SOI: Outstanding Service Organization 2015

AFP Manitoba presented Order Sons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge with an award for the Outstanding Service Organization for 2015.  The event took place at the beautiful Metropolitan Event Centre on November 13, 2015.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Manitoba Chapter presented awards at that luncheon to:


 Outstanding Philanthropist:  Doug Harvey
 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser  Ace Burpee
 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization  The Asper Foundation
 Outstanding Large Philanthropic Organization  McDonald Restaurants of Manitoba
 Outstanding Service Organization  Sons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge Inc.





 

It was a truly special day to be recognized with such a prestigious group, and we wish to thank the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Manitoba the the amazing honour.  

 

Below is a 2 minute video made by Cleave Films for the award ceremony.



 


It was admittedly a bit strange though; it is usually us presenting cheques, awards and scholarships -- very different to be on the receiving end. Thank you from all of our members who have worked so hard to raise funds, select deserving recipients and give away over a million dollars in our past 10 years.

 

A special thank you to our friends at St. Boniface Hospital Foundation for nominating us for this award. We have worked with them in the past and they are a wonderful group of very dedicated people!

 

 

The Metropolitan Event Centre was a great venue for this luncheon and awards ceremony.

 

 

 2015 Winners (L-R): Doug Harvey, McDonalds Restaurants, The Asper Foundation, Ace Burpee, Franco Petrelli (President, Sons of Italy Garibaldi Lodge)


 

 


 

 

 

 














 


It
 was admittedly a bit strange though; it is usually us presenting cheques, awards and scholarships -- very different to be on the receiving end.

Thank you from all of our members who have worked so hard to raise funds, select deserving recipients and give away over a million dollars in our past 10 years.


A special thank you to our friends at St. Boniface Hospital Foundation for nominating us for this award. We have worked with them in the past and they are a wonderful group of very dedicated people!

 

Sons of Italy members in attendance receive generous applause.

   












 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Passion for the Second Million

By John Giavedoni
Published in the Winnipeg Sun, April 1, 2015


It's time to throw down the gauntlet with a “if we can do it, so can you" challenge.


Sons of Italy has donated over one million dollars into the Winnipeg community over the past 29 years, with most of it in the past 12 years.  Not included in that million-dollar figure is the $100,000 we gave away on March 14th.  You see, we are now working on our second million!

What sort of massive organization has been assembled to create this fundraising dynamo?  None.  We are a small fraternal group, with only about 100 members and no staff.

What we lack in numbers or paid resources, we make up in passion for giving to those less fortunate and a passion for getting it done. 

From our ranks, we put together a committee of about 25.  That’s 25 men.  We talk about starting early each year, but planning is not our thing.  Getting it done is what we do, and we’ve been getting it done, with the generous help of our sponsors and the many of you who have attended our Gala.

How about you?  Is there a way your group can give to the community?  Are you volunteering your time?  If each of us does something, our community will be a better place.  If we can do it, you can too!

2016 is our 30th year.  We will get it done, and it’ll be big.  After all, we’re working on donating our second million! 


Italian Students Awarded $5,000

By John Giavedoni
Published in the Winnipeg Sun, January 15, 2015


I have been privileged to be on the Sons of Italy scholarship committee for many years.  Each year, our committee reviews the applicants for the Sons of Italy scholarships, awarded to two students of Italian origin entering post-graduate institutions.

 

As we review the mark transcripts, the letters of reference and the submissions detailing their community involvement, it is always with the same emotion – pride.  Year after year we review applications from such amazing students.  Yes, they have great marks, but they are so engaged in the Italian and general community in terms of language studies, involvement in the arts, participation in sports and giving time to volunteering.  They are articulate, hard working and focused on a career and community.

 

I think back to that time in my life.  My marks were good, but I think I was more focused on girls than on community and career!

 

We are very proud to announce that Alexander Loscerbo (left in picture) and Elizabeth Grande (middle) have each been awarded the Sons of Italy 2014 Scholarship, and $2,000.  Adrianna Racano (right) has been awarded the La Lupa di Roma 2014 Scholarship and $1,000.

