All posts by Michael Spano

Columbus Statue Relocation

Columbus Facts and Fiction Video

Click this link to view a Youtube video of an academic account of Christopher Columbus that will inform viewers of the truisms and falsehoods that surround Columbus with historical facts, not unproven rhetoric.

Columbus Statue Relocation to Marquette Park Project

Here are the photos of the plaques installed recently at the Columbus Statue.

To Make a Donation

If you donate an amount equal to or greater than $500.00 you will need to fill in the Additional Comments Box when the donation form pops up and type in exactly how you want your name to appear on the engraving. 36 characters maximum.

To make a Secure Credit Card payment click the Button below:

Rather use PayPal Instead? Click the PayPal Donate Button Below:

When the PayPal screen comes up enter Columbus Statue in the Purpose box and if you are donating $500 or more don’t forget to enter what you want engraved in stone up to 36 characters on the payment confirmation page. Click the blue + to open the comment box to enter this detail.

To pay by check make checks payable to UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation. Please note Columbus Statue on check Memo and mail to:

UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation
4134 Canada Rd.
Lakeland, TN 38002

If you have any questions please contact President Michael Spano via email at or via telephone at 901-832-2594.


Michael J. Spano President UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation, Inc.



The Winterfest Scheduled for January 2021 has been cancelled due to COVID-19.  We’ll post updates when the status changes.



An evening of good food, good wine, good music and fun! Benefiting Ave Maria Home, Catholic Schools Scholarship Fund, UNICO and Wings of Ave Maria was held Sunday, January 19, 2020 at St. Benedict at Auburndale 8250 Varnavas Drive Cordova, TN.  Pictures will be posted soon.  The 2021 Winterfest will be held Sunday January 17, 2021.  Please save the date.

$40 per person in advance, $45 at the door.

Contact Ave Maria home Lisa Bell 901-405-3791 or Catholic Schools office Janet Donato 901-373-1221 or Michael Spano 901-832-2594



Trivia Night

Flyer will be posted here once we are cleared to have an event due to COVID19.

Trivia Night Details

Trivia Night Through The Decades Saturday March 20, 2021 at CBHS.  Setup 6:00 PM Game Starts at 7:00 PM. BYOB Setups and Snacks Provided.  $15.00 Per Person


Pizza With Santa


The UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation is an IRS recognized 501c3 and donations are tax deductible.  As always consult your tax adviser.  Pizza with Santa was on December 5, 2020 at 11:00 AM at Madonna Learning Center.  The date for the event in 2021 has not been selected, but is usually the first Saturday in December.  

Flyer will be posted here when a date is finalized.

Donate to Pizza With Santa for Madonna with a CREDIT CARD online here


Paypal user? Click the Paypal Donate Button below

Please type in “Pizza With Santa” in the Add a note box on the PayPal page


Pizza With Santa Madonna December 2019  

For questions regarding the Donation, payment options or UNICO contact Michael Spano at


Scholarship Information

UNICO Memphis Scholarship

Scholarship application due by May 21, 2021

The Memphis Chapter of UNICO accepts applications from graduating High School Seniors that are American Citizens of Italian descent.  The Scholarship Director is Alicia Bisio Mckenzie and her email address is .  We suggest you download our local scholarship form, fill it out and then save it on your computer, and then Email it to Alicia.  Once you do this most of the data can be copied on the UNICO National scholarship forms mentioned below that must be filled out online.  Most of the information is the same.  We encourage you to apply in both places.

Download form by clicking Memphis Scholarship Application 2020

UNICO National Scholarships

Italian-American students need to take advantage of the scholarships that are offered by UNICO National.   All applications must be completed online now.  Applications must be sponsored by a UNICO Chapter.  Alicia McKenzie is the Memphis coordinator, so if you are selecting the Memphis Chapter as your sponsor please use her name.  You must visit the UNICO National site to complete the application at 


For more information on UNICO National Scholarships, please contact the UNICO National Scholarship Director, Joan Tidona at  

To find a local Chapter, please visit or contact UNICO National at 973.808.0035.  

Chapter Events and Information

Chapter Events

Due to COVID19 all scheduled events have been placed on hold.  We will post newly scheduled events as we are allowed to have them again.

Recent Accomplishments 

The UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation has completed donations for the Columbus Statue restoration and relocation project from Columbus Park to Marquette Park.  Click the Columbus Statue category on the left for more information on how you can still make a tax deductible contribution today.  We are working on the design for the sponsor name engraving.  Wouldn’t it be great to see your family name engraved in perpetuity!!!

Our mission statement:

To contribute to the well-being of our local communities of the nation by making significant contributions to deserving local and national charities. UNICO strives to honor, perpetuate and disseminate the culture and ethnic heritage of our Italian immigrant ancestors, by supporting higher education and by educating and informing our members, local communities and our nation.

