Membership - Maddie McNeal, Chair

JOSEPH B. FRANZALIA LODGE #2422

808 South Drive, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida 32547

The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) is the oldest and largest national organization in the United States for Italian American men and women. Founded in 1905 to help the early Italian immigrants, today OISA is the nation’s leading Italian American service and advocacy organization.

Lodge #2422 was founded as an Italian Fraternal Organization in early 1978 by Joseph Franzalia and twenty-five Americans of Italian ancestry in Northwest Florida. In a short time they decided to affiliate with the OSIA. The members obtained a Charter as Lodge #2422 in September, 1978 and it was named the Joseph B. Franzalia Lodge. It is a filial lodge of the Grand Lodge of Florida.

Our Lodge has been a community leader since 1978: contributing to local, state and national charities; sponsoring and participating in community events; hosting fund-raisers, dances and other festivities; providing scholarships and helping the unfortunate and disadvantaged. Although a fraternal organization, and not primarily a charitable organization, the Lodge makes contributions to many organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, Fresh Start for Children & Families, AMI Kids, Cooley’s Anemia, Alzheimer’s, Children in Crisis, Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, Hospice, Sacred Heart Foundation, Waterfront Mission, Special Olympics, Elder Services, Arthritis Foundation, Catholic Charities, Sharing and Caring, just to name a few.

One of our other special events for charity is the Amici d’Italiani Golf Tournament, held in the spring at some of the finest links in the area. It provides food and fun for all who attend. More than the golf, I think they come for our Italian sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches that are made right there at the golf course by our members. Our annual golf tournament proceeds are used for our Scholarship Program. We provide Scholarship opportunities to all high school seniors in Okaloosa County. Along with the scholarship, we have an honors night at our lodge and invite the student and their family to attend. At that time we present each student with a Dante Medal and our book entitled “Italian Americans of the 20th Century” along with a certificate. We then have a meet and greet social. It’s a wonderful event that we always look forward to having.

An annual Christmas party, with gifts, Santa and his elves, is provided every year, on the first Sunday in December, for the disabled residents of Sunland Center, Marianna, Florida and the residents of Silver Sands School here in Ft. Walton Beach. We plan to continue this program for many more years.

Friday nights are Pasta Night (open to the public) at our Lodge from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Authentic Italian dinners consisting of spaghetti w/meatballs and/or sausage, can be enjoyed in a family style atmosphere. Weekly specials are also available. Each week a different special is offered: stuffed shells, manicotti, or cheese ravioli, just to name a few. Our members and many locals really depend on us for their weekly Italian meal. The first Friday of each month is Member’s Night…dinners are half price to members.

Our Lodge is also a precinct polling place for all elections held in Okaloosa County. Our precinct number is 39.

We are very active each year in the Cancer Society Relay for Life. We have someone walking at all times during this event, which starts on a Friday evening and ends on Saturday afternoon. In addition to the money we earn during the relay, our Lodge puts up the first $1,000 in donation for this very worthy cause.

We have a Bocce court on our property for anyone who wants to come and put their skills to a test. Bocce balls are available for play…you don’t need to own your own.

Our newsletter, LA VOCE ITALIANA, is published monthly to keep our members up-to-date with all that’s going on. We have special events that are published in plenty of time to get involved. Our Membership Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM. The meetings last for approximately one hour followed by a social. Here’s your invitation to get involved!

On Tuesday evenings we have LINE-DANCE CLASSES. Class starts on the first Tuesday of the new year with Dance Instructor Maddie McNeal, and run through the end of October. Dancing is a great way to keep in shape, meet new friends and have a lot of fun. It’s not only for women, we have men in class also.

If you have any questions, are interested in getting on a committee, or want to get with me to learn about all the benefits being a member of the Joseph B. Franzalia are, I’d be glad to meet with you. Please feel free to contact me anytime by e-mail: smile4maddie@mail.com or call me at home: 850-306-2563 or my cell: 850-259-0292.

Fraternally,

Maddie McNeal

Immediate Past President/Membership Chair

JOSEPH B. FRANZALIA LODGE #2422

SONS & DAUGHTERS OF ITALY