Glenwood Italians raised funds for disaster relief
On Dec. 28, 1908, a violent earthquake shook southern Italy and the island of Sicily. In a matter of seconds, entire villages and cities crumbled to the ground. Ensuing tidal waves erased coastal towns. Early reports estimated more than 100,000 people perished as a result of the quake. Military ships from Great Britain, France, Russia and the United States rushed troops to the area, but only limited help could be provided. With starvation, homelessness and disease plaguing the survivors, delivery of supplies to Italy was urgent. Colorado’s Gov. Henry Buchtel appealed to all citizens of the state to provide monetary contributions to the Italian disaster. The Italian community in Glenwood Springs and the surrounding area answered the relief challenge.Five days after the Italian quake, leaders of the Glenwood Springs Italian community met, trying to decide the best method to raise funds for the relief effort. Local Italians, striving to be the first community to forward aid to the quake’s survivors, had already dug deeply into their pockets and had sent a contribution to the national relief fund. However, more money was needed.A committee headed by Glenwood Springs residents Dominic Salvucci, Ed and Henry Bosco and Andrew Gallo decided to place subscription blanks at local businesses authorized to accept contributions. Italians in the mining camps of Spring Gulch and Marion organized to form a similar program. Glenwood’s Columbus Day Committee met, raising $130 toward the relief effort. In all, the money contributed by the Italian community was part of the $100,000 raised by the American Red Cross in the first days of the disaster. “He who gives twice (is he) who gives quickly,” said Gov. Buchtel. Local Italians certainly answered the governor’s call. “Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.
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