President’s Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As your President, I wish I could say that the pandemic is over and all future general meetings will be in person. Well, we can always keep hoping for this to be the case. I know that I am. St Joseph’s hall is large enough for us to social distance. If we do not have food and Just have a meeting; it would be possible to meet sooner than later. We would also Stream the meeting at the same time for those that do not feel comfortable attending in person. Any ideas that you would like to share in a positive way, I will welcome it. Please email me at clearsound2@yahoo.com

Buona Fortuna is one of the most successful lodges in the State of Florida. As I have said in the past we always want to be moving forward to be even more successful. Each and every member is very important to me and to the lodge. Let’s keep moving forward. Thanks to ALL our Brothers and Sisters for your continued support in making Buona Fortuna great. With your help, we will make our meetings fun and successful! See you virtually on September 10. 


President Patricia Russo

Buona Fortuna Lodge

Installation Dinner 2010 058

Membership Information

Important Information Due To The Virus Pandemic

Our next General Membership Meeting will be on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at 7 PM through video conferencing with the Zoom program. The access link will be emailed to members the day before the meeting.

When the pandemic restrictions end:

General Membership Meetings will be 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.  

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

Council Meetings

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

Grand Lodge

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


If you have a charity that you would like supported by Buona Fortuna, please contact the charity chairperson, Giovanni Mirra, john.mirra@att.net  2020 requests were to be sent to Giovanni by September.

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/

No lodge events have been planned as of this newsletter edition due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19.

Festa Italiana

The Pensacola Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835 has an important announcement we want to share with you and your friends regarding Festa Italiana. Due to the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Festa Italiana in Pensacola, Florida. The health and safety of our Sons and Daughters of Italy Buona Fortuna members, volunteers and you are very important to us. Please share this information with your friends. We will be back in 2021 bigger and better than ever. We are looking forward to serving you the best Italian food and fun at our October 15 and 16, 2021 Festa Italiana.

President Patricia Russo

Fireworks and Columbus Ship In Orange Beach

Replica of the Columbus ship, the Nina, will be docked Sept. 4-8 and Labor Day fireworks will take place at the Orange Beach Wharf  Sunday, Sept. 6.  For more information visit this link.

OSDIA Interviews LIVE!: Season 1 Highlights


Lodge News

Joe Occhipinti Honored

Buona Fortuna member and Pensacola’s Joe Occhipinti is this year’s Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival Hall of Fame inductee. The Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival, based out of Mobile, is a non-profit with a mission to further the preservation and growth of jazz music for future generations. Choosing Occhipinti as an inductee is important for both the organization and the musician. Joe plays soprano saxophone and his band performs jazz at Calvert’s on Tuesday nights from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Those of us in Pensacola can recount all the contributions Joe has quietly made over these many years,” fellow musician Dr. Norman Vickers said. “Joe is not a good self-promoter, but he’s always there. He’s done the things that need to be done. He’s kept music alive,” said Dr. Vickers.

Read all about Joe’s honor in the Pensacola News Journal. Here is the link.

Saturday Night Live

How Technology Is Keeping Us Connected In The Time Of Coronavirus

Communities, support systems, and corporations that existed in the real world are now virtual, providing critical interaction and services to those in need of help or wanting togetherness. Patients dealing with addiction and struggling to get in-person appointments are benefiting from remote visits and telemedicine. Religious services across the country now use live streaming to connect with their congregations. Musicians live stream concerts for millions of fans around the world, and DJs host “house parties” online for people to party together again. Graduations took place via streaming last spring and many restaurants are surviving by accepting online take out orders. Many of our favorite live TV shows are “live “again using Zoom these days as in the example pictured here from Saturday Night Live. This is all possible because of the internet.

Many can continue to do their jobs from home thanks to modern technology and commercial cloud solutions. We can video conference, stream, and remotely collaborate using online productivity tools, thanks to these products and services. Digital tools can also help strengthen our real-world ties if we use them the right way.

