The Amerigo Vespucci Society (AVS) of Long Branch, New Jersey, held its Annual Tripe Dinner. The traditional dinner was begun over 50 years ago by Thomas Gagliano Sr. who arrived in this country in 1920 from Italy. His son, S. Thomas Gagliano Jr, a retired attorney and a former New Jersey State Senator and later his sons, would join in the festivities. This year, the Gagliano sons honored their late father who passed away in April.
AVS President Samuel Pandure stated, “We renamed the annual dinner the ‘Gagliano Family Tripe Dinner’ in honor of the late Tom Gagliano Jr. He was a member for over 50 years.”
Leonardo Giordano, an AVS member, assisted by fellow members Joseph Valentino, Joseph Mossa and Frank Valentino prepared over 120 pounds of tripe, as well as antipasto, sausage over roasted sweet peppers and farfalle pasta with broccoli rabe pesto sauce. The hundred plus members and guests in attendance included Long Branch Mayor John Pallone, Freeholder Tom Arnone and New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal.
The Amerigo Vespucci Society takes its name from the famous 15th century Italian explorer and map maker. The Society was founded in 1875 and continues as a non-profit organization, providing scholarships and actively combatting defamation and negative stereotyping of Italian Americans.