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August 16, 2017

The Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro (the founder of the Order Sons of Italy in America®)  biennial award honors the men and women who have dedicated themselves to OSIA without ever seeking recognition or running for a national officer position in OSIA. The award was created to recognize any worthy member of the Order and the nomination process is open to all. The first award was given in 1989 and there have been 14 more members awarded this honor since then. The OSIA Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835 of Pensacola. Fl is so proud of the 2017 recipient, member Bill Zuppa. In 1970, Bill became a member of OSIA and then proceeded to found three lodges in the Florida Panhandle.  He was the 1st Vice-President of the Grand Lodge of Florida and a delegate from Florida to the National Convention.  He attends meetings at all three lodges, helps with the annual Buona Fortuna Festa and with many of the lodge’s other functions. The award was presented to Bill on August 16, 2017 at a special luncheon during the OSIA National Convention in Sarasota, Fl.

 

At our July membership meeting, Buona Fortuna hosted the students from the Teen Art Camp for a spaghetti and meatball dinner. Meatballs were made by some of the members and dinner preparation was done by Michele Ledoux. The students learned about our Italian culture and food. They also learned to dance the Tarantella. It was a wonderful, fun filled evening.

 

Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835 awarded college scholarships to three high school seniors: Zachary Thomas Johnson and Angel Patane from Escambia High School and Dylan Lee Wayland from Jay High School.
Pictured is Zachary and Angel. Dylan was not able to attend the dinner but his award was presented at the high school ceremony by member, Eric Frulla.

2017 Spring Bocce Tournament Winners – Andy Fricano, Mark DeNunzio, Giovanni Mirra and Enrico Mirra

Buona Fortuna’s donation to the Bennett Russell Elementary School Pantry has made it possible for the program to provide students with backbacks for the coming school vacation.

Buona Fortuna Sponsors A Local Soccer Team

Buona Fortuna has chosen the West Florida Soccer Club as a local community team to support. The West Florida Soccer Club is a private club for boys and girls and they are located in North Pace. The children are between the ages of 8 and 16. The team will include Buona Fortuna Lodge on its website and Facebook page and will display our banner (4′ x 5′) on the field where the team plays.

Buona Fortuna presentation of donation in support of the West Florida Soccer Club April 11, 2017

Jazz Fest 2017

Buona Fortuna members helping in the preparation and sales of shrimp scampi at this yearly fundraiser.

Buona Fortuna members Celebrating St. Joseph’s Day – March 19, 2017

Buona Fortuna Casino Trip – All Aboard For Biloxi 2/20/1720170220_160222

Buona Fortuna Council Members attending the January Grand Lodge Quarterly Meeting on-board the Majesty of the Seas.

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Buona Fortuna’s First President, Gene Valentino, and his wife, Maureen, recently attended a party hosted by Florida’s Governor Rick Scott.

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Buona Fortuna members celebrating Thanksgiving dinner together.

 

Presentation by Joe del Signore of Buona Fortuna's charitable donation to the Lakewood Center.

Presentation by Joe del Signore of Buona Fortuna’s charitable donation to the Lakewood Center.

 

Festa Italiana 2016

Festa Italiana 2016

Festa Italian 2016

Festa Italian 2016

2016 Festa Sponsor WEAR

2016 Festa Sponsor WEAR

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Buona Fortuna’s 2016 Charitable Donations:
~ Communities Caring for Christmas ~ $2000.
~ St. Jude’s Research Hospital ~ $1000.
~ Friends of the Disabled ~ $1000.
~ Family First Network ~ $1000.
~ Sons of Italy’s Earthquake Victims ~ $1000.
~ Red Cross.org/Louisiana Support ~ $1000.
~ St. Joseph’s Medical Clinic ~ $1000.
~ Manna Food Bank ~ $1000.
~ Ronald McDonald House of Northwest, FL ~ $1000.
TOTAL: $10,000.

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Congratulations to Owen Christopher Battel, Giovanni Emileo Mirra and Kyle J Hill, student scholars, who are the recipients of the Buona Fortuna 2016 Scholarship awards. The students were honored at a dinner on July 14, 2016 and they were presented their awards.