One thing we know for certain is that actively participating in online culture is far better than passively consuming it. Research shows that people who use social media actively — by sending messages, leaving comments, or talking in group chats, for example — report being happier than those who simply scroll through their feeds, absorbing news stories and viral videos. Netflix and YouTube are fine for escapism, but if you’re looking to find solace during this pandemic — you need to contribute.

We can use technology to meet this crisis, rather than just distracting ourselves from it. So while we are not able to hold in-person meetings for many of our Buona Fortuna functions, please look for the Zoom link in your emails and join us online for meetings and get-togethers. Hope to see many of you on September 10 on our Zoom screen.

Our Italian American Heritage

What Do You Know About Italian Gorgonzola Cheese

Gorgonzola is a very ancient cheese that was first produced in the town of Gorgonzola, near Milan, in the year 879 AD. However, the town’s claim of geographical origin is disputed by other localities. Some say that it was first produced in Pasturo nella Valsassina, a major cheese-making area for centuries, due to the presence of excellent natural caves where the average temperature is constantly between 6°C and 12°C. Therefore, this allows for perfect conditions for making Gorgonzola as well as several other kinds of cheese. While the town of Gorgonzola remains famous it was not the cheese’s main area for production or trade for many centuries. In fact, Gorgonzola’s first name was “stracchino di Gorgonzola”, later defined as “green stracchino”. At that time, the cheese was produced from autumn milking when cows returned from mountain pastures.  Gorgonzola eventually spread to the Lombardy and Piedmont regions, though more slowly, compared with other cheeses.

After the Second World War, a new technique was implemented: “one-curd” processing. This new production system replaced the previous procedures, which were significantly more expensive as well as more hygienically and qualitatively inconsistent. Cheese factories and the many creameries in the Po River Valley collect milk from farms and produce cheese, which is then transferred to the main maturing units. During the 1970s, more than 100 cheese factories had to modernize their production plants and various small production units. At present, approximately thirty well-structured large and medium-size companies process gorgonzola cheese in their modernized plants. It is mainly produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Whole cow’s milk is used, to which starter bacteria are added with spores of the mold Penicillium glaucum. The whey is then removed during curdling, and the result is aged at low temperatures.

During the aging process, metal rods are quickly inserted and removed, creating air channels that allow the mold spores to grow and cause the cheese’s characteristic veining. Gorgonzola is typically aged for three to four months. The length of the aging process determines the consistency of the cheese, which gets firmer as it ripens. There are two varieties of Gorgonzola, which differ mainly in their age: the less aged Gorgonzola Dolce (also called Sweet Gorgonzola) and the more aged Gorgonzola Piccante (called Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola). Under EU law, Gorgonzola enjoys Protected Geographical Status. Termed DOP in Italy, this means that it can only be produced in the provinces of Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli, and the area of Casale Monferrato (province of Alessandria).

Gorgonzola may be eaten in many ways. It is often added to salads, either straight or as part of a blue cheese dressing. Combined with other soft cheeses, it is an ingredient on Pizza ai Quattro Formaggi (four-cheese pizza). It is often used as a topping for steak, sometimes in the form of a sauce with Port or other sweet wine. It may be melted into a risotto in the final stage of cooking, or served alongside polenta.  Source: Italian Trade Commission

For Your Next Appetizer – Figs with Gorgonzola


10 fresh ripe figs,

5 ounces good gorgonzola cheese

Fresh thyme leaves


Cut figs in half and place on a serving plate.

Press a small slice of cheese onto each fig.

Sprinkle with thyme and serve.

These can be prepared in advance and refrigerated; remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Venice, Piazza San Marco 2020

Venice Film Festival: Early Impressions Traveling To The First COVID-Era Festival

Andreas Wiseman is based in London but makes regular trips to Los Angeles. Andreas spent eight years covering the film industry at Screen International and held posts there including Chief Reporter, News Editor, and Deputy Editor. A film festival is about more than just the films and the festival center. It is about the location, the journey, and the experience. Wiseman describes below what it’s like to be on the ground at the Venice Film Festival, the world’s first major COVID-era film event.

