SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The first ever Italian gala was held Saturday night hosted by the Springfield Son & Daughters of Italy.

The Sons & Daughters of Italy celebrating its revitalization in the greater Springfield area, a rebirth thanks to an interest from younger generations in preserving Italian heritage and culture.

The sold-out gala at the Sheraton featured dinner, music, dancing and awards for members of the Italian community.

“I think so many times we reduce our Italian-ness to eating and that’s about it. But we need to bring back the language, we need to bring back the art, the literature the theology, ” said Salvatore Circosta, President of the Springfield Chapter’s Sons & Daughters of Italy. “Everything that makes Italy such a destination location we want to bring that awareness here to Springfield.”

Some of the people being honored Saturday night included Hampden Country DA Anthony Gulluni, Paul Picknelly, who was recently name the Italian vice consulate for Western Massachusetts, and Father Bagattini of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

All the proceeds from the event will support the establishment of an Italian Culture Endowment for future events, including the return of the Italian feast in Springfield.