Sons and Daughters of Italy Lodge gives record donations
‘Caring for our community’
By BOB ROLLEY
From helping firefighters to feeding the hungry.
From supporting children with developmental disabilities to aiding victims of domestic violence.
From giving military veterans and students a boost to promoting children learning to read to disaster relief.
All of these worthy causes and more are at the heart of a local benevolent organization’s efforts.
The Giosue Carducci Lodge 146, Sons and Daughters of Italy, is well-known in Clinton County for contributing to deserving causes through monetary contributions each year and by using its lodge at 1 N. Henderson St. for fundraisers.
Of course, those fundraisers typically involve spaghetti dinners, befitting of an organization founded by local Italians over 100 years ago to celebrates their Italian heritage.
This year, the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s total contributions are the highest ever, coming in at $156,547.
That money represents a large percentage of the revenue the lodge takes in through state-licensed gaming machines for the year.
And it doesn’t hurt that the lodge’s membership is robust.
“Our membership is growing and we’re very pleased about that,” said Dan Vilello, lodge board president.
Vilello said the lodge membership is central to all of its giving, and to improvements to the lodge itself as the board just completed some upgrades to its second floor banquet room and now has its eyes on paving the rest of its parking lot and considering bids to renovate its third-floor banquet room kitchen.
Recipients of the lodge’s contributions are grateful, too.
Bucktail Medical Center is among the largest recipients at $15,000.
Bucktail CEO Tim Reeves said the gift could not have come at a better time.
“As Bucktail exits Chapter 11, we are entering both a challenging time and a time of growth. This generous gift from the Sons and Daughters of Italy Lodge in Lock Haven has come to us at a very opportune time. We will be moving forward with three projects to better serve western Clinton County,” Reeves said.
“First, we are upgrading our X-Ray equipment in preparation to move to a digital format; this provides greater detail for diagnostic purposes. We will also be implementing a 340-B pharmacy program. This program is governed by the federal Office of Pharmacy Affairs and is funded through drug manufacturers. Third, we will be certifying our clinic as a Rural Health Clinic which will increase our payments from government funded insurances like Medicare and Medicaid.
“Support like this donation from across Clinton County will help the medical center not only realize these goals, but will also help create a solid foundation moving forward,” he said.
The Infant Development Program got $15,500 and will use the money to help cover the costs of upgrading its computer networking systems, with any extra funds covering classroom/program supplies, said Lisa Bangson, IPD executive director.
“We currently have 59 children in our early intervention program and 24 children in our Stepping Stones Preschool,” Bangson said.
“And with our parenting programs – Parents as Teachers, Children in the Middle, Zero to Three, Elks Home Service Nurse – we serve 269 families,” she added, noting the agency’s total family count is typically around 380.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank received $8,500 – money that will help thousands of people in Clinton and Lycoming counties by providing meals, said Carla Fisher, the agency’s marketing and communications coordinator. It serves Clinton and Lycoming counties.
“With over 40 percent of households living below the poverty level in the United States, many individuals, families, children, veterans and seniors are affected by hunger. For every $1, the Central Pennsylvania food Bank is able to provide six nutritious meals, including the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products and center of the plate proteins,” Fisher said. “The generous gift from Sons of Italy will provide 51,000 meals to our neighbors in need struggling with hunger in Clinton County.
Tom Gioglio, a board member of the Lock Haven YMCA, said that agency will use the money as scholarships for deserving members.
Other recipients included:
r Clinton County fire companies, $15,000.
r Lock Haven Salvation Army, $11,000.
r Clinton County Connections, $6,000.
r Lock Haven YMCA, $5,000.
r Annie Halenbake Ross Library, $5,000.
r American Red Cross, $5,000.
r Clinton County Treatment Court, $4,000.
r Harger Utility Charities, $2,500.
r Gray Eagles LHU Football, $2,500.
r Lock Haven University Men’s & Women’s Soccer, $2,000.
r City of Lock Haven Free Summer Concerts, $2,000.
r Clinton County Housing Coalition, $2,000.
r West Branch Soccer Club, $2,000.
r LHU Wrestling, $1,000.
r Clinton County Historical Society, $1,000.
r Clinton County Special Olympics, $1,000.
r Clinton County Women’s Center, $1,000.
r Castanea Recreation Authority, $1,000.
r Downtown Lock Haven Inc., $644.
r North Central AIDS Coalition, $500.
r Lock Haven Shoe Bank, $500.
r Clinton County SPCA, $500.
r Clinton County Cleanscapes, $500.
r Camp Cadet, $500.
r Crisis Intervention Training, $350.
r Central Pennsylvania Community Band, $250.
r Capt. Andrew Koss Memorial ROTC Scholarship, $250.
r Quiet Reach Farm, $250.
r Horses of Hope, $250.
r In Your Shoes: $250.
r Mill Hall Youth Soccer, $200.
r Thunderstruck Girls’ Softball Team, $200.
r Central Intermediate Education Unit 10, $200.
r Clinton County Wildcats 12U Traveling Baseball, $150.
r Yetis Boys’ Baseball, $150.
r City of Lock Haven Boat Dock, $150.
As for the lodge, the giving fullfills its mission … a mission started long ago by a handful of men and women of Italian descent committed to “building connections and caring for our community.”