July 28, 2008
MARIO RINI - “It is not what you receive in life, but what you give.” To Mario J. Rini these are not just words by the core essence of this father of ten graduates form Vermilion High School and a grandfather to twenty-six. At the age of ten, Mario learned the importance of giving back when suddenly his father died and he was faced with helping his mother raise three siblings on Cleveland’s west side. Mario would go to school and work at the family’s West Side Market produce stand to help provide for his siblings. It was during these very difficult times that he benefited from a very giving community of Italian immigrants and learned the importance of community. Upon graduation from Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School, Mario served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In 1977, Mario began serving three terms on the Vermilion Board of Education, including a term as Board President. Over the years, Mario has served on the Vermilion Parks Board, Vermilion High School Booster Club and with his wife of nearly 53 years June, helped establish a “Prom to Dawn” program at VHS. In addition, Mario has been part of the team who would break up winter’s ice along the Vermilion River. Today, he continues funding youth athletic programs in Vermilion and participates in many civic projects in Vermilion and Florida. Mario J. Rini not only believes that family, community and giving back are important, he leads by example.