Order Sons of Italy in America Akron Lodge No. 685
Our Club's History

Dr. Vincenzo SellaroOriginally called L'Ordine Figli d'Italia, the Order Sons of Italy in America was established in the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City June 22, 1905 by Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro and five other Italian immigrants who came to the U.S. during the great Italian immigration (1880-1923). Their aim was to create a support system for all Italian immigrants to assist in the citizenship process; provide insurance, benefits and educational opportunities; and offer help assimilating into American society.

In his inaugural address, Sellaro wrote, "Today I have a dream ... that someday, even if it takes 100 years before we are fully accepted, our children and their children's children, even if they carry a single drop of Italian blood, will be able and proud to carry on our traditions, our culture and our language."

Today the Sons of Italy in America is the largest organization in the U.S. and the only one recognized by the American government. Akron Lodge No. 685 was founded in 1917. Our first meetings were held at the International Institute under the presidency of Gustov Mascitelli. Pasta Dinners were served at the Castel Di Sangro and then the Italian Center as a way to raise money for Cooley's Anemia Fund (a blood disorder that primarily strikes those of Mediterranean heritage). Social events expanded to include picnics, dinner/dances and charity balls at the Triananon Ballroom (on Market Street in Downtown Akron) to carry on our Italian traditions.

In 2007, Lodge No. 685 celebrated 90 years of existence. Our mission is, and will always be, to reach out to our community through Italian culture, education, charity and volunteering. To accomplish these goals, we hold fund-raising events, such as the annual Reverse Raffle, the Italian-American Council Festival Booth, Card Party, and Pasta Dinner and Bake Sale.

Past Presidents of Sons of Italy Akron Lodge #685

NORMAN ROSS

GUIDO MARGIDA

CARLO PALMIERI

DON FERRANTE

MARY SGRO

ANGIE LOBELLO

TONY MARINO

SAM TIANO

AUGIE NATALINO

JOE LOBELLO

LOU MASCOLO

JOHN ALEXANDER

ERNIE TEODOSIO

JAMES SEMINAROTI

RALPH PAGANO

DAN ZAMPELLI

HENRY GULLIA

Historical Multimedia
  • View a historical photo slideshow.
  • Read a written account of how the rise of fascism in 1930s Italy affected Akron Lodge No. 685 meetings.
Links