“I can’t keep calm, I’m Italian,” read the man’s t-shirt as we got off our flight from London to Venice’s Marco Polo. I knew how he felt. Having spent much of the last six months at home watching and reading about the devastating impact of COVID-19 and the need to maintain social distance from others, taking a flight with no physical separation was slightly unsettling. Rows and rows of masked travelers were like something out of a movie.  This will be old hat for many who have flown over the last six months, but for those like me who haven’t boarded a plane since early March, it requires a mental adjustment. I guess British Airways didn’t get the memo. I’d say the flight was 90% full. “It’s a very busy service,” the woman at the check-in desk told us beforehand.

The airport in London was quieter than usual. Our temperatures were checked by a machine we walked alongside and would barely have noticed if not for a sign. Like much traveling these days, there are pros and cons. Fewer people are nice, but proximity to fellow travelers is a little more unsettling. The dining experience – ordering from an app, wiping down our table, and sitting in a crowded restaurant – took us out of our comfort zone.

The scenic public water boat to the Lido from the airport was also a little uncomfortable. We were packed in like sardines. Thankfully, masks are required on public transport in Italy. As we know, things that were once average and commonplace, like taking public transport, now require mental agility and the ability to suppress suspicion and anxiety. The act of sitting next to someone, or passing through a busy street, has become unnerving.

Once arrived on the Lido, the hub of the Venice Film Festival. things began to click back into gear. Most hotels, restaurants, and bars are open and the atmosphere is convivial as usual. The eateries and watering holes were relatively busy last night and masks weren’t much on show: admittedly, it’s pretty hard to wear a mask when eating or drinking, and much of this is done alfresco here.

Life, on the surface, is much like it was last year, only quieter – again, this is a blessing for some, and a disappointment for others. “Business has been bad”, our hotel manager told us. “It will pick up again this week with the festival, but it’s not what it was last year, and the last few months have been tough.” Gel is readily available in hotel foyers and at the entrances to restaurants.

Three industry pals, I was due to have dinner with this week canceled last minute in light of the rising number of COVID cases in Europe. From afar, the travel and number of festival protocols can seem daunting. For some, travel this year won’t be possible for practical or health reasons, others will be able to justify it after some mental gymnastics. Coming from Europe is far easier than coming from further afield, with non-EU visitors required to take tests before arriving and once here. Some have been put off by the lack of U.S. studio movies, others are rejoicing that there is a more independent flavor. Either way, it is perhaps fitting that the world’s first major COVID-era festival, is also the world’s oldest. The grande dame of film events has seen it all, beginning as it did in the early 1930s.

Venice itself is quieter, but there are still throngs of tourists in the center as I discovered when I popped over to the ‘mainland’ today. The waterways are devoid of the massive cruise ships and there are fewer showy yachts this year. I’m not complaining. Tomorrow and Wednesday, we’ll get a better sense of the altered machinations of the festival center and the screenings. It will be quieter, for sure. Again, some will rejoice in that, others will lament the diminished business and sense of ‘buzz’.

For this film festival regular and Venice lover, the strangeness of traveling to the festival hasn’t yet dampened the overall experience of being on the Lido, whose light is still as magical as ever, whose views back onto Venice are still unique, and whose charm remains intact. Life is a succession of new normals, so we better get used to this one best we can. That positivity may dwindle very quickly when my neighbor in the first press screening starts coughing and spluttering. But for now, so far so good.  Source: Deadline Hollywood

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 Mary Resedean, 4th 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.  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
  • Gunther Hascher
  • Al Lombardi
  • Joyce Bollenbacher


Joyce Bollenbacher
Lou Brizzi
Rachel Feriozzi
Mary Johnson
Jeanmarie Lupkowski
Ken Maclean
Marsha Mirra
Martha Nash
Paul Pecora
Rita Somma

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 and 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 $25 for the remainder of this year.

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







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