Burlington’s leading “bon vivant” to lead the Masquerade Ball to the sound of New Orleans jazz.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 27, 2013.  The social side of this city seems to go through cycles – last year it was the Torsney ‘s with Brian Torsney deep into the Hospital Foundation fund-raising events to raise the $60 million they were tasked to come up with while his sister, a former Burlington Member of Parliament, Paddy Torsney headed up the United Way drive.

Angelo Paletta on the left standing proudly with his father Pasquale (Pat) Paletta

This year it looks as if the Paletta`s are going to take up the headlines in the social sector.  Pat Paletta got himself nominated as the Entrepreneur of the year – that event will take place on June 6, 2013, and now son Angelo has been appointed as the honorary chair of the Masquerade Ball – the lead fund-raising event for the (BCF) Burlington Community Foundation.  The Ball will take place October 26th at the Burlington Convention Centre.  Tickets began to get scarce last year – so slip over to their website and book your appointment with the hair dresser.

Angelo, according to the Foundation, has played a number of key philanthropic and community support roles in Burlington.  Besides being the honourary chair the family corporation has joined BCF as its first Proud Supporter of our Vital Signs report, a community check-up we will share with Burlington residents on October 1st.

Last year the BCF published their first ever Vital Signs report, which, while not quite what many in the social development sector had hoped for, it was their first effort.  Everyone is looking for something quite a bit deeper and more relevant to the community this year.  Their report is announced for release on October 1st.

Colleen Mulholland, Executive Director, Burlington Community Foundation is as pleased as punch that Angelo is “sharing his time and leadership with us, in support of our largest fundraising event.”

Jazz – New Orleans style at the Burlington Community Foundation Masquerade Ball.

In their media release the BCF announces they will continue with the alluring feel of a masked gala, featuring the swinging streets of the French Quarter. “I am honoured to have been asked to be the gala’s honourary chair this year,” says Angelo,  who will dance up a storm.  “ I love the excitement of New Orleans, jazz and Bourbon Street, and my family and I have always had a terrific time at the Masquerade Ball. I hope the community will join us in this great celebration.”

In 2007, Angelo was formally installed as a Knight of Malta under the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, a religious order founded by Pope Pascal II in 1113. Devoted for 900 years to caring for the sick and the poor for more than 900 years, today this philanthropic Order operates accredited diplomatic and humanitarian missions in more than 100 countries.

Closer to home, Angelo is also the current Chair of the Board of Directors for the Carpenter Hospice.

The Paletta’s are also in an early stage ‘kiss and make up’ with the city.  There are a number of issues related to the development of land owned by the Paletta’s that some feel are hindering the economic development of Burlington.  As the largest holder of what the city has classified as “economic development lands” the city wants to be able to see those properties marketed and developed to bring some much-needed development to the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional part of the city tax assessment base.

City manager Jeff Fielding has brought a much different approach to developing relationships with the major stakeholders in the city.  Can one imagine a time when the city and the Paletta’s done trot off to Ontario Municipal Board hearings?

Part of this process is a significant shake up in the way the Economic Development Corporation manages the growth of the city.  In the past much of their focus has been on raising funds to keep the operation alive.  Fielding thinks that isn’t the smartest business model if Burlington is to prosper and has asked the BEDC to come back with a better business case.  That case has been presented to the Budget and Corporate Services Committee where it didn’t seem to generate a lot of enthusiasm on the part of either council members or staff.  Expect to hear more on this one.

Paletta International is a Canadian owned and family managed company, started by Pasquale Paletta (Burlington’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year) in 1951.  With its humble beginnings in beef processing, the company grew through vertical integration into raising cattle with feedlots in Burlington, Alberta and Colorado. The company also is involved in real estate, construction, media and entertainment. The company is managed by Pasquale’s four sons: Angelo, Paul, Michael, and Remi Paletta, from its Paletta Court facility in Burlington.

The BCF was established in 1999 by a group of local volunteers and philanthropists to improve the quality of life in Burlington.  The Foundation collaborates with donors to build endowments, gives grants and connects community leadership. For Masquerade Ball tables, tickets or information on becoming a Proud Supporter, contact Sandra Baker, sbaker@burlingtonfoundation.org, 905 639 0744 x 223

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