The Slusser Law Firm is sponsoring this year's Hazleton UNICO Italian fingers, also known as "Morra," tournament at the ninth annual Bell' Italia Festival on September 18 at Hazle Township Community Park.

The UNICO Hazleton Chapter founded in 1950, was the first chapter in Pennsylvania, and has over 40 active members. Its goal is to provide assistance to area charities with fund raisers and donations.  

UNICO was founded on October 10, 1922 in Waterbury, Connecticut. A group of 15 men, led by Dr. Anthony P. Vastola, came together to create what has become a very special and very proud organization. It was Dr. Vastola's dream to create an Italian American service organization to engage in charitable works, support higher education, and perform patriotic deeds.

The name UNICO was selected as best representing the nature and the character of this fledgling organization. The name is the Italian word for unique, one of a kind. The founders believed that UNICO would be the only one of its kind because it placed service to the community before and above fraternity. At the same time they hoped that the rest of society would come to know and understand the real contributions of Italian Americans to our way of life. Its sole purpose was to unite all Italian Americans and motivate them to become more civic minded. In order to accomplish this, members would have to understand that they would have to make sacrifices, not for personal gain, but for service to others. In the ensuing years UNICO became an acronym that stood for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, and Opportunity.


Photo courtesy of Hazleton UNICO

Slusser Law Firm is sponsoring the annual Italian fingers tournament at the ninth annual Bell' Italia Festival on Sept. 18 at Hazle Township Community Park. Pictured are, from left: Bill Schneider, committee chairman; Mike DeCosmo, UNICO president; and attorney Chris Slusser of the Slusser Law Firm.

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