This month, the Watertown Sons of Italy Lodge Piave Fiume #1036, an affiliate Lodge of the National Order Sons of Italy in America, distributed nearly $10,000 to deserving high school graduates and local charities. These donations were made possible by the ongoing fundraising efforts by the Sons of Italy throughout the year, including funds generated by the yearly motorcycle ride, the Boston Strong Watertown Strong Bike Ride, to honor the victims and first responders from the Boston Marathon bombings.
Started four years ago, after the Boston Marathon attacks, the Boston Strong Watertown Strong Bike Ride aims to raise awareness to the first responders who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis. The 1st Responder’s Charity Fund was formed to provide financial aid to those entering the field as first responders or in branches of the military, as well as any family of a first responder who may need assistance. This year, Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn, as well as other members of the Police force and first responders, were on hand to present four scholarships to high school graduates, Grace Katherine Duguay, Debra Mannix, Molly Munger and Morgan Pepe, all of whom are children of a first responder and some even entering into the field. “This is our fourth bike ride,” says ride chairman Michael DiStefano, “and every year the event gets more support from sponsors and riders. We are very grateful for everyone who supports this great cause and this year we are excited to give out considerable scholarships to four deserving individuals.” Plans are already on the way for next year’s ride scheduled always on the first Sunday in June, which happens to fall on June 4, 2017.
Moreover, the Watertown Sons of Italy gave out an additional six scholarships to high school graduates for academic accomplishments. These funds raised through ongoing events and from the Watertown Savings Bank’s Customer Choice Awards, were presented to: Michaela Antonellis, Joseph Thomas Brennan, Karina Fereira Franca, Sasha Helfner, Gabriella Fiorentino Holden, and Melissa Rose. “Every year we receive applicants with stunning academic achievements,” says Watertown Sons of Italy President, Antonio Mastantuono, “and this year was no different. It can be a difficult decision to make, but the reward of seeing the students receive the scholarships is priceless.”
Throughout the year local and national charities also receive monies from the Sons of Italy, including: Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, Doug Flutie Autism Foundation, Alzheimer’s Associations, Casa Monte Cassino, Watertown Youth Sports, Watertown Food Pantry, Watertown Boys and Girls Club, Cousins Against Cancer, Italian Home for Children and many more. “This is what the Order Sons of Italy is all about,” Mastantuono continues, “charity is a large part of the Order and it is in the oath we all take as members. In some form every member contributes to making these events, scholarships and donations a reality. Our members have a passion for helping others.”
About Watertown Sons of Italy: The Watertown Sons of Italy Lodge Piave Fiume is a nonprofit, 501(c)8 fraternal organization established nearly 100 years ago, in 1920. The organization raises funds for scholarships and charitable causes such as the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation and supports many local organizations. It holds several social events during the year for members and nonmembers alike. Membership is open to everyone. More complete information about the organization is available at www.WatertownSonsofItaly.org.