APRIL 2020


President’s Message


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope this letter finds everyone in good health and good spirits.

We are all closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19.  We continuously assess the potential impact on our Lodge’s events and meetings. At this time we are going to conduct our meetings via video conferencing. This will allow us to keep Buona Fortuna moving forward.  The General Meeting will be online instead of at St Joseph’s on April 9. We will keep you informed each month regarding the general meeting procedures. As you have already been informed dining out has temporarily been canceled for the summer months.

If any member needs help with anything, please email Jovina at jovinacoughlin@gmail.com and we will do our best to help with any of your needs.

As I discussed before, any ideas that you would like to share in a positive way to add to an already successful lodge, I will welcome it. Please email me at clearsound2@yahoo.com  and put in the subject line “new ideas”. I would also like to thank ALL our Brothers and Sisters for your continued support in making Buona Fortuna great. 

Vorrei Augurarvi una Buona Pasqua ( I would like to wish you a very Happy Easter). 

I am praying for the World with You!


President Patricia Russo

Buona Fortuna Lodge

Installation Dinner 2010 058

Membership Information

Important Change Due To The Virus Pandemic

Our next General Membership Meeting will be on Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 7 PM through video conferencing with the Zoom program that can be downloaded onto your computer, IPad or phone. Directions on how to download the program and join the meeting will be sent to members through email along with the meeting agenda and the March general membership minutes.

General Membership Meetings are usually held the second Thursday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, 140 W. Government St. Pensacola. Yearly membership dues are $45 and are due every year by January1.  Checks should be made out to Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835. You may mail your check to Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835. P.O. Box 12351, Pensacola, FL 32591. The first quarter ended on March 31 and any members who did not pay their dues by then will be dropped from the lodge’s membership list. 

Newsletter Ad subscriptions cost is $36.00. See below under Newsletter Ads for more information.

Council Meetings

First Thursday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at Franco’s Italian Restaurant.

Grand Lodge Quarterly Meeting

2nd Quarterly Meeting: April 24-25, 2020 has been canceled due to the virus epidemic.

The Grand Lodge’s website: https://osiaflorida.org/

Here is the link to the Grand Lodge’s Quarterly Newsletter. Click on the name The Floridian. This edition has a feature on the lodge’s council election.

Meeting Set Up/Clean Up Committee:

We need all the members attending a meeting to help set up before the meeting and clean up after the meeting. 


If you have a charity that you would like supported by Buona Fortuna, please contact the charity chairperson, John Mirra.

Lodge Committees

The current list of committees is located on the Buona Fortuna Officers page on our website. Here is the link: 

Buona Fortuna needs your participation. If you would like to join a committee, please contact President Russo.

Dates For Upcoming Events:

You can visit our website calendar for all the year’s events at https://soibuonafortuna.org/home/buona-fortuna-calendar/

Dining Out With Giovanni 

Canceled until the end of summer. 

Lodge News

Some Updates To The Buona Fortuna Website

Enlarged Membership Form with the Oath of Initiation can be accessed with this link


Photos From The Installation Ceremony and Luncheon  can be accessed with this link


New Council Page can be accessed with this link https://soibuonafortuna.org/home/buona-fortuna-officers/

2020 Scholarship Applications are available and can be accessed with this link


Check Reimbursement Forms are available here


If you missed the March meeting- here is Vincent Tucei’s Italian culture video presentation.

My Brilliant Friend – Season 2


Season 2 of the popular Neopolitan novels that explore the complicated intensity of female friendship premiered on HBO in March. “My Brilliant Friend” is the first in the series, and also the first to be adapted for television. Filmed in Italian, the eight-episode drama centers on elderly author Elena Greco, who learns that the most important friend in her life, Lila Cerullo, has disappeared without a trace. It causes Elena to reflect on the early days of their friendship in dangerous but fascinating Naples, Italy, in the 1950s, when Elena and Lila are two very different girls at the top of their class. The story goes on to cover more than 60 years of their lives as Elena tries to describe the mystery of Lila.

         Our Italian American Heritage


Buona Fortuna member Barbara Ferg has a friend who lives and teaches in Italy. She recently wrote to Barbara in a series of letters where she shares how the Italians are coping with the current virus pandemic. Barbara would like to share her friend’s experiences with the Buona Fortuna members. Below are some extractions from the letters where Barbara’s friend describes how life changed for them as the pandemic grew.

“As I stepped out at noon today on day 4 of being in my apartment to meet my grade-level colleagues at school, it was an eerie feeling on the way to my garage….hardly a car in sight, a few masked Italians walking and I wondering what were they thinking…” this mask will protect me from the virus or will stop me from touching my face or protect me from others carrying the virus?”

Mind you, Italians are the BEST dressed people in the world and these plain-white masks are far from fashionable! Neither Armani nor Prada had time to design anything that would have matched their stylish wear. However, I loved seeing the elderly get out and about and STILL looking beautiful and all put-together!

