All posts by Michael Spano



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 Sunday, January 19, 2020 • 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. St. Benedict at Auburndale 8250 Varnavas Drive Cordova, TN.

$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 901-372-8869

To pay online visit


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.




Columbus Statue Relocation

Columbus Statue Relocation to Marquette Park Project

Engraved Names and Pedestals have been completed.  Here are the photos.  We are still waiting on the original names plaques to be delivered and mounted.  We’ll update this page as soon as that happens.




Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin$75,000$75,070Raised $75,070 towards the $75,000 target.100%
 Now is the time to ensure that your name is on the monument.  We have reached our goal and will only accept sponsor donation through October 31, 2017.  What an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for your family.  The UNICO Memphis Chapter Foundation (UMCF) (an IRS recognized 501c3) is now accepting tax deductible donations to relocate the Columbus Statue to Marquette Park.  View Statue Location at Marquette Park to see what it will look like.  For every donation you will receive a numbered certificate acknowledging your contribution.  There are three major levels of sponsorship you may also consider. These levels come with a Numbered Certificate, Statue Commemorative Medallion and YOUR NAME engraved in stone at the monument.  See the Columbus Relocation Brochure here.

  • Corportate Sponsorship Level is Greater Than $2000 and comes with special awards.  Email:  or call 901-372-8869 for more information regarding this sponsorship level.
  • GOLD Level is $2,000 and comes with Certificate, GOLD Medallion and Largest letters in stone.
  • SILVER Level is $1,000 and comes with Certificate, SILVER Medallion and Medium letters in stone.
  • BRONZE Level is $500 and comes with Certificate, BRONZE Medallion and Small letters in stone.

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
8970 Davies Plantation Rd.
Bartlett, TN 38133-4228

If you have any questions please contact President Michael Spano via email at or via telephone at 901-372-8869.


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


Event Photos

             Trivia Night February 2018

Golf Tournament September 2018 

           Pizza With Santa at Madonna 2018











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



Chapter Events and Information

Chapter Events

The next UNICO event will be Pizza With Santa Saturday December 7, 2019 at Madonna Learning Center starting at 11:00. What a fun event it will be.  

Golf Tournament October 2019 Date and Location TBD.

John Angotti Concert Fall of 2019 Date and Location TBD.

Trivia Night Saturday February 29, 2020 6:00 PM CBHS Heffernan Hall

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:  901-372-8869



Memphis Animal Services Roxie Training Academy Fund

Donate Now


Paypal user? Click the Paypal Donate Button below

Please type in “Roxie Fund” in the purpose box on the PayPal page

Animal Services Roxie Training Academy  Mission

The UNICO Foundation is raising money to fund The Roxie (the pom) Conway Training Academy at Memphis Animal Services.   The training academy is to promote successful pet adoptions.  Many pets are being returned due to unrealistic owner expectations of an untrained adopted pet.  With the Training Academy program, pets will get some basic training to ensure successful pet adoptions.

The Inspiration

The Legend of Roxie – a Great Service Dog for Jack Conway

Five weeks before Roxie (the pom) passed, I was eating left over spaghetti while sitting on the couch.  Roxie started barking at me (which was very rare), I didn’t pay attention to her so she started to kick the couch to get my attention.  I still didn’t pay attention to her.  Finally, she placed her paws on my knees then suddenly raised her paws and hit the plate of spaghetti and I was shocked to see the plate of spaghetti fly up into the air and land upside down on the couch.  Only then did I realize that she was trying to tell me something.  I immediately took my blood pressure.  It was 87/56, much too low for me.  Unknown to me I was going into kidney failure due to the chronically low blood pressure.  My medical issues were resolved in the subsequent months thanks to Roxie.  She was the kind of dog that just mesmerized everyone.  The way she pranced and the way she held herself.  It was love at first sight for me and many, many other people.

Why we do it

To secure funding that will provide training to precious animals by qualified trainers to help ensure that shelter pets will be able to stay in the homes of the loving pet owners that save them by following these objectives:

  1. To help reduce/ eliminate animal euthanasia due to lack of space.
  2. To support increasing the number of foster homes through incentives.
  3. To support increasing the number of volunteers through incentives.
  4. To support dog training before adoption.
  5. To support programs to send trainees to adopted animal homes post adoption to reduce relapses into previous behavior patterns.
  6. To support research on animal assist dogs (animals) to quantify benefits to patients and dogs.
  7. To support the acquisition of service dogs within the community.

Print Roxie Calendar Here

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


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 is on December 7, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Madonna Learning Center.  

Pizza with Santa 2019 Flyer

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 2018  

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