Rising Stars Scholarship Winner Teresa Stephens

About Rose Ann Saracino

Rose Ann Saracino was born and raised on the Hill (St. Louis) by her Italian immigrant father and first generation mother, Nick and Rose LaFata. Her faith, family and Italian heritage are some of the qualities that made Rose Ann such a special woman. She was a role model to not only the Saracino family, but also to the community that surrounded her. Rose Ann’s strong beliefs in family value that were instilled in her have been passed on from generation to generation, giving the Saracino family pride in their Italian heritage.

Rose Ann was a devoted daughter, wife and mother. She and her husband Bart raised four boys: John, Bart, Michael and Chris. Her passion for serving people did not end with her family, but reached well beyond the Saracino family, as she was a tremendous friend and extended mother to many. Although Rose Ann passed away at the very young age of 60, her sons have carried on the Italian tradition in which she would be proud of. It is with great pride we dedicate a scholarship in her honor to pass on the meaning and values of faith, family and Italian Heritage.

– Chris Saracino, son

About Lena DeLuca Vitale

Lena DeLuca Vitale was adopted by an elderly married couple from Sicily in 1919. Her father was killed when she was six years old. Her mother took her out of school in third grade and she lived a very sheltered and protected life. At age seventeen she was introduced to Vincent Vitale and they agreed to marry in 1936. By 1945, they had four children and one on the way and Vincent was drafted into World War II. When the war in Europe had ended Vincent was allowed to come home and work as a route salesman until 1962 and by now they had ten children, five boys and five girls.

Together they opened a restaurant and tried their best to support this large family. They both did the most with the talent and resources available to them. They both made sure that their children had a brighter future. While opportunity and education was hard to come by for Lena, young ladies today can accomplish much more and that would be her wish.

– Rio Vitale, son

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