I drove the empty streets staring at couples who were practicing ‘safe social distancing’ which is a meter from one another. As I entered the gate, I showed the friendly gate guard my ID, like a hundred times before, but from a distance, while he scanned my ID with his plastic-gloved hands. (The gloves and not touching have been enacted for 2 weeks, but the distancing is new).

I met with my team – first humans I had seen since Tuesday and we all wanted to vent but we couldn’t because we had to get lesson plans delivered plus learn GOOGLE CLASSROOM which was no easy feat! Apparently, many schools use it but we are way behind the eight-ball! We spent 3 hours just figuring it out, plus creating new lessons.

I then dashed to the commissary on base – again, hardly any cars on the road, and combed the aisles thinking of everything I would need over the next 5 days. Apparently, I’ve been hungry, because last week’s provisions were not enough. When I entered, a young military guy with a florescent yellow crossing guard band immediately told me, “Please practice safe distancing when shopping”. It was definitely happening and there were 3 other military guys with the same band patrolling the area. I was dodging everyone all throughout the aisles! I felt like I was in the twilight zone!

Saw today’s new case numbers – 3500 which is double the number from last Sundays! I’ve asked Italians who I know, and they confirmed, a lot of testing has been done which is why the numbers have spiked so drastically. Hoping those people are the ones who recover quickly. Even one of my student’s parents, who is a doctor and commander at the clinic said it’ll peak more – so scary but at least Italy is transparent!

As I drove home a few hours later, the streets were still empty but the sky and the church were gorgeous. I pulled over to take a few pictures on the bridge by my apartment to capture the beauty! Sadly, no passers-by.

I had my first pity party last night. It started out slowly out of frustration after dealing with troubleshooting issues on my GOOGLE CLASSROOM page. It’s officially up and running! Our 2nd-grade team has worked very hard on “all being on the same page” as we were told to do and we have MANY DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES to deal with. I don’t know what I would do without my 2nd-grade colleague friend for 12 years, who has easily taught 45 yrs overseas, who is sharp, is an excellent teacher and keeps me on the ground with her very witty, dry sense of humor and from throttling some of the others on my team! I guess the perfection in me wants everything to work right for parents and kids. Our school is working very hard and parents are working harder to manage many kids on many different computers doing their school work and they continue to cook, clean and love their kids. They have been VERY patient with all of the teachers and give us high praise for going the extra mile. That’s been a tremendously good feeling.

When the new numbers came out last night like they do every night, my heart sank even more…and it all just came pouring out for the 600+ Italians who perished in the Lombardia region which is only 1.5 to 2 hrs away. As you know, we have surpassed China’s death toll.

I’m hearing stories from different Italians:

`My upstairs neighbors (they are in their mid-70s) have a daughter in Bergamo (the hardest hit area in Italy) and she is quarantined…and is 50.

`Our school secretary’s son’s father-in-law, who is 58 and lives in the hills of Bergamo, has the virus, is housebound and can’t receive any help because there’s no room at the hospital.

`Francesca has been in the hospital for around 10 days and she has other health issues. Her husband was just released from the hospital and has the virus. And their 40-year-old daughter who is pregnant with twin boys and her husband and children have all been exposed. Praying she and the babies are okay.

The Lombardia region can’t keep up with the rapid pace of this contagion in hospitals and everywhere. When someone passes, the family says a quick goodbye and they get the ashes later. No funeral, no nothing, The obituary section which is usually 1 page is now 10 pages, daily.

I’m not surprised the Italian govt has clamped down on everyone – should have happened 2 weeks ago when we were all told to go home and stay put.

Here are the new restrictions for us:

-you are allowed only 200 meters around your house
-no running or biking around anywhere,
-no short leisure walks allowed anymore.
You are allowed to take your trash out of course.
-All grocery stores will be closed on Sunday and only ONE MEMBER per family can access the stores.
All this AT LEAST until April 3rd!

So, I think about the many positives:

My students are with me every day smiling, happy and learning – my pistols are still pistols and they keep me laughing. While teaching yesterday, a loud speaker on a vehicle (that I didn’t see because I couldn’t pull myself away since my principal was observing me on one of my GOOGLE MEET lessons, argh!) was playing The Italian National Anthem – my heart was happy hearing that! I hope they do it again! WE NEED IT in this ghost town!

It is nice to roll out of bed and into my classroom that’s located in my office.

I am healthy and am focusing on eating more healthily than ever.

We’ve had some gorgeous weather this week after a bleak winter – the cherry blossoms are everywhere and the birds continue to sing.

I know I am not alone and we all have to fight this nasty virus together so it will take time, and it seems like these scientists are on this! With all of the brilliant brains out there in the world, I’m waiting…

When you have a family, you are distracted by others. Those who live alone have to find ways of entertaining themselves. I’m usually pretty good at it. I need to stop watching the news and focus on the projects in my apartment. I do sometimes feel like I have the virus when I don’t – they say that’s a good idea so you don’t hang around other people.”

Duet by German performers, Helmut Lotti, and his son Michael, honoring their Italian neighbors in their time of trouble.

