Rosario Valastro and Luigi Spadoni Awarded the Palma D’argento 2023
An award for excellence in voluntary work and dedication to the community
On the evening of Monday 24 July, in the evocative Baroque setting of Piazza Duomo in Acireale, the award ceremony of the third edition of the ‘Palma d’argento – Iustus ut palma florebit’, an acknowledgement dedicated to voluntary work, was held. This year, the prize was awarded to Luigi Spadoni, founder of Spazio Spadoni and Rosario Valastro, President of the Italian Red Cross. The awards were presented by the Mayor of Acireale, Roberto Barbagallo, and H.E. Monsignor Antonino Raspanti, Bishop of Acireale, with the participation of Salvatore Raffa, President of the Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato Etneo, organiser and coordinator of the event.
The Palma d’argento is a tribute to volunteering that annually celebrates two exceptional personalities who have distinguished themselves for their charitable activities. This award is organised thanks to the collaboration between the Diocese of Acireale, the Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato Etneo, the Reale Deputazione della Cappella di Santa Venera and the City of Acireale. The award was created to commemorate Saint Venera, described as a ‘volunteer among volunteers’, and to illuminate the good examples of our time.
On receiving the award, Luigi Spadoni expressed his emotion and gratitude, dedicating the recognition to all the people who animate the works of mercy with Spazio Spadoni in different parts of the world. He revealed that the award is an encouragement to continue growing and taking on new responsibilities.
Rosario Valastro, who has been involved in voluntary work for more than 30 years, was chosen for his historic commitment, which led him to lead the Italian Red Cross. Valastro expressed his honour for the award, emphasising that it rewards the entire commitment of the Italian Red Cross volunteers.
Salvatore Raffa, president of CSVE, emphasised that Spadoni and Valastro are two leading exponents of two pillars of the Italian volunteer system. He underlined the importance of volunteering in proximity welfare, especially in times of emergency, highlighting how events such as the Palma d’argento award are essential to continue building the best conditions to assist the less fortunate.
The 2023 edition of the Palma d’argento award thus celebrated the importance of volunteering, recognising the exceptional contributions of two individuals who stood out for their commitment to the community. It was an emotionally rich evening that made it possible to reflect on the strength of voluntary action and its impact on contemporary society.