 

Congrats to our winners!



SOI Donates to Marcus Cirillo Trust Fund

CPL NATHAN CIRILLOThe recent attacks of two Canadians soldiers have shaken many of us.  They were killed while doing the job they had chosen: proudly serving in the Canadian military.

The irony and symbolism was unmistakable in the second incident where a reservist was shot at a monument which honours the sacrifices of the men and women in Canada’s Armed Forces.  He was gunned down while mounting a silent, respectful and unarmed vigil at the Canadian War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa.


A Time to Give


MARCUS CIRILLO AT HIS FATHER'S FUNERALSons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge has been particularly struck by this event.  Noting that 24 year old Nathan Cirillo’s background is Sicilian and that the single father has left behind his 6 year old son, Marcus, it was a swift and easy decision for us to donate $500 to the Marcus Cirillo Trust.

This trust was setup by the Argyll Regimental Foundation on behalf of Corporal Cirillo’s regiment, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, and True Patriot Love, with all monies going to support Marcus Cirillo. 


The TD Bank has generously set up a trust account for Marcus (pictured at left at his father's funeral) so that individuals anywhere in Canada may also make a direct contribution at their local bank (TD Bank, Transit # 2221, Account #6391935).

Should others wish to join us, you can make a contribution at a local bank, or you can donate to the Marcus Cirillo Trust Fund online by credit/debit card on our donations page.


A Prayer


Our feelings are best expressed by the prayer read by Brigadier-General J.M.Fletcher, Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces, on November 11, 2014 at the National War Memorial in Ottawa:

“From the violence that transformed this national memorial of military sacrifice into a place of military sacrifice, a place where an unknown soldier and a soldier now known to us all, lay side by side in death having accepted to bravely stand on guard for our nation, and for its values, rights and freedoms. 

And we remember the thousands of others who have similarly stood and served and sacrificed. 

May they rest in peace.  And may the memory of their sacrifice and the sacrifice of all those who continue to serve, inspire us to do our part so that our world works towards peace.”


President's Reception

The Sons of Italy Garibaldi lodge held our 2nd annual President’s Reception on March 7th 2014.  This was a very special evening whereby our Gala Title Sponsor RBC, platinum and gold sponsors, SOI National President, CIBPA National President, Honourary Co Chairs, Gala Committee, our Charity of Choice CancerCare Manitoba, Father Sam and our honourable Past Presidents came together in one beautiful room for “one to one” discussion.
 
National President of the Order Sons of Italy of Canada, Josie Cumbo spoke about how significant the Garibaldi lodge is in what they accomplish for both the Italian and Winnipeg community.  Our CIBPA National President, Bob Sacco then spoke about what CIBPA collectively in Canada has achieved in providing very significant scholarships and donations to Italian causes.  Rob Johnston of RBC was presented with an honourary membership to CIBPA National and CIBPA Winnipeg for his support of our Galas.

 
Past Presidents of the Sons of Italy Garibaldi Lodge were called up individually for presentation of a gold Sons of Italy ring to recognize the amazing accompishements each had contributed to our lodge over the past 28 years.  It was truly an electric and yet genuine atmosphere in the room that was an amazing prologue to the main Gala story that would unfold the following night.

[PRESIDENT'S RECEPTION - full story and pics]

[PAST PRESIDENTS RECOGNIZED - full story and pics]



CancerCare MB - Gala Charity

We are proud to announce that the feature charity for the 2014 Sons of Italy Gala will be CancerCare Manitoba.  Cancer affects almost all of us in some way, either with being inflicted, or knowing someone who has battled cancer.  CancerCare Manitoba provides many programs and services that are not covered by Manitoba Health. 


Sons of Italy have also contributed to CancerCare Manitoba through the Challenge for Life walk.  We have enrolled a team in each of the past four years, and in total have raised almost $125,000.


The following video will tell you why we are involved with CancerCare.




Through its various fundraising activities, CancerCare Manitoba Foundation is this year expected to grant $5.2 million to CancerCare Manitoba for research (62%) and patient care support / training (16%).  All of the funds raised at our Gala will go directly to provide cancer treatment or research in Manitoba.


