News Details

Italian Wine & Cheese Tasting to benefit upcoming Italian Festival Event will honor 2006 GC Italian-American Citizen of the Year Angelo Romeo

(Deptford, NJ) – Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco announced that this year’s Italian Wine and Cheese Tasting would take place on Thursday, September 7th to benefit the 3rd Annual Gloucester County Italian Heritage Festival. 

The Italian Wine and Cheese Tasting is sponsored by the County’ Italian Advisory Committee and Auletto’s Caterers to benefit the 3rd Annual Italian Festival which will be held on Sunday, September 24, 2006 at Gloucester County College, beginning 12 Noon. 

The Wine and Cheese will also feature a tribute honoring the 2006 Gloucester County Italian-American Citizen of the Year, Angelo Romeo, Director of the Office of Veterans Affairs.

“Thirty-four percent of Gloucester County's population is of Italian origin, the second largest population of Italian-American citizens in New Jersey,” said Freeholder Director Sweeney. 

“The Wine and Cheese event, honoring our own Angelo Romeo, is a wonderful opportunity for residents to come out for an evening of experiencing Italian wines, Italian cheeses, hor d’ouevres, gourmet desserts, espresso and cappuccino, while benefiting the Italian Festival,” Freeholder Director Sweeney said. 

Sweeney noted that Gloucester County schools have shown the fastest-growing rate of Italian language studies in New Jersey for the past eight years. One purpose of the Festival is to raise scholarship money for students studying Italian and to promote the continuation of that study to meet the growing need for Italian language teachers.

Freeholder Frank DiMarco, liaison to the Cultural and Heritage Committee, said that last year’s attendance of the Italian Festival numbered more than 5,000 people of all ages, coming from every county of New Jersey, and from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and beyond.

“We anticipate that this year’s Italian Festival will be bigger and better than last year’s and that it will keep going strong,” stated Freeholder DiMarco.  “Over the past two years the Wine and Cheese event has helped raise $7,600 to help put the festival on, which is a very large undertaking.”

Freeholder DiMarco noted that the Italian Advisory Committee had selected Angelo Romeo as the 2006 Gloucester County Italian-American of the Year (his biographical information is listed below).  “Angelo is very deserving of this honor, we are proud of him,” DiMarco remarked.

The Italian Festival is planned to resemble an Italian Street Festival with all day entertainment, exhibits, Italian food and craft vendors, along with special children’s activities. Details and schedules of performers for the festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

The donation for the Wine and Cheese Tasting is $35.00.

When:   Thursday, September 7, 2006, Time: 6:00-9:00 PM

Location:           Auletto’s Caterers, Cooper Street, Deptford

Tickets may be purchased in advance by contacting: 

  • Auletto’s Caterers, Cooper Street, Deptford, 856-227-3800
  • Gloucester County Cultural & Heritage Commission, 856-464-9518

Angelo G. Romeo

Grew up in Newfield and graduated from Vineland High School. Received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dickinson College and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army at the same time.

Entered active duty and was stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany, from May 1966 until March 1968. He was promoted to Captain and reassigned to the Republic of Vietnam where he served as a military advisor in the imperial city of Hue from May 1968 until May 1969.

Upon returning to Newfield, Angelo became involved with many local activities. He served on both the Planning Board and the Recreation Commission and was a member and president of the Newfield Jaycees. He subsequently was named one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America”.

Angelo served on the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders from 1974 until 1978. He received numerous awards from many civic and community organizations including being named “Humanitarian of the Year”.

In 1998 Freeholder Director Steve Sweeney asked him to become the Director of Veterans Affairs in Gloucester County. He has served in that position since then except for ten months when the Governor of New Jersey asked him to be the Director of the Division of Veterans Programs for the State.

During his tenure as the Director of Veterans Affairs, serving under the leadership of Freeholder Director Sweeney and Freeholder Liaisons Bill Krebs and Joe Brigandi, and with the full support of the Board of Freeholders, much has been accomplished. The veterans of Gloucester County now have a full time VA Health Clinic, a beautiful new Veterans Cemetery, a County Medals Program, an active Veterans Advisory Committee, and an annual Veterans Homecoming and Legislative Seminar. 

The Gloucester County Office of Veterans Affairs has received four national awards for those programs and Angelo was recognized as the Veterans Small Business Advocate of the Year by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the United States Small Business Administration.

He has been married to the former Susan Sweimler, of Vineland, for 43 years.  Sue attended Beaver College and graduated from Gloucester County Community College as a Registered Nurse.  They have four sons and eight grandchildren.  Angelo and Sue still live in Newfield.