Brothers and Sisters,
In 1492 Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue and on September 15th and 16th, Londi and I sailed up I-5 to Redding California for their Paesano Day’s Celebration which has spanned 30+ years. What a fun trip! I was invited by Tony George, President of Chico’s Vincenzo Bellini Lodge #2519, to be a part of their Bellini Bocce Team. We played hard but the pollino wasn’t rolling very good for us. There were 32 teams that entered. The Tournament started at 6 pm on the 15th and went on till 9 pm that night. Then it started up again on the 16th at 8 am and lasted till 9 pm that night. So, for all of you that are trying to figure out how many games were played, the answer is 63 games! In those 2 days there were close to 100 Raffle Prizes given out plus they featured Pasta Dinners, Meatball Sandwiches and even Mimosa’s for breakfast.
A young man named Preston Sharp has been honoring Fallen Soldiers with his Tribute called “Flowers and Flags”. He travels all over the U.S. putting flowers and flags on military graves, and his goal for the next year is to be able to travel over to Normandy and honor our fallen soldiers at the 85th Anniversary of the
Invasion of Normandy. What a great young man! Preston isn’t a member of The Sons and Daughters of Italy, but the Shasta Lodge has adopted this young man and supported him in his great cause. Between the 2 days of Celebration and Bocce there were over 1,000 people that came to enjoy each other’s camaraderie.
I wondered what the key to success of all the Shasta Lodge Fund raisers were, so I went to the “horse’s mouth”, Jim Nobli, President of the Lodge. He said it best, “Community “, you must participate in your community. If the police are having a Fund Raiser, go help them out. Bring a sign saying who we are and help! If there’s a Street Fair, get a booth and help! At any Community Event, help!
If you look at our most successful Lodges, they all help out in their community. When I travel to Lodges, I always say
“Sons and Daughters of Italy is the best kept secret in America” because we don’t let people know who we are. In the little town of Weed, California, I walked along the streets and asked locals, “do you know anybody in the Sons”, some didn’t know but most of them said “yes” that they were members, or they knew someone who was. So, if you want to increase your membership, just go out in your community and as I have said many times in my monthly articles, JUST ASK! Also, remember to participate in activities in your community.
The picture below is of the winning team. Eric Adams, one of the winning members, said he can remember coming to Paesano Days ever since he was 4 years old. Finally, he helped win his first Bocce Tournament. See, good things will come back to you!
Ciao for now,
Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
Grand Lodge of California
P. O. Box 2467
Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone: (415) 586-1316