The Colonial Italian American Organization (CIAO) is a social club for Italian Americans. CIAO was established in 1988, in the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, to provide Americans of Italian descent, and their spouses, the opportunity to meet and form friendships with one another, while enjoying social gatherings, cultural and educational events, Italian movies, trips and dinners. Soon after its founding, CIAO expanded its purpose to include charitable donations, with a focus on education. In 1989, CIAO made its first monetary awards to local high school and college students to help them further their academic endeavors. Over the years CIAO has conducted various fundraising activities to help support the club and its various charitable works. In 2003, CIAO held its first Annual Italian Festival. The festival has since become our primary fundraising event and has enabled CIAO to increase our charitable contributions significantly.