Please support CancerCare Manitoba by participating in our 28th annual Gala.  The best way to participate is to be a sponsor of the event, and know that your funds are directly helping with programs for Manitobans battling cancer.  There are many sponsorship opportunities at various levels.


You can also get involved by advertising in our 72 page full colour dinner program.  And of course, you will want to be there, as this is THE gala event of the year.  Purchase your tickets online today - we have sold out the past 9 years, so don't delay.





SOI Awards Scholarships to Twins

We are pleased to announce the winners of our annual Sons of Italy Garibaldi Lodge Scholarships, twin sisters Alessandra Baksina and Rosie Baksina.  Each will be receiving $2,000 towards their post-secondary education.

Chair of the Sons of Italy Scholarship Committee, Cosmo Racano, announced the winners and said both sisters were ecstatic on hearing the news.  Two scholarships are given each year to students of Italian descent who graduated grade 12 with plans to enter university or college.


 
      
 

Alessandra Baksina was on the honour roll at Glenlawn Collegiate for four years and is currently in the direct entry program at the University of Manitoba through the Asper’s School of Business – working toward a degree in business, majoring in both international business and marketing in the retail industry.

“I am extremely proud of my Italian background and would like to say thank-you to the Sons of Italy for this scholarship to help me to reach my future goals at University.”

 
     
Rosie Baksina
is currently studying at University of Manitoba where she plans to focus her studies on psychology.  An honour roll student in high school, she has been involved in the Italian community by volunteering at Folklorama and through her dancing with the Sons of Italy Splendore D’Italia Folk Dancers. 

“I am sincerely grateful for the scholarship Sons of Italy has awarded me and I can’t wait to take on the work force as a successful business woman.”
 


More information on our various scholarships, and information on past winners can be found in our scholarship section.





Go Kart Challenge

It was a frigid Saturday, but 16 brave Sons donned a racing helmet, inhaled the smell of gasoline and exhaust and fought tire-to-tire for racing supremacy in the 3rd annual Sons of Italy Go Kart ChallengeMario Posillipo, last year’s winner was under considerable pressure from the others.  Teams of two were selected and the race was on, Le Mans style.

There was some bumping, a few spin-outs and some screaming from the track announcer to “stop”, and “slow down!”  When the exhaust and smoke cleared, first place winners were the team of Mario Posillipo and Lou Caci, second place went to Justin Bova and Danny Militano, and third place to Dinos Sotiriadis and Dino Petrelli. The honour of the "Slowest Sons" and the coveted "Horse's Behind Trophy" for 2014, went to David Bueti and Cam Giavedoni

It was a fantastic afternoon of Le Mans racing, lots of great laughs, but most important, bringing the Brothers and new friends together. We ended the race by heading to Joe Grande's Mona Lisa’s Ristorante for some terrific pizza, Anice and wine.


Special thanks go to David Bueti and the social committee for organizing this fun afternoon and for all the Brothers that attended.
[Click for Full Racing Report and more pics]






Christmas Eve Feast - 2013

On Tuesday, December 24th, 2013, Sons of Italy held the eighth annual Christmas Eve Feast for approximately 450 people from Winnipeg's West End.

Working in conjunction with our major sponsors X-Cues Billiards and Café, Sorrento’s on Ellice and the West End BIZ, the Feast was our biggest ever!  The dinner featured both traditional and Italian favorites and was served at X- Cues, 551 Sargent Avenue. Food was served from 11:30 a.m. to about 2:00 p.m.   Santa and Mrs. Claus were there to add to the festivities.


"The Feast embraces the true spirit of the season.
I couldn’t imagine not being involved!" - Michelle


The dinner is a small way to help those in the community who may find this time of year difficult by providing a hot meal, entertainment and company to share it with.  Some experienced their first Christmas in Canada and for others it provided their only holiday meal.  Along with the plentiful feast provided, everyone left with a gift bag full of treats.


