Italian Americans celebrated the installation of new officers into the local chapter of the esteemed Order of the Sons of Italy -- Columbus Lodge No. 2143. This organization has had a long history of promoting Italian heritage and culture as well as community service.
The Order of the Sons of Italy created in, where else, but the “Little Italy” in New York City by Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro on June 22, 1905. It was originally called “Figli d’Italia.” Sellaro, along with five other Italian immigrants, made this organization with the purpose of providing support to other Italian immigrants and assist them in gaining their U.S. citizenship. They also provided community assistance such as health and dental benefits and educational opportunities for other Italian Americans.
As the organization grew, members were able to start free schools to teach English to immigrants, create credit unions, establish orphanages and donate to war efforts during World Wars I and II. According to the OSIA website, the Sons of Italy Foundation, to date, has provided “more than $93 million to educational programs, disaster relief, cultural advancement and medical research.”
The organization has also taken on the mission to support Italian heritage and culture and with this in mind, Angelo Roncallo, Dominick Baranello and P. Vincent Landi founded the Farmingdale/Massapequa Lodge in 1964.
These men began this local sector of OSIA with the mission to promote fraternalism, Italian culture, and community service. This mission statement has held true and today our local chapter has provided priceless amounts of service and goodwill to the Massapequa and Farmingdale areas.
Some of these notable services are scholarships to students at local schools such as Massapequa, Plainedge, Farmingdale and Bethpage and they sponsor sports organizations and cub scouts. In addition, they are also responsible for the much anticipated annual Lodge Festival on Broadway in North Massapequa.
This year, incoming President Frank Gatto has begun plans to sponsor the annual Music under the Stars program and use this as an outlet to bring the community together, while promoting Italian pride and culture.
If you are interested in joining OSIA, you or your spouse must be of Italian descent and an application is required. For more information, on services or how to join call (516) 293-8545.
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