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Sons of Italy doles out over $45K to area organizations

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Representatives from area organizations are pictured with members of the Sons of Italy's board of directors after receiving a portion of about $45,000 in funds from the club on Wednesday evening.

LOCK HAVEN – Multiple representatives of community organizations gathered on the Sons of Italy’s heated outdoor patio Wednesday evening to receive donations from the Sons of Italy totaling $38,000.

In total, the Sons gave $45,150 to 24 non-profits, programs and community oriented projects from January to March through the Sons’ gambling proceeds. Most years, the Sons is required to donate 60 percent of these proceeds.

President Dan Vilello noted that, due to an order by Gov. Tom Wolf, the Sons didn’t have to make these donations.

“But we chose to do it anyway,” he said, stressing the Sons commitment to the community.

Vilello, with help from other board members, handed out some of the donations to representatives – although not all could attend.

Vilello highlighted one donation in particular, which isn’t common. The Sons chose to donate $5,000 to UNICEF – specifically to help children in the Ukraine as Russia continues its attack on the country.

“Some know that Italy was one of the founding members of the European Union and NATO,” Vilello explained. “This money will go, as needed, to help the children of Ukraine.”

The following organizations received funding from the Sons to be put towards various projects and initiatives:

– West Branch Drug and Alcohol Commission: $3,000.

– Lock Haven Catholic School: $250.

– PA Wounded Warriors: $200.

– West Branch Soccer Club: $1,000.

– Central PA Cannons Baseball: $100.

– Mill Hall Little League: $100.

– Avis Little League: $100.

– Long Run Little League: $100.

– Lock Haven/Flemington Little League (sponsorship): $400.

– Yeti Baseball: $100.

– Ronald McDonald House: $300.

– Bald Eagle Nittany Valley Kiwanis Club: $500.

– Holy Spirit Parish: $500.

– Infant Development Program: $5,000.

– Clinton County Special Olympics: $1,000.

– Millbrook Playhouse: $500.

– Gray Eagles Football: $1,000.

– Harger Utilities Charities, Inc.: $5,000. Vilello noted this funding would be paid in 2023 and be put towards the rehabilitation of Veteran Park in the city.

– Clinton County United Way: $1,000.

– River Valley Regional YMCA: $10,000. Vilello said the Sons have pledged $25,000 total to the Y for its pool rehabilitation project. The remaining $15,000 will be split over the next three years.

– Dunnstown Fire Company: $1,000.

– Central PA Food Bank: $5,000.

– Clinton County Historical Society: $1,000.

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