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Buona Fortuna outing to the Wahoo's game - May 2016

Buona Fortuna outing to the Wahoo’s game – May 2016

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Spring Bocce Tournament First Place: Giovanni & Enrico Mirra; Second Place: Vicki Dvorak & Danica Dvorak

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Installation 2016

Installation 2016

The new slate of officers elected for the 2016-2018 term are:
Joyce Bollenbacher – President
Brooke Hardy – Vice President
Eric Frulla – Orator
Barbara Ferg-Carter – Recording Secretary
Ginny Barberi – Financial Secretary
Treasurer – Patricia Bowman
 
Trustees:
 
Phyllis Alles
Bob Bowman
Nancy Colalillo
Joseph Del Signore
Heather Frulla
Mary Resedean
Patricia Russo
 
Andy Fricano – Guard
Simona Bray – Mistress of Ceremonies
John Arleo – Master of Ceremonies
 
Arbitration Committee:
 
Mark De Nunzio – President
David D’Amore
Linda D’Amore
Michele Ledoux
Tod Wilson
 
Arbitration Committee Alternates:
 
Dawn Wilson
Thomas Bollenbacher
Nancy Colalillo
Patti Russo
Al Lombardi
From left to right is Rebecca Blake, Ronald Blake, Rick Blake and Kathryn Blake.

New members April 2016 from left to right is Rebecca Blake, Ronald Blake, Rick Blake and Kathryn Blake.

Vicki Dvorak, Danica Dvorak and Jacob Hendren February 2016

New members: Vicki Dvorak, Danica Dvorak and Jacob Hendren 2/11/16

Buona Fortuna President Joyce Bollenbacher and Thomas Bollenbacher attending the Grand Lodge January Quarterly meeting.

Buona Fortuna President Joyce Bollenbacher and Thomas Bollenbacher attending the Grand Lodge January Quarterly meeting.

                                                           New members inducted at the January 14, 2016 Membership Meeting.

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Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

It's Festa Time

It’s Festa Time – November 14, 2015

Festa 2015 Getting Ready

Festa 2015 Getting Ready

Festa 2015 Banner

Festa 2015 Banner on Palafox.

Fall 2015 Bocce Champions

Fall 2015 Bocce Champions

Wheelchair Basketball 2015

Buona Fortuna members Tod Wilson and Adam Molla (Manager of the Pensacola Carrabbas) played in the Wheelchair Basketball game last night against the Mobile Patriots. The event raised $4100.00 in donations.

Seafood Festival 2015

Seafood Festival 2015

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Grand Lodge Visits Buona Fortuna

005 006Distinguished visitors at the Buona Fortuna September Membership Meeting:
Mark DeNunzio National Recording Secretary
Caroline Cianciotta Grand Lodge President
Ed Mottola Grand Lodge Immediate Past President
Bill Zuppa Grand Lodge First Vice President
Tony Cianciotta Grand Lodge Financial Secretary
Lucy Smith Grand Lodge Region 1 Trustee
Bill Smith Grand Lodge DeputyFrom Capozzola Lodge in Crestview
Thomas Hughes Lodge President, his wife, Martha and daughter, Wanda
Chieko Zuppa
Carlo Canapa President Pensacola Italian Cultural Society11921785_10207647331969666_2366626506074190423_nCongratulations to Buona Fortuna member, Dr. Mark De Nunzio, on his election as Recording Secretary for the National OSIA. Mark has also been appointed Chairman of the National Membership Commission.
Sons of Italy Check Pres

The Sons of Italy in America Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835 presented Manna Food Pantries with a donation for $2,100 on July 15, 2015. The money was raised in May during a Charity Golf Tournament. With this gift, 450 more people will be provided food for a day.Pictured (Left to Right): Robert Bowman, John Coughlin, DeDe Flounlacker, Rita Somma, Thomas Bollenbacher & Joyce Bollenbacher.

New Members

Martic and Christina Smith

Martic and Christina Smith

July 2015

Richard and Susan Herring

Leonard and Ellen Contarino and Arlene Piraux.

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2015 Scholarship Awards

The Buona Fortuna Scholarship committee has announced the 2015 scholarship award winners.

They are as follows:

Jamie Hendren                 Dr. Louis Perillo  Scholarship

Garrett Murcko                John Carbone  Scholarship

Joshua Johnson               Russo Family  Scholarship

These students were honored and given their awards at a special dinner held on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at our General Membership Meeting at St. Joseph’s.

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New Buona Fortuna Bocce Tournament Champions- April, 2015

Bocce April 2015

Left:  Second Place: Carlo and Carla Canapa; Right: First Place: Joe Franzone and Rob Catone

Buona Fortuna Members celebrated St. Joseph’s Table on March 19, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Church in Pensacola.

St. Joseph's Table 2015

St. Joseph’s Table 2015

St. Joseph's Table 2015

St. Joseph’s Table 2015 Chairperson Janine Venezia

Buona Fortuna ‘s Charity Donations Making A Difference

December is the time of the year that Buona Fortuna makes it charitable donations accrued through our fundraising activities. Today, member John Coughlin presented the Executive Director, DeDe Flounlacker, of Manna Food Bank in Pensacola with a $1000.00 check.
Manna Food Bank is one of the charities that Buona Fortuna supports.
MANNA operates with minimal government support and is dependent on donations of both food and funds to sustain its operation and to support a growing base of clients.

