President’s Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope this letter finds everyone well after our recent Hurricane.

Since many of you were disappointed that we had to cancel our live October general meeting, we are scheduling our November meeting live at St. Joseph’s Hall.

The meeting will be on the second Thursday of the month, November 12, 2020. We will serve dinner at 6 pm and will begin the meeting virtually via Zoom and at the parish center at 7 pm. St Joseph’s hall is large enough for us to social distance. Please bring drinks only. The food will be provided.

Please let’s have a good turnout for our first live meeting since March. Let’s keep moving forward and be safe at the same time.

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 on November 12.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!


President Patricia Russo

Buona Fortuna LodgeInstallation Dinner 2010 058

Membership Information

Our next General Membership Meeting will be on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at 6 pm at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, 140 W. Government St. Pensacola and at 7 pm at the parish center and through video conferencing with the Zoom program. The access link will be emailed to members the day before the meeting. Dinner will be provided by Buona Fortuna at the meeting but please bring your own drinks and cups. No sharing.

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  

The 2020 Charity donations will be announced at the October General membership meeting.

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/

Festa Italiana

Due to the pandemic, the Lodge has 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 the community are very important to us. Please share this information and we will be back in 2021 bigger and better than ever. We are looking forward to serving the best Italian food and fun at our October 15 and 16, 2021 Festa Italiana.

Christmas Party

Saturday, December 12, 2020, St. Joseph’s.

Lodge News

Buona Fortuna Lodge mourns the loss of one of the members and founders of the lodge, Rita Somma. The lodge’s history details the growth of our organization due to Rita’s enthusiasm and energy. She was a loving mother and grandmother who loved to show you photos of her family. The minute after you met Rita, you were hooked by her warm and fun-loving personality.

In the 1970s Rita lived in the Fort Walton area and worked at a local supermarket where she met the store’s security guard, Bill Zuppa. They became members of a Fort Walton area Sons of Italy In America lodge. A few years later Rita moved to Pensacola where she and her husband opened a pizza parlor. Shortly after, Rita and Bill along with Gene Valentino decided to organize a lodge in Pensacola. Buona Fortuna was established in 2006.

As a member, Rita served as the lodge’s first Treasurer, as Trustee several times, as a delegate to the Grand Lodge Convention, and was an active member of many of the lodge’s committees. She was the social chair for many years and organized meetings and social activities. As the sponsorship chairperson, she was able to inspire many community businesses to support the lodge’s events, such as the Festa Italiana, Bocce, and Golf Tournaments. Rita was an active participant at Buona Fortuna’s events and served as a raffle chairperson until a few years ago. When Buona Fortuna joined a Grand Lodge cruise in Italy, Rita was on board. From the photos we have of the event, it looked like Rita had a wonderful time, as she always did.

Photo Gallery-Rita Through The Years

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2020 Charity Donations

Communities Caring at Christmas -Sue Strachan accepting Buona Fortuna’s donation

Our Italian American Heritage


Putting The ‘Italian’ In America’s Thanksgiving

Restraint” is definitely not the word one would use to describe an Italian-American Thanksgiving. Before the turkey and side dishes even appear on the table, an entire Italian feast is served, stuffing guests to near capacity with classic foods such as deli meats and cheeses, pasta, salads, and more.

It all begins with antipasti. There are cured meats with a charcuterie board filled with prosciutto, capicola, mortadella, soppressata, and other forms of dried Italian sausage. These meats are typically paired with a variety of Italian cheeses, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella, taleggio, along with many other possibilities.

Surrounding food items often include olives; pickled vegetables, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms; cold seafood salad; anchovies in olive oil; and more crusty Italian bread than you’d ever think to have on hand at one time.

Some Italian families also include a soup course—like Italian wedding soup or tortellini en brodo. This is followed by a baked, cheesy pasta.

Secondo Piatto- the main event-a roasted turkey with sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli drizzled with lemon, and olive oil.

Dolce. Italian pastries and a bowl of mixed roasted nuts and fresh fruit.

Every Italian American home has a Thanksgiving specialty. Here is mine:

Italian Bread & Sausage Stuffing

Yields enough to fill a 12- to 14- pound turkey and a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.


14 cups Italian bread, like ciabatta, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 loaves)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 lb sweet Italian fennel sausage (casings removed)
2 large yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 large ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon dried sage
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth, plus extra for the baking dish


Pile the bread cubes into a very large bowl and set aside. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and sausage. Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon or spatula into 1-inch pieces, until light brown, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bowl with the cubed bread.

In the fat left in the pan, sauté the onions, celery, and garlic until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes Stir in the thyme, sage, salt, and pepper, cook for 1 minute and then add the mixture to the cubed bread. Add the broth to the bread mixture; stir until well combined.

Put some of the stuffing in the turkey just before roasting. Pack the stuffing loosely, leaving enough room to fit your whole extended hand into the bird’s cavity. Cook the stuffing in the turkey in a 325 degree F oven to 165ºF, checking with an instant-read thermometer.

Place the remaining stuffing in a casserole dish or large baking pan, pour a cup or two of extra stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the turkey. Bake it covered until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. For a crunchy top, uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking.

Felice Ringraziamento

Did You Know This?

Samuel J. Porcello (1935–2012) was an Italian American food scientist who worked at Nabisco for 34 years. He is particularly noted for his work on the modern Oreo cookie. Porcello held five patents directly related to the Oreo. His work earned him the nickname, “Mr. Oreo.”

Porcello was a member of Nabisco’s research and development department, which develops new lines of snack foods. He was considered one of the world’s leading experts on cocoa, which is used to make chocolate. He was given the title, “principal scientist,” during his career at Nabisco. The Oreo cookie has been sold since 1912 (450 billion Oreos have been sold since their introduction), but it was Porcello who invented the modern creme-filling for Oreos and Double Stuffed Oreos, which has an extra filling.

Porcello held five patents related to his work on the Oreo cookie. He also developed a product line of Oreos covered in white chocolate and dark chocolate. Porcello found the particular type of chocolate which he used for chocolate-covered Oreos while attending a food industry trade show in Europe.

Aside from his work with Oreo, Porcello developed other Nabisco snack products, including SnackWells. His position required him to travel extensively in search of new potential products and ingredients according to his son, Curtis, Porcello often brought new snacks home with him to see how his family liked or disliked the potential new products.

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 Vincent Tucei


Louis Brizzi, Thomas Cacciatore, Nick Calabrese, Al Hargis, Phyllis Cochran, Nancy Colalillo

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

  • Vera Fricano
  • Gunther Hascher
  • Al Lombardi
  • Joyce Bollenbacher
  • Lucy Smith


Joseph Del Signore
Brooke Hardy
Dan Kaestle
Frank Patti
Mary Resedean
Paul Stanley

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







The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company


“Best Cup of Coffee on the Coast!”

86 Brent Ln, Pensacola, Florida 32503

  (850) 696-2887