Tony Lariccia might never sing the blues, but you should hear him ...


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by Todd Franko (Contact)   | 340 entries


... belt out tunes from the '50s.

Tony really didn't sing tunes when he had the podium at today's Regional Chamber annual meeting and luncheon. He was moreso rhythmically reciting lyrics from groups like Little Anthony and the Imperials as an impromptu tribute to who he said we really needed to hear sing: Tony Cafaro Sr., who was seated in front of him.

Lariccia's impromptu singing was among the highlights of the event at Mr. Anthony's. The event honored Lariccia with a Spirit of the Valley award, honored Anthony Cafaro Jr. with a Spirit of the Chamber award, and Marc Dann with the Chairman's Political Achievement award.

We will have more coverage from business editor Don Shilling in Friday's Vindy as well as later today on

But quickly:

-- Lariccia was proud, vocal and uninhibited about all that is right about living in the valley. About the only thing he didn't celebrate were his own feats, which are worthy of a banquet and celebration of their own. But others who took the podium celebrated Tony. About the only thing Tony celebrated about himself was his height. While not tall in stature, the local giant among philanthropists toggled his feet between two different risers behind the podium — one putting him at 6 foot, the other putting him at 7 foot. Amid laughter from the crowd, he opted for 6 feet.

-- Cafaro had a reason to sing if he wished, and that was the honoring of his son for the chamber award. While many one-liners from the veteran business leaders targeted their coping with graying and/or thinning hair, the younger Cafaro, with a very full head of very dark hair, wisely left that topic alone. It was a befitting move for someone touted for being wise beyond his 33 years.

-- Marc Dann was grateful to be honored by leaders whose work habits and good ethics have influenced him since his days as a small businessman here. That influence, he said, makes him an unabashed foe to activities such as the current mortgage scandals, which he said not only will leave citizens burdened and neighborhoods ravaged, but also tested the wills of ethical lending groups like our local banks.

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