Our objectives:

To promote and enhance the Image of Italian Americans; for members to be of service to the community; to promote Italian heritage and culture; to promote, support and assist charitable, scientific, cultural, educational, and literary projects; to promote members’ interest in public welfare; and, to cooperate with others in civic, social and cultural development.

UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation:

The Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was created to provide our chapter with a broader outreach and to benefit our contributors with a better tax advantage.  Our objectives are the same as the objectives for the UNICO Memphis Chapter and when you join the UNICO Memphis Chapter you automatically become a member of the Foundation.  All fundraising initiatives and grant requests are managed by the Foundation Trustees. Members are welcome and encouraged to attend the Foundation meetings.  To apply for a donation meeting our objectives please fill out the appropriate Grant Request form under the Foundation category on the left. 

Join UNICO Memphis Today:

Single membership annual dues are only $100.00.  A married couple may join for only $175.00 annually.  Download a Membership application here.  Membership Application

Security, Privacy and Return Policy

Privacy Notice

Customer Service

Phone:  901-832-2594



John Angotti Concert Wine and Cheese Tasting

A bottle of red, a bottle of white, and Angotti in concert tonight…


On Sunday December 1, 2019 in the theater at St. Benedict of Auburndale High School, UNICO had it’s Wine and Cheese tasting followed by John Angotti in concert.  Thanks to all that attended.  Here are some pictures of the event.




Event Photos

             Trivia Night February 2020


           Pizza With Santa at Madonna 2019











UNICO National Memphis Chapter Foundation (UMCF)

Contact Michael Spano for more information about the UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation (UMCF) Mobile 901-832-2594


Greeting:        Click Here to see Trustees

Benvenuti a tutti!  Welcome Everyone!  The Foundation is dedicated to the UNICO motto of “Service above Self”.  We are an Italian American service organization devoted to the betterment of our community.  The Foundation raises money through donations, special projects and various events.  Money raised is donated directly to the particular charity for which an event or fundraiser was held.  The officers and Trustees are volunteers and receive no compensation for the many hours they put into the Foundation.

The Foundation is an IRS recognized 501c3 organization with the sole purpose of raising money to donate to the charities supported by UNICO.  The Foundation teams up with the UNICO National Memphis Chapter for regular monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of each month. This is  combination business meeting and social gathering.  Check the Calendar of events for location details.  If you’re Italian or married to an Italian please come joins for some fun.  To have your organization considered for a donation please see the grant request options below.

Please read the mission statement for specific Foundation details.

Mille Grazie! A thousand thanks!

Foundation Mission

Grant Requests:

The UMCF is happy to consider all grant requests that conform to our Objectives as stated on the Welcome Page.  A few things to note before you fill out your request will be helpful.  We cannot fund salaries, license fees nor transportation.  We are happy to fund scientific research and especially like to fund equipment that can be used pursuant to our objectives.  Please select the appropriate Grant Request for the amount of your request.

Foundation_Grant_Application_1000_or less




UNICO Memphis Foundation CHARTER 5


The Story of UNICO National

The Story of UNICO National

UNICO was founded in Waterbury, Connecticut, October 10, 1922.  It’s founder, Dr. Anthony Vastola formed the organization with a group of businessmen and civic leaders in an effort to unite Italian Americans in an organization that would give strength and force against the discrimination of Italian Americans.  It was time for law-abiding American citizens of Italian descent to offset the humiliations pressed upon Italian Americans.  This was to be done by doing good deeds for others, thus the motto, “Service Above Self”.  In addition, the organization would promote scholarships and the cultivation of our Italian heritage.  The organization would differentiate itself in its measure of self-sacrifice, not for personal gain, but simply for the happiness found in America and it’s motto would be “Service Above Self”.  The acronym was later to stand for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity and Opportunity.

The idea of UNICO became successful and won acceptance from the community.  Expansion to other cities became inevitable in Connecticut, then to New Jersey.  The first convention was held in New York City in 1930.  A similar idea had taken shape, unknown to the Eastern group, beginning in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1932 known as the National Civic League.  This group, comprising of 15 chapters in the Midwest, joined with UNICO during 1947 and became UNICO National at a convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

UNICO National grants scholarship awards, promotes Italian Study Chairs, observes Columbus Day with fitting programs and participates in community and civic activities, and raises monies for children’s causes such as St. Jude, and other varied charities with specific emphasis on mental health programs and Cooley’s Anemia research.  Overall, UNICO National has raised millions of dollars for these projects as well as millions of Dollars for disaster relief in the Midwest, California, Florida and in devastated areas in Italy.

See What’s Going On In UNICO National