

 

Only she was able to understand us and translate into Italian

The energy that was bucking us like a wild stallion!

Instead of taming it,

She started reframing it

In words and actions that would draw a battalion. 

 

She convinced her compatriots to remedy this state,

Thousands have joined the trio – they aren’t willing to wait. 

First Retaking Rome and then the whole boot,

Just when we thought we’d arrived at the fruit, 

We’re calling on Paola again, to step up to the plate. 

 

She’ll take the baton and again take the lead.

She’s the one we look up to, she’s just what we need.

Her flexibility and strength 

Will go the full length

To make sure the mission of Retake will succeed. 

 

So Paola, Simone can surely tell you: 

It won’t be easy, carrying on this creation

It will be trying, and tiring, but not a damnation. 

Now let’s thank them both, and help them too,

For the little and the big things that they both do

to Retake Roma, and save the cradle of Western civilization!

 

 

LUIGI CAPELLO

 

A bundle of raw energy and ideas with high power:

One figure in Rome stands out like a tower.

He's handsome and tall

But smart, above all,

And ready to pitch in anytime, any hour!

 

It’s Luigi Capello I refer to of course.

If you have an idea you want him to endorse,

Show him how it works;

He’ll eliminate the quirks,

Then he’ll back you and help you with all of his force.

 

Rome was suffering from a serious brain drain.

Without start up cash

Ideas were bound to crash

Young people and businesses were all feeling the strain,

Enter Luigi, let him explain!

 

“It's all a question of startup investment.

Let me make a critical assessment.

To see if it's worth

 Putting up cash to give birth

To great ideas that just need some ‘liquid refreshment.’”

 

He knew it could be handled like a simple indenture,

So he took a plunge into a daring adventure.

An idea so brilliant and bold

That when all is told

He even managed to turn urban blight into LVenture!

 

A neglected place inside Rome's Termini station

Became Luigi’s dazzling new location.

It’s a bustling hub full of stars

Who might just put a man on Mars.

Let’s all give Luigi a standing ovation!

 

 

 

(3rd Category)

"Distinguished American Religious Influencer in Rome"

Recognizing your extraordinary commitment to enrich our community and promote international cooperation to help deepen the impact citizens can have in solving our planet's biggest challenges, and believing we can all make a difference.

 

(Category: Distinguished American Religious Influencer in Rome)

Joan Lewis

 

Joan Lewis 

 

 

Born and Raised in the Windy City, she developed some Big Shoulders, 

and an insatiable fire for fact-finding, that no one would ever smolder.  

 

She cheered for the corn to grow, knee high by the Fourth of July, 

but always pressed for more; the WhoWhatWhenWhereHow & Why. 

 

 "Never be backward on going forward", pushed her father for her "Ph.d", 

that's P for PASSION, H for HARDWORK,  D for DREAMS, and she followed all 3.

 

Dipping outside the windy city, to make a new home for herself in Rome,

she did POP a journalism career, covering  All That Jazz around St. Pete's Dome.  

 

As EWTN Rome Bureau Chief she shared, INSIDER stories of the sovereign state and it's steeples,

quenching a thirst for english-language ears, and the Church's 1.3 billion devoted peoples.   

 

She juked into obscure corners, scouting whole stories to report with fresh flair,

often going against the flow like the Chicago River,  while blasting radio waves  into the air.

 

Known to the world  as "Joan's Rome",  by the beloved BLOG of this wiz reporter, 

and affectionately named "Rome's Joan" by the locals who so fully support her.  

 

A native of the Land of Lincoln,  she's a "connecter" like Abe and Route 66, 

even speaking with 4 different Popes, while covering world events & politics. 

 

She opens doors and makes it happen, sometimes with unconventional ways,

like baking tins of toll house cookies, for Pope John Paul back in the days. 

 

Demand grew and grew for these American Favorites, perhaps forcing her to break some unwritten law,

when she finally just flattened the dough on the baking sheets, cutting into squares while still raw. 

 

Over 4 decades of unfaltering, dedicated service, has earned this beloved journalist the throne,

where she keeps her nose busy like a BEAR trailing honey, another most remarkable thing about Joan.

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American Int'l Club of Rome Honorary Members

Lew Eisenberg- Honorary President (US Ambassador to Italy)

Callista Gingrich- Honorary Vice President (US Ambassador to the Holy See)

Kip Tom- Honorary Vice President (US Ambassador to the US UN Mission)

American Int'l Club of Rome 2019/2020 Board
Marcel Kaminstein- President
Marco Elser- Vice President
Fabio Ferrari- Treasurer

Bob Sonnabend- Board Member
Stella Taneva- Board Member
Scotti Rhodes- Board Member
Carlo Papini- Board Member

Anna Tasca- Board Member

Marzia Giua- Board Member
Loretta Dusini- Board Member (US Embassy Liaison)