The Oldest Italian Restaurant In America

Even more impressive, Ralph’s in Philadelphia is still run by the same family that founded it in 1900.

Marcus Samuelsson, chef and owner of Red Rooster in Harlem, took the viewers on his PBS show inside the popular Italian restaurant where the Rubino & Dispigno families are celebrating 120 years in business.

They haven’t changed much about the menu either, opting to stick with recipes passed down over the years. The fourth and fifth-generation owners continue to welcome nostalgic longtime regulars and tourists alike to feast on classics like clams casino, spaghetti and meatballs, and veal Parmesan.

“The floor is the same from 1900 — when you walk back out and look at the pictures on the wall, it is the same floor,” Rubino says with pride.

Click on the video below as Marcus starts his journey around South Philly on his quest to define Italian American food.

Friday Night Pizza

Can’t go out to your favorite pizza restaurant, so make a great pizza at home. Here is an easy, foolproof recipe for pizza dough. You can use store-bought pizza sauce or marinara sauce or make my easy recipe.

Makes one 16 inch round pizza.
Prepare the dough one day ahead. This process makes the best pizza dough.


1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sausage and Peppers Topping
8 oz spicy Italian Sausage, cut into thin slices
1 lb small bell peppers, sliced thin
1 large onion sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
12 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Olive oil

Pizza Sauce
One 26-28 oz container strained/pureed Italian tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil


One day ahead make the pizza dough:

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza. Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a mixing bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high and place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, then add sausage and cook until browned about 6 minutes, stirring until no pink remains. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, peppers and onions and saute until the vegetables are tender.

Let stand 5 minutes to cool.

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan. Top the crust with slices of mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, peppers, onions, and sausage.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Buona Fortuna 2835 Lodge Officers

President Patricia Russo

Immediate Past President Brooke Hardy

Vice President Joe DelSignore

Orator Paul Renninger

Recording Secretary Virginia Barberi

Financial Secretary Shayla Kaestle

Treasurer Kathy Ahlen


Louis Brizzi, Thomas Cacciatore, Nick Calabrese, Al Hargis, Vincent Tucei

Guard Shirley Cotita

Mistress of Ceremonies Liberia Reid

Master of Ceremonies Andy Fricano

Corresponding Secretary Jovina Coughlin

Past Presidents Gene Valentino, Mark De Nunzio, Pete Resedean, Joyce Russo Bollenbacher

Herald  Tod Wilson

Public Relations/Webmaster/Newsletter Editor: Jovina Coughlin

Lodge Chaplain  Giovanni Mirra

Lodge Photographers: Thomas Cacciatore/Shirley Cotita

State & National Officers

State Trustee-Region 1 Lucy Smith
Grand Lodge Orator and National Foundation Trustee Mark DeNunzio
Arbitration Commissioners

Giovanni Mirra, Tod Wilson, Dawn Wilson, Barbara Ferg, Al Hargis

 Alternate Commissioners
1st Paul Pecora, 2nd Lucy Smith, 3rd Daniel Kaestle

Lodge Contact Information:

Sons & Daughters of Italy in America – Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835. P.O. Box 12351, Pensacola, FL 32591

Corresponding Secretary/Webmaster/Editor – Jovina Coughlin. You cannot respond to our group email system, Google Groups because the majority of our members do not like to receive Reply To All emails. If you wish to respond to a group email, send your response to  jovinacoughlin@gmail.com

Website Address: https://soibuonafortuna.org/

Visit Us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/sonsofitalybuonafortuna 


Remember Those Who Are Ill

  • Rita Somma
  • Vera Fricano
  • Larry Fordham
  • Barbara Ferg
  • Gunther Hascher
  • Al Lombardi


Richard Andres
John Arleo
Nick Calabrese
Joe Occhipinti
Paul Renninger
Carol Wasilausky

Italian Cookbook For Sale

Preserving Our Italian Heritage. Cost per book $15.00. Great gift for Birthdays, Weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas. 

Grand Lodge 2020 Calendar For Sale

Calendars are available to purchase the program is part of the Cash Three-Evening Florida Lottery Program. Prizes range from $100.00 to Special Holiday prizes for up to $1000.00.  You may purchase a calendar at the General Membership Meeting. Checks should be made out to the Grand Lodge of Florida for $50.

Newsletter Article Deadline

The newsletter is published monthly on the first day of the month. The deadline to submit information is the 30th of the previous month. Submit all information to Editor:  jovinacoughlin@gmail.com

Newsletter Ads

Members’ Personal Ads for Selling Consumer Goods cost $3.00 per month. Business Ads cost $36.00 for 12 months and are payable each January. Email a copy of your business card information or your personal ad information and a photo of the item you are selling to  jovinacoughlin@gmail.com . Please make the check payable to Buona Fortuna Lodge and mail it to Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835. P.O. Box 12351, Pensacola, FL 32591.

Community Business Ads


8190 W Fairfield Dr
Pensacola, FL 32506







The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company


“Best Cup of Coffee on the Coast!”

86 Brent Ln, Pensacola, Florida 32503

  (850) 696-2887