JULY 2019



President’s Message

Brothers and Sisters,

Happy 4th of July to you all! I hope you have a wonderful and fun holiday. I, for one, love the fireworks. I still get as excited as I did when I was a child—maybe even more so now.

Speaking of excitement, I just returned from a very productive trip to the Biennial Convention with the Grand Lodge in Deerfield Beach. I attended alongside with Brother Mark DeNunzio, Sister Joyce Bollenbacher, Sister Patty Russo, Sister Lucy Smith, and Sister Ginny Barberi as representatives of Buona Fortuna. Buona Fortuna member Brother Thomas Bollenbacher attended as a state trustee. While there was much fun and fellowship, the most important tasks of the convention were voting for changes to our Grand Lodge bylaws and the election of new State officers.

I am happy to report that everything went smoothly. Most of the bylaws changes were made to align our State with the Supreme Lodge, and none materially affect the everyday functioning of our own lodge. One of our delegates will report on the substance of the bylaws changes at our next meeting.

While the bylaws changes were happening, I had the pleasure of being on the Elections Commission, where I helped conduct the official vote count. Our new State President is Brother Tony Cianciotta—husband of our Immediate Past President, Sister Carolyn Cianciotta. Brother Tony has been involved in the Grand Lodge for many years, and he most recently served as Financial Secretary. Most offices were uncontested, including the position of State Orator, which I am very pleased to say is now our very own Brother Mark DeNunzio. I really mean it when I say that Brother Mark probably knows our organization’s bylaws better than anyone else. He will be a great asset to our Grand Lodge in this capacity. Our new Region I Trustee is Sister Lucy Smith, and Sisters Joyce Bollenbacher and Patty Russo were elected Arbitration Commission Alternates. Sister Patty was also elected to be a National Delegate at the Supreme Lodge convention in August. Buona Fortuna continues to be a very active lodge at the State level.

Overall, the convention was a great event, and the spirit of fraternity was palpable. We were honored to have a past National President and current National Foundation President, Brother Joeseph Sciame, present for the entire weekend, and he imparted on us all great wisdom and enthusiasm for the Order—both regarding our past as an organization and where we are headed in the future. A wonderful time was had by all with great food, entertainment, and camaraderie. I wish you all could have been there.

While I will be absent from this month’s meeting at a family reunion, I look forward to seeing you all in August!


Brooke Hardy
Buona Fortuna Lodge

Installation Dinner 2010 058

Membership Information

General Membership Meetings are held the second Thursday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, 140 W. Government St. Pensacola.

Our next General Membership Meeting is Thursday, July 11, 2019, at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Center. A business meeting will follow at 7:00 p.m. Please bring a non-perishable food item or health product for our Manna Food Pantry donation.

Council Meetings

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

Grand Lodge Quarterly Meetings

UPPER KEYS SONS & DAUGHTERS LODGE: October 4-5, 2019 in Key Largo, FL

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

Meeting Set Up/Clean Up Committee:

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


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

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 Hardy.

Dates For Upcoming Events:

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

Charity Donations

Every year the lodge sets aside monies for donations to our local community charities. We ask the members for their recommendations of who should be the receiver of these donations. The request needs to be in writing with why you recommend this charity and include their address and contact information. Please send your recommendations to Giovanni Mirra by July 30, 2019, at the very latest. Send your request to Giovanni Mirra at john.mirra@att.net

Dining Out With Giovanni 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at  La Trattoria, 2256 East Olive Rd., Pensacola, Fl 32514 at 6 PM. Menu link: https://www.trattoriapensacola.com/

Please RSVP Giovanni to attend at john.mirra@att.net

Festa Planning Meeting

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 2 PM at Ginny Barberi’s home located at 5853 Westshore Drive, Pensacola, FL 32526

Lodge News

Buona Fortuna Delegates Attend the Grand Lodge Biennial Convention – June 2019
(Front Row) Lucy Smith, Ginny Barberi, Joyce Bollenbacher, Thomas Bollenbacher, and Brooke Hardy. (Back Row) Patti Russo, Ken MacLean, and Mark DeNunzio.

OSDIA Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835 2018 Scholarship Award Winners: Left to right:

Russo Scholarship winner: Nicholas Guadagnoli/Pensacola High School
Buona Fortuna Scholarship winner: Liam Werner/Gulf Breeze High School
La Famiglia Scholarship winner: Roman Mirra/Gulf Breeze High School

Buona Fortuna welcomes new members Carmen Zampini, Rosy Sachs, John Sachs, William Davey, and Pamela Davey.

Our Italian American Heritage

The Italian American Tradition of Making Wine At Home

For most of my childhood, I can remember my grandfather making homemade wine from grapes he grew in his garden in New Jersey. Many other Italian Americans can remember a similar situation.

Camden businessman Billy Yocco (originally Iocco) remembers holding a funnel in a narrow-mouthed pitcher or vase on the table so his Italian-born great-grandfather from Abruzzo, Pierino Gallese, could pour the homemade “vino” from a large jug kept under the table into the smaller vessel. Nicola Gattuso of Gibbstown and niece Catherine Dattola Dawson remember the ladies of their village in Reggio, Calabria, stomping grapes in tubs before the family began to immigrate to South Jersey in the 1960s and 1970s.

