Rochester’s Italian American Sport Club honors local football pioneer

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He was often the first smiling face to greet visitors to the Italian American Sport Club in Gates. Franck Caricchio spent much of his time volunteering at the organization that brought him so much joy.

Two years ago, Caricchio, member of the 1963 Rochester Italian American Sport Club team which won the US Amateur Soccer Cup, beating seven other cities, has died at the age of 78 after battling pancreatic cancer.

The club decided to start a benefit in his memory for the former Greek football coach Athena who gave so much to the community. Thanks to a golf tournament named in memory of Caricchio, the club was able to raise $ 8,000 to donate to non-profit organizations such as School of Hope Hall, History of Hope Comfort Care, Lifelong care and Hildebrandt Palliative Care Home, Wilmot Cancer Institute, Harvard Pancreatic Cancer Research and Home for Anthony for young adults with learning disabilities.

Last month, a dinner was held at the club on Buffalo Road in Gates with hundreds of attendees. Caricchio’s widow, Anna Maria Caricchio, presented the prizes to charities.

A member of the IASC for over 40 years, Caricchio was originally from Pignataro Maggiore, a town near Naples. He came to Rochester in 1952 with his mother to find his father and brother who were already there.

“He was one of the most respected leaders the IASC has ever had,” said Enzo Scollo, chairman of the club’s charities committee.

Caricicchio was the former president and contributed to the creation of the famous lunch every other Thursday open to all. He was also one of the original spearmen. The Charlotte High School graduate was inducted into the Lancers Hall of Fame in 2017.

Dinner at the Italian American Sport Club in January for the Frank Caricchio awards ceremony.

“Frank has given so much to the sport over the years. Rochester was lucky, ”Lancers owner Salvatore“ SoccerSam ”Fantauzzo said.

He was a member of the Lancers which entered the American Football League and played from 1967 to 1969.

Former Gates supervisor Mark Assini said Caricchio was a great athlete who loved football, his family and friends.

“It was hard to miss Frank’s smile and warmth as he served his colleagues at the bi-weekly lunch,” Assini said.

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