This heartwarming event beautifully demonstrates the spirit of Christmas in the vibrant West End of Winnipeg.  Sal Infantino, owner of X-Cues says: “Seeing the appreciation and joy on everyone’s face is the best gift. I can’t imagine doing anything else on Christmas Eve”.


CLICK TO VIEW A LARGER IMAGE OF THE DAY-OF VOLUNTEERS

Event co-chairs Reno Augellone and John Giavedoni from Sons of Italy agree, saying “Christmas is a special time of giving for Italians and we appreciate being able to help the multicultural people in this community.”


We are again amazed at the outpouring of generosity by many local businesses that have stepped forward to make this Christmas Eve Feast an annual tradition, and would like to thank and acknowledge the list of amazing donors -- they make this wonderful event possible -- thank you very much!


Finally, we want to thank the many volunteers that are not only on-site the day of the event (click on pic above), but those that help with advance set-up, shopping, deliveries and planning - their hard work and dedication at a very busy time of year is appreciated beyond what words can express.


Click for Donor Recognition / Photo Gallery






Dante Alighieri Christmas Party

With what has become an annual tradition, Sons of Italy Garibaldi Lodge with Santa and the elves leading the way and La Befana close at their heals celebrated Christmas with the children of the Dante Alighieri Italian language school.


Dante Alighieri had their annual Christmas event at the Centro Caboto on December 14th.  The sounds of singing children rung through the halls and all were excited with anticipation about what exciting surprises could come next!  


It appeared a dashing yet wise Santa had traded in his old garments for a brand new Santa outfit!  La Befana looked beautiful as usual as only she can (Santa is in love with la Befana but please don’t tell Mrs. Claus!).


This year we had eager elves Simon Cortens and Paul Bueti prancing in “Gangnam Style” with the ringing of Jingle Bells.  One by one, the children lined up joyfully, ready to bounce up on Santa’s lap and open their gifts, donated by Sons of Italy.  One of the elves had yet to earn his green tights and looked a bit sad until Santa cheered him up.  

President Tat-Liang Fabio Cheam told all the children how special it was to give them gifts and how much we look forward to this magic day. Our past president, Cosmo Racano graciously donated his time to coordinate an amazing variety of gifts for all the children. The kids loved their gifts and so special thanks to Cosmo.


Alex Baksina is the real Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) and was sporting a new beard and mustache that made us all want to sing HO HO  HO!  John Giavedoni of our lodge was part of the North Pole Paparazzi team getting the award winning photos you see here.  


It was definitely a “Buon Natale” atmosphere sparkling throughout the hall with all awaiting what will come next year!




1st Annual SOI Winter Celebration

On Sunday evening, December the 8th, in sub -20 degree Celsius winter weather, the brothers (and sisters) of Sons of Italy braved the cold in the first annual Sons of Italy Sleigh Ride at the beautiful Birds Hill Park Ranch.

Fear not, for families and friends were warm as the horse drawn sleigh’s trail was through sheltering trees. Heat packs for fingers and toes provided warmth in the woods for many.

A hearty dinner of steak, potato, baked bean and garlic toast, was the perfect warming fuel for the belly. The winter warriors came prepared with wine for their steak dinner and hot drinks (cider, coffee and Baileys) for the outdoor ride.

On this magical trip of the exciting unknown, children jumped from and chased the sleighs as partners cuddled within the hay, under the moon-lit sky and gently falling snow both the sleigh and time both seemed to fly. (more pictures)





The First "Encore"

On November 10th, 2013, the inaugural Sons Of Italy Encore event took place at CanadInns Area Night Club.  This "first annual" event was so successful, we were able to donate the net proceeds of $10,000 to the Humane Society’s “See Spot Read program.

The first portion of the evening saw over 250 people sit down to a BBQ’d steak dinner. With a gala-like set up, some said it was the most eloquent Bud/Spud and Steak event they have attended.

After dinner, people flocked to the raffle in the hopes of winning one of the many wonderful prizes. The raffle was a great success due to our lovely models and top salesman Franco Petrelli.