Many of these home vintners in Italian-American families have dedicated themselves to keeping the winemaking tradition alive, making it in much the way their ancestors did. “We do this out of love for the tradition and for family,” Yocco said as he and other members of the winemaking group he started – Camden Crush – smashed grapes in his warehouse in South Camden. “You respect the wine as my great-grandfather did and the way he made it is the same way we make it today, starting with grapes and using wooden barrels,” said Yocco. Dawson said her family continues winemaking to promote their Italian heritage and for family togetherness. We get all the children together and they enjoy making wine as a family event in September. We have music and food, like the festival at grape-crushing time every fall in my hometown in Italy,” said Dawson, an Italian teacher at Glassboro High School.

While some families have resorted to making wine from pre-squeezed juice to avoid the cost and mess of crushing wine grapes and later pressing the skins, these families start from scratch by crushing wine grapes from California to make primarily red wine, some white and occasionally rosé. “Using grapes gives the wine a better flavor,” said Dan Fanelle, a Crush member who has successfully experimented in making a super Tuscan. It is a blend of the Sangiovese grape – the one used in Chianti – and another red grape, such as Cabernet Sauvignon. This year his barrels will be Sangiovese, black Malvasia and white Malvasia.

Dominic Coceano of Westampton began making wine as a boy in Italy with his father and for years has made wine with his sons and friends. “It is more work to make it from grapes as opposed to buying juice, but the taste of the wine has a lot to do with the grape skins, which sits in the juice for a while after you crush your own grapes, he explained.

Only allowed a sip as a child in his great-grandparents’ Philadelphia home, Yocco started making his own wine 21 years ago to continue the Old World tradition for his immediate family. He first learned winemaking techniques during a vacation in Sicily. As the years passed he learned more and the family operation expanded into the informal Camden Crush club in 2003. Families each buy a share of the wine for personal use only.

This group purchases their grapes from Procacci Brothers, the largest purveyor of California wine grapes in this region who also has Camden roots. Procacci Brothers sold nearly 2 million pounds of wine grapes in the New Jersey-Pennsylvania region this year. “It’s going strong and it’s stronger than ever and I am surprised that a lot of younger people are making wine now,” said 89-year-old business owner Joseph Procacci of Cherry Hill. Boxes brimming with bunches of dark, round fruit much smaller than red and white grapes sold in food stores were delivered to the warehouse. The winemakers dumped the boxes one by one into a de-stemmer crusher. As the machine droned with a loud hum, the seeds, and crushed grapes fell into a large tub to create a “must,” while the stems were discarded out a side shoot into a bag.

When the Crush members talked of wine grape varieties and their own recipes, it was with a passion. “Every year the group makes a variety of wines, but always Sangiovese, Alicante and Barbera, and a new wine as well. Yocco said every wooden barrel contains up to 53 gallons of wine or 240 bottles. Yocco plans to continue making wine as long as he can, quickly adding, “I learned from talking to many people over the years who taught me and I will continue to teach others.”

Source: Courier-Post

A Small Town In Sicily

Sciacca, Province of Agrigento in Sicily is a place from where many of their residents emigrated to the United States.

Between 1880 and 1920 over four million Italians were recorded as entering the United States. The island of Sicily and the region around Naples, both in the south, accounted for over half the Italians who moved to the U.S. looking for a better life. According to manifest documents from the ships, so many Sicilians reported ‘Sciacca in Agrigento’ as their home village that immigration inspectors used “ditto” marks to record this information.

Many of these Italians settled in Little Italy neighborhoods all over the country, with a majority in New York. Being fiercely provincial and proud of their own regions, the Italians from Naples, Calabria, Abruzzo, and Bari looked down on Sicilians, particularly those from Sciacca. Given their humble beginnings, the Sciacca descendants were taught to be proud of their Sicilian heritage.

Baseball legend Mike Piazza’s father’s family comes from Sciacca, and though he doesn’t speak Italian, the former Mets catcher is fiercely proud of his roots. “I feel a strong tie to Sicily since my heritage is there. My grandfather Rosario came from Sciacca to the United States and my father followed the Italian traditions. I think it’s in our DNA to strive to work hard and persevere,” Piazza said. “One thing that was present in me was my father’s distinct love of his Italian heritage and Sicilian ancestry. I can’t tell you how many times my father would say “Amuni a monjare, beddu”, and “mezza mortu”.Piazza also said he travels to Sciacca regularly. “ I have great pride in knowing how proud my father and grandfather would be if they could see me here.”

John Francis Bongiovi, Sr., the father of musician Jon Bon Jovi, is another proud native of Sciacca who emigrated to America. In 2013, Bongiovi Sr. gladly shared his family’s pasta sauces which were passed down through three generations. According to the official website, the recipe originated in the town of Sciacca in the late 1800s, when Great Grandma Bongiovi would prepare enough to feed the neighborhood.

