Message From the President

As we turn the corner and enter into fall, we are once again reminded about the danger of fires. Again Northern California has been fighting wildfires. Next time you see a firefighter, thank them as they are putting their lives on the line to protect us. Pray for our members in Northern California (Redding, Shasta areas). Every year it seems the fire season grows. Be careful out there.

August has been a busy month, from picnics, to scholarship lunches, then back east, time with family and now it’s September already. We need to slow the train down.

I just returned from our National plenary session in Crystal City, Virginia. I will give you a few highlights, but also see Immediate Past President, now National Trustee Lynn’s report for more detail. National President Vera ran a very efficient meeting, keeping everyone on time. National, along with the Sons of Italy Foundation and CSJ are all running in the black. A legacy donation came to National last year in the amount of $300,000, quite a surprise. This enabled them to pay down the mortgage on the Washington, DC office to be paid off in 2025. After a phone call from the lawyer of the estate the amount was increased by $210,000, a portion of this was used to pay down the mortgage so the office will now be paid off in end of 2019. Besides this a van that has been modified for our wounded warriors will be bought and donated. Sons of Italy Foundation will be purchasing van number 100. The Foundation is also investing a portion of the monies. The fundraiser for National (calendars) is doing well, California is leading the way by selling 177 calendars to date, they are still available, let’s try and hit 200 sold in California. We still have till the end of September.

The NELA held in May of 2018 was a success and plans for NELA 2019 are in the works. We were given a list of lodges not in compliance with the IRS. In California we are down to 3 lodges. We will be contacting you shortly. Many people ask me why they get calendars and T-shirts from the Sons of Italy Foundation. This a bulk mailing program the foundation does and it generates approx 300,000 dollars profit, we are not selling your addresses, it is just random. This has been a very successful program for fund raising.

First National Vice President Nancy is working on a revised Ritual & Protocol. We will have the first few sections available soon. The National Bylaws are being updated and should be available by the first of the New Year.

We presented our checks for the national charities; total for all grand lodges was $69,203.00, Hats off to all the grand lodges for their generosity!

We are fast approaching our Grand Council meeting in September and our Western Foundation Gala. I hope to see a lot of members at Grand Council and come support our Gala. We will be honoring some amazing gentleman. This is one of the few fund raisers we have for the Western Foundation. Let’s all show our support.

October is right behind our Gala, and that means Columbus Day events, lets embrace our Italian heritage celebrate with respect and dignity. We are proud of our heritage so let’s show it.

Ciao, until next month,
John