Next, Dan Verville, a well-known Winnipeg comedian, took the stage and had the crowd completely captivated with his hilarious jokes and great sense of humor. As the formalities enEncore Cttee (L-R): Simon Cortens, Paul Bueti, Danny Militano, Alessandro Augellone, Dino Petrellided, the dinner crowd was encouraged to stay for the Sons Of Italy Encore after party which featured DJ TecG.

As the after-party commenced, hundreds of Winnipeg’s young people entered the night club to find a surprising amount of the older crowd on the dance floor. This created a great atmosphere that not only left the dance-floor packed the entire night, but further resembled a “typical” Italian wedding social. The crowd was then treated to late night pizza by CanadInns.

Many thanks to our title sponsor Mosaic Funeral, to the Encore committee (pictured above) of (L-R) Simon Cortens, Paul Bueti, Danny Militano, Alessandro Augellone, Dino Petrelli (chair) and to everyone who helped make this night a success.    Vi ringrazio molto e Buon Anno a Tutti!  [more pics]





Great Friend to Kids Award to SOI

THE GREAT FRIEND TO KIDS AWARDSons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge was honoured to receive the “Great Friend to Kids Award” by the Manitoba Children’s Museum for our contributions to children
 
The award is issued to organizations that contribute significantly to children in MAL SIMMONS FLYING ON THE SHOULDERS OF JOE LEUZZIanitoba.  The Garibaldi lodge was acknowledged for it’s contributions to many children charities and causes including:  Winnipeg Harvest, Variety Club, Children’s Wish Foundation, Amadeus Steen Foundation, feeding many inner city kids at our own Christmas Eve Feast and funding to the Dante Alighieri for Italian Language studies.

Past recipients of this prestigious award include:  Rick Frost (CEO, The Winnipeg Foundation), Wanda Koop (Artist and Founder of Art City), Kevin Chief (MLA), Abdikheir Ahmed (for his work with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba), Larry McIntosh and Rossbrook House,
 
The fun and exciting event took place Thursday October 3rd at the Children’s Museum at the Forks.  John and Bonnie Buhler were the special guests and key sponsors along with Boom Done Next.  Al Simmons put on a very entertaining show that was fun for the “kid” inside of us. 

Tat-Liang Fabio Cheam
(SOI President) graciously accepted the award on behalf of all the brothers of the STAT-LIANG FABIO CHEAM RECEIVING AWARD FROM PEGGY LEUZZIons of Italy.   He acknowledged that our family includes our youth lodge (Leonardo Da Vinci) as well as our women’s lodge (La Lupa di Roma). 

La Lupa di Roma president Maria Minenna and the Sons of Italy brothers were there climbing the play structures.  In fact Lyle Misura was the first up the play house with Marnie Larkin and Joe Leuzzi applauding his abundant enthusiasm.  Danny DiVito, Rena Molinari, Dino Petrelli, Julieta Petrelli, Franco’s mama, Mario Posillipo, Maria Minenna and Remo Aiello all posed for photos with hand drawn smiley faces and mustaches to “cheese” things up and get a few laughs.
 
There was also political representation at the event with Vic Toews and Gord Steeves making their rounds and trying their hands at some of the kids games.  Mario Posillipo looked sharp as usual and enjoyed some of the colourful martinis as he chatted up the room.
 
All in all it was a very fun, “out of the box” kind of event with our Sons of Italy being recognized for all the efforts the lodge has provided over the years to the children of our community.
 
Hats off to all our Sons of Italy brothers for giving to all people including our children, our future!






New at St. Boniface Hospital:
the Sons of Italy Laboratory!

St-Boniface Hospital Foundation hosted a beautiful reception in the Research Centre atrium on September 19th.  The reception was to thank Sons of Italy for the generous $100,000 donation to the Canadian Italian Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CITEL).




The reception featured delicious food and wine, followed by an amazing team of doctors who described the research that has started, what will follow, and how CITEL could be a game-changer in the field of heart repair.  All were genuinely grateful for our hard work on the Gala and the resulting donation.


