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February 13, 2015     Post-Gazette
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February 13, 2015
 

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POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 13, 2015 Page5 Sons of Italy Grand Lodge Charity Commission ; A Frank De Pas( uale Venture : Residents of the Casa Monte the Grand Lodge. The Commission began their 2014 efforts by sending Valentines to over 150 of our shut-in members. The cards were well received by the recipients, as evidenced by the many thank you mes- sages we received in return. It expresses to these hon- ored members that they are remembered with love and affection and that they are appreciated for their years of membership in the Order. If your Lodge has not taken ad- vantage of this service by the Commission, we urge you to do so for the benefit of these oft-forgotten members. The Commission has also  sent many cards this year to members who were seriously ill, facing surgery, were re- cently confined to a nursing home or a rehab facility, or sustained the loss of a fam- ily member. This "sunshine" service was 'announced at the 100 th Annual State Con- vention as a way to honor all of our local Lodge members, who have helped make the Grand Lodge successful over the last 100 years, by send- ing sympathy, get well, and "thinking of you" messages to all in need. If your Lodge has not availed itself of this service, we encourage you to do so, as the cards have thus far been well received. Mem- bers can submit information about a member in need via a form in the Charity Com- mission section of our website at osiama.org/chari or, if absolutely necessary, information may be submit- ted via telephone. In October, the Charity Commission represented the Grand Lodge by participat- ing in the Columbus Day Pa- rade in East Boston. A four foot by five-foot poster show- ing lodges' charitable giving through the Grand Lodge for the last 10 years -- totaling over $1,000,000 -- was mounted on a truck that trav- eled the parade route. This figure does not include mon- ies donated for scholarships or additional monies given individually by local lodges to charities. This poster acted as a great "spokesperson" for our Order. Many people along the parade route commented on our accomplishments and many indicated that they had "no idea that we were a chari- table organization." This ac- complishment would not be possible without you, the members of our local lodges. We extend a big "thank you" YEAR IN REVIEW by Carol Rossi Cassino with visitors from to all our Lodges for your gen- erous support to our chari- ties, both at Convention and through your own lodges. In November, members were informed that the Char- ity Commission, through the Charitable and Educational Trust, is sponsoring various programs hosted by the Spe- cial Olympics. These pro- grams include bowling, soc- cer, and bocce tournaments in which special Olympians of all ages compete. The Spe- cial Olympics are in need of both event volunteers and monetary sponsorships. We look forward to partnering with this organization and once again, we thank all of our Lodges for their support of these deserving Olympi- ans. The year culminated with two fabulous and rewarding events. The first, on Satur- day, December 6% was the annual North End Nursing was assisted by elf Mia MacLean, handed out the gifts and cookies, which were gen- erously devoured by the resi- dents. This party is such a won- derful event and brings such joy to the residents, many of whom no longer have family nearby or others to visit with them. It is indeed a blessing to take a bit of time during the holiday season to brighten the lives of these dear ones. The party is open to any member of our lodges and we invite you to attend next year's party. The last event of the year was our first-ever Christmas party at the Casa Monte Cassino which was held on Saturday, December 15. What a very exciting party this was as we visited with the five young people under- going treatment who were there with one or more of their parents: York (16) with his mother Lisa from the Do- minican Republic, Jin Lei (9) with his dad from China, Deana (14) with mother Sandy from Bolivia, Marco (10) with mother Michelle from the Philippines, and Julio (18) with mother Ana from Chile. Although none of the young people (with the exception of Julio) spoke En- glish, there was no problem with communicating the pur- pose of the party or the joy of the season. We arrived with home-baked desserts, and the Casa provided us a won- derful lunch of prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwiches! We came www.depasqualeventures.com Residents at the North End Christmas party. Home Christmas party. There were about 50 resi- dents in attendance, all ea- gerly awaiting our visit. DJ and musician Ross Zagami livened up the group with many Christmas carols and Italian melodies. Many of the residents sang along and some even sang solo! Lisa, the Ac- tivities Director, was also inspired during the sing- along, serenading with Santa, played by "Ollie" Oliverio. The residents, no matter the age, look forward to Santa's visit and of course, enjoy receiv- ing the gifts we bring. Santa Lisa, Activities Director at the North End Nursing home, with Santa. Nursing Home enjoying the with gifts that Santa (again played by "Ollie") distributed to the residents, their par- ents, Alpha Paradella (the Di- rector of the Casa), Maurizio (her husband), and Ana, an assistant at the Casa. The Casa presented us with bottles of Casa Monte Cassino wine made by Maurizio. We were unable to obtain a mu- sician for the event, but no problem - the children of Alpha and Maurizio, and Julio, one of the residents, provided us with guitar music and singing. We came to the Casa party bearing gifts and food with the intention of spreading holiday cheer to those far from their homeland during the holidays; we left with more blessings than we brought, with more joy than we spread and with a renewed sense of awe for the Casa and its dedication to the needs of a hurting humanity. We extend our blessings to everyone for a happy and healthy New Year. 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