In 2011 MANNA helped 40,870 individuals in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The demand for nutritionally balanced food supplies continues to grow… as does the need to raise awareness and garner lifeline support.

Manna Donation

WEAR’s Sue Straughn accepting Buona Fortuna’s donation to Communities Caring at Christmas from member, Tod Wilson. Communities Caring provides new toys, clothing and daily living needs for abused, neglected or abandoned children living in foster care, children living in poverty and adults with developmental disabilities in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.

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Celebrating Our Newest Members

Festa Italiana 2014 brought thirty-one new members to Buona Fortuna and on November 20, 2014 fourteen of the new members were initiated into the Lodge. The remaining new members will be initiated during the next month. We are very happy to welcome these members into our Lodge community. 

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Members pictured above are Eve and Michael Paquet, Giuliana Anceschi and George Sheldon, Steve and Cheryl Byers, Vincenza Verde, Chris Pino, JoAnne Pryor, Doug and Lorraine Doughty, Rodney and Regina Fillingim and Larry Fordham

OSIA Membership Success Story

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Buona Fortuna has been the recipient of the second prize in the OSIA National Membership Success Stories Contest. The winning entry was submitted by member, Jovina Coughlin, Recording Secretary/ Webmaster/Newsletter Editor. The prize of $250 was awarded by Mark DeNunzio, Sons of Italy Foundation Trustee and National Membership Commission Member at the November 20, 2014 General Membership Meeting.

Here is the prize-winning article:

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Our lodge, Buona Fortuna #2835, was founded in Pensacola, Florida in November 2006 and, as such, is a babe in the big picture of OSIA lodges. Our founding members had a vision that we could gather our fellow Italian Americans together in the Pensacola area to preserve our Italian culture and traditions and bring awareness of our heritage to the Pensacola community.

One of our initial members attended a peanut festival in 2009 and thought that the idea of a festival promoting Italian food and traditions could be the next step for our Lodge. This member, now the President of our Lodge and the festival chairperson, was able to organize the festival activities, prepare the food, inspire members to volunteer and create the publicity for what became our first, Festa Italiana. This day long event happened in November, 2010 and, at the time Buona Fortuna, had 68 members. The festivities drew about 1000 people to the event and our community got its first taste of what is now our Lodge’s signature dish, Shrimp Scampi. The participants also feasted on the best lasagna, real spaghetti and meatballs and homemade cannoli and tiramisu.

We continued to expand our Festa activities the following year and added to our menu, moved some of our cooking outdoors to utilize the grill for sausage and peppers and we also added vendors who featured Italian goods. The tradition began to grow and so did our ability to attract visitors to the Festa and add new members. In 2012 we made a profit of over $3,900 that ensured our ability to make charitable contributions to our community. Our success established the Festa as a principal fundraising event for the Lodge and, even more importantly, started to bring us new members. In 2012, we added 14 new members as a result of the Festa’s popularity and in 2013 we added 17 new members. We now have 99 members – hoping to hit 100 very soon. We also have a goal of adding 50 new members by the end of next year. Each year, as attendance grew at the Festa and the community became aware of Buona Fortuna, so did our new member sign-ups.

What is it, about what happens at our Festa, that makes attendees want to become members? To start, they are greeted at the door by two very personable and engaging members. One is a founding member who has considerable knowledge about the Sons of Italy and all things Italian and the other is a man who was born in Sicily and emigrated to the United States when he was younger and still speaks perfect Italian. Together they make visitors feel welcome, engage them in a discussion of where their Italian relatives originated from and make them feel proud to be of Italian descent. The atmosphere during the Festa is fun and exciting with music and dancing throughout the day and, of course, there is the delicious homemade food that is available. These prospective members feel our energy seeing everyone working together and want to be part of an organization that has so much tradition and camaraderie. We are eagerly anticipating the 2014 Festa Italiana in November and expect that, now that our festival is established in the community, we will draw even more visitors than last year and increase our membership even more.

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Festa Italiana 2014

Held on Saturday, November 15 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 140 West Government St, Pensacola, FL 32591 was a HUGH success.  Thank you to the Bollenbachers for their organization and hard work and all the members who volunteered to make the event a great one! Thank you to the community vistors who attended and enjoyed the day’s activities and wonderful food.