Alicia Keys, who has been tracing her family tree, has found out more about her large extended Italian family. Keys’ parents separated when she was two, after which she was raised by her Italian-American mother in a one-bedroomed apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. Her maternal great-grandfather, Michiele, was from Sciacca. “Whenever I’m in Italy people always ask me, ‘Are you a little Italian?’ They can see it,” Keys said. “I have never been to Sciacca but I plan on going in the near future. It would be great to know where my exact lineage is from”.

Cartoon artist, director, and producer Joseph Barbera, who formed Hanna-Barbera with William Hanna, is another American descended from emigrants from Sciacca. Both his parents were born in Sciacca and he grew up speaking Italian. Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio in the business, produced programs such as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat, The Smurfs, Huckleberry Hound, and The Jetsons.

Mike Marino (comedian and actor) is another Italian American who is descended from emigrants from Sciacca. “People were not able to picture an Italian like me, with blonde hair and blue eyes. I remember when I told other people I’m a full Italian, they all laughed”. With a razor-sharp tongue and a heart of gold, there is, in fact, Sicilian blood running through his veins. “My mother hailed from Duronia, Campobasso, Italy, while my paternal grandparents were from Sciacca, Sicily,” Marino explains. As my grandfather once said: “YOU MAY LEAVE SICILY – BUT SICILY NEVER LEAVES YOU.”

Source: The US World-Herald

I Don’t Understand

It can be difficult to keep the conversation going when you don’t understand what someone else is saying, so here are some useful words and expressions that may come in handy.

Non ho capito – I don’t understand. Beginners tend to use the present tense ‘non capisco’ but that’s not the right one to use in this context. In Italian, we need to use the past tense ‘non ho capito’ to explain that you don’t understand.

Puoi ripetere per favore? – Can you repeat, please? If you want to specify what you want the other person to repeat, you could add in l’ultima frase (the last sentence), for example.

Puoi parlare più piano – Can you speak more slowly? When you look up the word ‘slowly’ in the dictionary, you’ll find the word ‘lentamente’ which is correct, but ‘piano’ fits better in this context.

Cosa intendevi? – What did you mean? You can also say ‘cosa volevi dire’, which means the same thing.

Cosa significa ____ (insert the word or expression here that you don’t understand)? – What does ____ mean?

For example:

A: Non ho capito una cosa che hai detto. Cosa significa ‘carota’?

A: I didn’t understand something you said. What does ‘carota’ mean?

B: Certo! La carota e è una verdura arancione.

B: Of course! ‘La carota’ is an orange vegetable.

Cioè? – Meaning what? / By which you mean? / Which means … ?

Cioè is made up of two words, cio (this) and è (is). It can be quite difficult to translate well. You’ll often find ‘that is to say’ as the translation in the dictionary which isn’t very natural in English. However, as a question, we can use it to ask what someone means. This can be useful if you think you’re missing some key information and you need it spelt out!

Sono confuso/a – I am confused. The Italian for ‘confused’ is an adjective so needs to agree in gender. If you’re male use ‘sono confuso’ and if you’re female use ‘sono confusa’.

Mi sono perso/a – I am lost

Again, remember with this expression to use the right gender.

Non ti seguo – I am not following what you’ve said

The literal translation is ‘I’m not following you’, but here it’s meant metaphorically – I am not following what you have been talking about.

Buona Fortuna 2835 Lodge Officers

President Brooke Hardy

Immediate Past President Joyce Russo Bollenbacher

Vice President Patricia Russo

Orator Eric Frulla

Recording Secretary Barbara Ferg

Corresponding Secretary Jovina Coughlin

Financial Secretary Thomas Bollenbacher

Treasurer Lucy Smith


Ginny Barberi, Nancy Colalillo, Joseph Del Signore, Al Hargis, Tami Pecora, Mary Resedean

Guard Shirley Cotita

Mistress of Ceremonies Dawn Wilson

Master of Ceremonies Andy Fricano

Past Presidents Gene Valentino, Mark De Nunzio, Pete Resedean

Herald  Tod Wilson

Public Relations/Webmaster/Newsletter Editor: Jovina Coughlin

Lodge Chaplain  Giovanni Mirra

Lodge Photographers: Al Lombardi/Shirley Cotita

State & National Officers

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

Joyce Bollenbacher, Peter Colalillo, Mark De Nunzio, Barbara Ferg, Tod Wilson

 Alternate Commissioners
1.  Anne Hargis, 2. Paul Pecora, 3. Dawn Wilson, 4. Lucy Smith

Lodge Contact Information:

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

Webmaster/Editor – Jovina Coughlin – jovinacoughlin@gmail.com

Website Address: https://soibuonafortuna.org/

Buona Fortuna Email System

Our email address is buona-fortuna@googlegroups.com

Visit Us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sonsofitalybuonafortuna 

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/BuonaFortunaSon

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/buona.f/


Remember Those Who Are Ill

  • Rita Somma
  • Vera Fricano
  • Larry Fordham

July Birthdays

Ginny Barberi
Rick Blake
Ingrid Candelaria
Albert Hargis
Gunther Hascher
Pamela Mittelstaedt
Pete Resedean
Judith Seward

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 2018 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.

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








The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company


“Best Cup of Coffee on the Coast!”

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