In 1973, a small group of Italian-American businessmen from St. Louis traveled to Milwaukee to take part in a golf tournament benefitting Boys Town of Italy. They returned home so impressed, they decided to put on their own charity golf tournament here in St. Louis, and the St. Louis Italian Golf Tournament for Children’s Charities was born. Over the past several decades it has now become one of St. Louis’ premier charity golf tournaments.
Over $4 million has been contributed to numerous primarily St. Louis-based children’s charities since the initial Italian Open in 1974 raised about $4000. Today between 35-40 local children’s charities benefit from the Italian Open which now distributes approximately $200,000 annually. The Italian Open two day event includes a dinner auction at which we honor one or two deserving citizens from our area each year. Another highlight is the presentation of two scholarships: the Rich LoRusso Culinary Scholarship presented to an area high school senior seeking to enroll in an American Culinary Foundation accredited post-secondary culinary arts program and the Tangaro Scholarship Award, given to an outstanding high school student for athletic ability, academics and community service. Joe Tangaro, Sr., was a founding member of the Italian Open and bravely and graciously lived almost twenty years while suffering from ALS, Lou Gehrig ’s disease. Joe’s son Tom continues Joe’s legacy by serving on our Board. The IO Board is also aided by the hard work of Executive Administrator Shannon Duffin as well as Auction Coordinator Patty Noonan. Finally, the Italian Open is all about YOU! There would be no Italian Open without the support of our generous participants, corporate sponsors, honorees, volunteers, friends and family. Our Board of Directors cannot thank you enough!