Photo Courtesy of Patti Russo

Photo Courtesy of Patti Russo

Photo Courtesy of Patti Russo

Photo Courtesy of Patti Russo

New Members

Michelle and Terrell Pusateri joined Buona Fortuna on October 9, 2014. We are so happy to have them as members.

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WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL GAME

Buona Fortuna with John Mirra’s assistance supported Wheelchair Basketball on October 2, 2014 at Olive Baptist Church: the Mobile Patriots vs the Pensacola Celebrities. Buona Fortuna contributed $250.00 to support the team. Wheelchair basketball provides physically challenged adults the opportunity to play competitive wheelchair basketball.

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Voices of Pensacola

On October 2, 2014, the UWF Historic Trust opened “Voices of Pensacola” presented by Gulf Power, a multicultural resource center highlighting the city’s diverse history. Through a $605,000 gift from Gulf Power Company and Southern Company, the UWF Historic Trust transformed one of its downtown properties, previously known as the Beacon Building, into Voices of Pensacola.
Voices of Pensacola features dynamic multifunctional exhibits representative of the cultural groups that have shaped Pensacola’s history, and provides a place for residents and visitors alike to gather, learn and tell their rich stories. In addition to the exhibit area, a digital recording station is available to record the oral histories of residents, visitors and others who have greatly impacted the region.
Several of our Buona Fortuna brothers’ and sisters’ stories and artifacts are part of the exhibit. Videos that describe their stories are also available to watch.

Voices of Pensacola 10/14

Voices of Pensacola 10/14

Voices of Pensacola 10/14

Voices of Pensacola 10/14

 

Voices of Pensacola 10/14

Voices of Pensacola 10/14

Pensacola Seafood Festival 2014

A huge THANK YOU to Dr. Mark DeNunzio and his team, Bob and Patricia Bowman,Thomas Bollenbacher, Ginny Barberi, David and Linda D’Amore, Nancy Colalillo, Carmen Ciardello, Andy and Vera Fricano, Bill and Lucy Smith, Mary and Pete Resedean,Tod Wilson, Jean Cigalotti and Jean Marie Lupkowski, John Coughlin, George and Bonnie Bradley, Brook Hardy, Patricia Russo and Giovanni and Marsha Mirra for all their hard work in making the festival a big success.

2014 Seafood Festival

2014 Seafood Festival

2014 Seafood Festival

2014 Seafood Festival

2014 Buona Fortuna Scholarship Award Winners:

Dr. Perillo Memorial Scholarship to Robert C. Nusbaum from Pensacola Catholic High School.

John Carbone Memorial Scholarship to Gillian M. Werner from Gulf Breeze High School.

Russo Family Memorial Scholarship to Anthony J. Moffo from Navarre High School.

Gillian Werner

Gillian Werner

Anthony Moffo

Anthony Moffo

Florida Senate Resolution #720 -The resolution, sponsored by Florida State Senator Maria Sachs, proclaims October 2014 and each October thereafter as Italian and Italian-American Heritage Month” in Florida.

The Senator’s story has its roots in a World War II romance. Her father, born and raised on a Michigan dairy farm, was a commissioned officer in the United States Army Infantry in World War II. Having traveled up through the Italian coast to liberate Italy, he was struck by the beauty of a young girl in Napoli. They fell in love, and the two of them married and returned back to his dairy farm in Michigan. Maria’s mother was so proud of becoming an American citizen, and she instilled in Maria a strong sense of American patriotism.

This historic event recognizes the sacrifices of our parents and grandparents and the proud heritage of all Italian-Americans.

Heritage Month

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The 2014 Buona Fortuna Golf Tournament was held on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Marcus Point Golf Course in Pensacola. See photos from the Golf Tournament in the Photo Album in the drop down menu on this website.

The Veterans Tribute Tower Memorial of Northwest Florida.

The outpouring of generous support by Northwest Florida Patriots has enabled the purchase of the commemorative Bronze Tower Bell which was cast at Uptown Station on Patriots Day (September 11, 2014). Approximately $175,000.00 will be required to complete this long overdue tribute. 

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Garibaldi- Meucci Museum Recognition Walkway

The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, owned and operated by the Order Sons of Italy in America, is a historic house preserved as a memorial to the lives of Antonio Meucci and Giuseppe Garibaldi. The Recognition Walkway is a commemorative brick walkway in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy. This inspiring sidewalk in the front of the historic Garibaldi-Meucci Museum is being paved with commemorative bricks donated by individuals and organizations. Buona Fortuna has a brick in the walkway and you can view it in the photo below.

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Certificate of Appreciation

Buona Fortuna was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for supporting the Veterans Memorial Tribute Tower from Bill Zuppa, President of Veterans Memorial Tribute Tower, Inc.

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