The evening ended with and unveiling of a plaque that will soon be mounted at the Winnipeg CITEL lab, designating the new name of the lab: the Sons of Italy Garibaldi Lodge Laboratory.

It was a proud evening for the many Sons of Italy members in attendance.

[more details on the reception, and more pictures]





Rossbrook House: "Grad Italiano"

Rossbrook House is a drop in centre for children and youth in the inner city that offers a constant alternative to the destructive environment of the streets.

In addition to a wide range of cultural, drop-in and leadership programs aimed at area youth, the centre offers an alternative school aimed at students who seem lost, withdrawn, or have become a non-attenders; those academically able but may have lower skills due to non-attendance; and those economically disadvantaged.  Three alternative programs are run by Rossbrook House and the Winnipeg School Division:  an off-site elementary program for aboriginal students in Grades 3-6, a junior high program at Hugh John MacDonald Junior High, and a high school program at Gordon Bell High School.

Every June, graduating students from the three alternative programs, are honoured and celebrated. The atmosphere is electric. This moment of remembering their achievements and supporting their next steps is often shared by more than 150 people. Families, extended families, friends, school personnel all gather round the children and youth to witness their journey and encourage them forward.


Celebrations at Rossbrook  House always include a meal and for the past five years, the Sons of Italy graciously – not only provide the food, but in the words of Phil Chiappetta (Co-Executive Director) "show up as a community in the circle of support, to serve it with a smile and a good wish. Needless to say, everyone loves the lasagna, salad and bread that is provided." Going up for seconds is a tradition!
 
"We are deeply honoured by this great gift" says Maria Vigna, Co-Executive Director.  "The Sons of Italy are like family coming to share in a very important moment and creating the warmth and care that comes from a shared meal. Thank you for what you do in creating beauty- the beauty of community, of helping us to break bread and of caring!"







Sons of Italy Step Out for Challenge

by Jared Story | Canstar Community News | original article


Every year, the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation runs Challenge for Life, a fundraising/awareness event whereby walkers commit to raising $1,000 for CancerCare Manitoba while also taking an active role in maintaining their physical health, thus reducing their risk of getting cancer by 50%.

This year, Challenge for Life culminates on June 8 with a 20-kilometre walk, beginning and ending at Assiniboine Park.


This is Joe Leuzzi’s fourth year participating in Challenge for Life. His wife decided to take the Challenge after Leuzzi’s father was diagnosed with leukemia. The next year, Leuzzi joined her, along with his team, Sons of Italy.


In its fourth Challenge, Sons of Italy undefined a fraternal organization devoted to Italian heritage, community service and charity undefined has raised over $100,000 for CancerCare MB.

"After my dad was diagnosed, I would go to CancerCare and experience the treatment, the different people that work there and the facility itself and realize how lucky he was to have something of that quality right here in Manitoba," says Leuzzi, 42.


"It really motivates you to try and do what you can to ensure that same quality is given to everybody that needs it."


To fundraise for this year’s Challenge, Sons of Italy will be putting on an Italian-style Bud and Spud (that means a pig roast, pasta and Peroni Beer) at X-Cues’ Billiards & Cafe on May 10.


As far as the actual walk, Leuzzi says it’s always a challenge, but definitely worth it.  "At about the 13-kilometre mark I start to wonder why I got myself into this, but then I start thinking about the pain and suffering that people going through cancer are going through and say ‘OK, we have to do those last few K’," Leuzzi says.


Leuzzi says halfway through the walk, one of his Sons of Italy brothers brings the entire team espresso. Caffeine is great, but Leuzzi says the real rejuvenation happens near the end of the Challenge.


"When you see the road that leads you into the park, you get a whole other burst of energy," Leuzzi says.


"It’s a great sense of accomplishment, an amazing feeling. I call it the million dollar day."

For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca

(reprinted from the Metro)

Editor's Update:

The 2013 Sons of Italy team raised almost $37,000 for CancerCare Manitoba, bringing the four year participation total to $137,000! 

Great participation and a fantastic result - congratulations to all involved.

click for info on the SOI team

click to view a gallery of 2013 SOI team pictures
 
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