On Friday, March 24, donor members of the Sons and Daughters of Italy met in Palo Alto at the Center for Academic Medicine to present a check in the amount of $4000 to Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Foundation on behalf of the Western Foundation Birth Defects Program. We were thrilled to donate to the world-class Children’s Genetics Program at Stanford, a true place of healing and love for sick children.
Our Medical Charities/Birth Defects Libraries Chairperson and Past State Queen Mary Lucido was unable to attend due to work commitments, so she asked me to present on her behalf. Those who participated included our State Recording Secretary Lori Rossi from the Northern Solano Lodge, Arlene Nunziati and Silvana DaDalt of the Columbia Lodge of San Mateo, and yours truly from the Cornelia-Vita Nuova Lodge of San Francisco. In addition we were happy to have representation from the former William Paca donor lodge – former lodge President Gloria Ravetto and husband George, former lodge Financial Secretary Paula Chidichimo, and former Trustee Linda Clausen. Columbia Lodge President Angelo Fanucchi and wife, Recording Secretary Angie Fanucchi, were unable to attend as Angelo was recovering from neck surgery.
We were greeted by Susan Schelley, MPH, LCGC: Licensed Senior Genetic Counselor and Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Affiliated). (Susan was hired in 1983 by Dr. Luigi Luzzatti, the first geneticist at Stanford); Dr. David Stevenson, Service Chief, Professor of Pediatrics; Ellyn Farrelly, MS, LCGC, Supervising Genetic Counselor, and Natalie Dykzeul, MS, LCGC, Senior Genetic Counselor. These are incredibly wonderful and caring people who do so much good in helping those in so much need! It was the late Lucile Packard’s wish to have her hospital provide loving, comfortable and calming care for her young patients during often frightening and stressful times.
We learned that genetics is the most rapidly evolving field in medicine, and that Stanford has one of the largest training programs for genetics in the country, with nine geneticists on staff and one more on the way. Newborns are all tested with a heel prick for many genetic disorders, which can be treated early, including administering some gene therapies that are available.
Our hosts graciously and gratefully thanked the Sons and Daughters of Italy for our 49 years of faithful contributions. We are so fortunate to have such an outstanding school of research and learning in our own state, and all of our wonderful donors in the Grand Lodge are to be thanked for their continued generosity in helping make a difference in the lives of challenged children and their families. We are very much looking forward to the 50th Anniversary of our relationship with Lucile Packard and Stanford next year.
Celebrating its 32nd anniversary in 2023, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is annually ranked as one of the nation's best pediatric hospitals and is devoted to the care of children and expectant mothers, and provides pediatric and obstetric medical and surgical services in association with the Stanford University School of Medicine. Packard Children's offers patients locally, regionally and nationally a full range of health care programs and services, from preventive and routine care to the diagnosis and treatment of serious illness and injury. For more information, please visit www.stanfordchildrens.org. You’ll be amazed by what you see!
Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
Grand Lodge of California
P. O. Box 2467
Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone: (415) 586-1316