Welcome Home Dondino
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story and photos by
Vegas Stars Las Vegas Infomer writer
Angelo Cassaro, President of the Italian American Club presents Dondino with a beautiful bouquet of Welcome Home yellow roses!
DONDINO HAS FINALLY COME BACK HOME TO LAS VEGAS
The Italian American Club on August 11, 2013 welcomed Dondino back to Las Vegas and the audience once again fell in love with the magnificent Dondino. Vibrant and stunning as ever, dressed in his signature tuxedo, Dondino captured the audience. His style and humor had the audience recalling memories of why they fell in love with him so many years ago when he first performed in Las Vegas from 1979 to 1993. Michael Gaughan hired him to play at the Royal Inn, which later became the Royal Americana. Onto the 4 Queens Hotel & Casino where he headlined for 12 years. In 1994 Dondino opened up his theater in Branson, and in 2003 he took his show on the road, performing throughout the Midwest casino circuit . And now, 2013, he is back in Vegas where he will now live permanently to perform.
Dondino was presented with a few awards and a proclamation from the Honorable Carolyn G. Goodman, Mayor of the City of Las Vegas. She proclaimed August 11, 2013 as Dondino Day, recognizing Dondino for donating his time and talents for over 25 years. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval issued a Certificate of Recognition for Dondino's charity work and achievements.
Ms. Senior Nevada Pageant recognized Dondino for his Outstanding Contribution to the Pagaent and Charlie Christy, the Nevada Executive Director presented the award. Dondino started the pagaent in 1986.
Assemblyman James Healey, distict 35, presented Dondino with an award for his years of humanitarian work in the state of Nevada.
Other longtime friends and fellow entertainers were on hand to welcome Dondino. Curt Thompson, Executive Director for Railraod Pass Casino and Gold Spike gave him his second engagement at the Frontier Hotel and Casino.
Jonas Vece, known for his vocals as a member of The McCoys, came to honor and support Dondino
Dondino is officially home where he belongs and the audience let him know how they love him with the standing ovations they gave him. His connection to the people is charming and electric and his great humor and personality comes shining through.
"Music is who I am" says Dondino and his mission is to love the people, connect with the people, entertain the people and make that one person happy. He sure made more than one person happy that night. Butterfly kisses to you. We love you Dondino.
Dondino and Donna Gummelt, now Donna Melchiorre,started the Read To Me Foundation which donates custom bilingual books to Ronald McDonalds, Head Start programs and Children's Hospitals. Donna and Dondino write them and Dondino does the music which are put on CD's to go along with the books, and the books are narrated in Spanish and English to help children learn to read and speak English. He wants to help the children of today because he remembers coming to America as a young boy from Italy and not speaking the lanaguage because his family only spoke Italian in his home. He proudly tells the heartwarming story of going to school and learning to sing the song "America" by learning phonetically the words that took him 6 months to learn. www.readtomefoundation.org.
Dondino's talented band filled the room with music that touched the hearts and souls of everyone, from the Italian ballads to the beautiful music of Fiddler on the Roof and the powerful voice of Dondino.