West Bellaire resident Dom Davolio is the individual selected from various submitted nominations to be highlighted in the July 2014 installment of "Hey! That's My Neighbor."
Davolio was nominated for this honor by longtime friend and neighbor, Don Bennington.
According to Bennington, Davolio is one of those rare people who take it upon themselves to make the world a more pleasant place for others.
T-L Photo/ KIM LOCCISANO
Hey! That’s My Neighbor recipient for July is Dom Davolio, right. He’s working with friends at the Bellaire Sons of Italy in the kitchen this week preparing handmade Italian sausage sandwich components to be sold at this weekend’s Italian Festival. Frank Fregiato is pictured in the background.
T-L Photo/ KIM LOCCISANO
The Bellaire Sons of Italy spent this week preparing handmade Italian sausage for the Italian Festival. Pictured from left are Greg Bizzari, Phil DeStefano, Phil Pata, Tullio Ciancone, Roy Mazur, Dick Vannelle, John Gianangeli, Frank Fregiato, Hey! That’s My Neighbor Honoree Dom Davolio, Pete Ciamanera, Walter Smigal, Jim Buzak, Ty Ciancone and Fred Renzella.
Dom Davolio is seen working on the installation of the gate on what was new fencing around the bocce court area of the Bellaire Sons of Italy Lodge 754.
Davolio’s enjoyment of working with yard tractors translates to good deeds being done for neighbors, family and friends whether in his backyard, down the road in his neighborhood, or on the seasonal efforts that go with the start of a family boating season on a local lakefront.
As is always the case, the person being honored sees nothing exceptional or noteworthy about their actions, but others certainly do.
Bennington complimented Davolio's constant willingness to keep a watchful eye on conditions around the neighborhood and his readiness to simply take helpful action before anyone would even think about needing to ask for help to prevent a problem or to right a situation.
Bennington and other neighbors of the octogenarian offered reflections of appreciation at his willingness to be part of the Neighborhood Watch effort; to report power outages; to contact service providers to get repair actions underway as soon as possible when cable to the area is not functioning properly; to contact township officials when questions about various services come up for residents.
Davolio's practice of just gets things done by doing them himself is much appreciated, as is his habit of routinely topping any effort delivered to or for someone else's benefit with a friendly and reassuring smile to share, according to his appreciative friends and neighbors.
Things like plowing snow off driveways to several of the homes in the area keep others from getting confined to home by snow while keeping those unable to shovel their own driveways from coming out into weather conditions dangerous to their individual health conditions. In warmer weather, he will happily assist these same neighbors with grass cutting.
His neighbors, family and friends know that Davolio, a retired AEP Ohio lineman, is not about to be put off by ugly weather conditions, as he has had years of personal experience with high winds, snow, rain, lightning and just about any other fun thing Mother Nature throws around in the course of a lifetime of weather.
He thoroughly enjoys taking on tasks all year round with the help of his Steiner Riding Tractor and its various attachments. He even finds ways to employ his skills with these tractors when helping family and friends with details such as the seasonal changes of docking resources that come with boating and fishing activities shared as part of a local lakeside community.
Davolio's service to the region at large as a lineman with the power company spanned 38 years, but entering retirement did anything but slow him down, or change his willingness to make sure his community is an enjoyable place to choose to share a game of bocce or to help work in support of fundraisers benefiting the good works of the Sons of Italy Chapter in Bellaire.
Yes, he still keeps a pair of climbing spikes - "gaffs" - used before the introduction of the modern day "bucket truck."
Born in the area of Dillies Bottom known as Big Run Hollow, Davolio, the son of a coal miner, is deeply proud of the many achievements made by his children and grandchildren, cultural heritage and hometown community.
That deep personal pride in his family heritage and his willingness to invest his own time and energies into sharing aspects of the Italian culture with others has long fueled his active relationship with the local Sons of Italy Lodge 754 in Bellaire. This time of year assures he will be one of the core group of much appreciated club members preparing all the elements of the organization's famed sausage sandwiches sold with other traditional fare at the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival.
The handmade sausage available for sale at this point in the year for the Italian Festival is made available to the public as a fundraising effort at other times of the year as well, but never in the massive quantity called for at Festival time.
That's no easy task when you are talking about a handmade traditional food item that has been a mainstay of the menu at the Festival for as long as it has been a local tradition. Davolio and other volunteers personally see to making all the magic happen for this effort - including cutting the 3,000 pounds of pork, seasoning it properly, hand grinding and packing it in a very short span of time.
Davolio was called on to serve as manager of the local lodge's building and its operations over the course of about 13 years, stepping down from that duty for a last time in 2007.
His years of service to the local lodge brought high personal praise to him for his exceptional service from his fellow lodge members and what it meant to the ongoing positive works of the organization.
"He has not only served on committees that prepared for small events, but he has spearheaded committees that have had huge undertakings," according to comments offered at a time some years ago by Vince Gianangeli when Davolio was attempting to step away from a full slate of responsibilities with the organization. "Dom was not just another member on our Building Committee when we began remodeling our Lodge. He was the leader of this committee. He was here every day during the eight month construction, working with many contractors to make sure every specification met our liking."
"When we think of someone so dedicated, so emotional, so hard-working, so energetic, so proud to be of Italian descent, we think of you, Dom Davolio," said Gianangeli had stated.
"Dom Davolio has been a lifetime member of the Sons of Italy. He has served as club manager and in many other capacities as an officer. He has always been willing to give his time, his efforts, and more. He has supplied equipment on his own; has supplied labor and more. He has been an excellent member and one we would like to see everyone emulate," offered current Bellaire Sons of Italy President Dick Vannelle upon learning of Davolio's selection for the July spotlight, "Hey! That's My Neighbor."