Lodge History

The Sgt. F. M.  Bonanno Lodge # 2549, Order Sons of Italy in America, received  its Charter on  September 17, 1983. The lodge  was formed  in  Boca Raton, Florida & received its name from US Army Sgt. Frederick Bonanno, the first US Serviceman  killed in action in Viet Nam in 1967, from southeastern, Florida. In 2017, our name changed to the  Sons and Daughters of Italy in America. We continue to be a Fraternal organization  seeking to promote national education & secure adequate  laws for the benefits of  its members active participation in the political,  social and civic life of our communities.

The membership of the Sgt. Bonanno Lodge stands at the ready seeking  ways and means to raise funds for our charities, Cancer Fund, Cooley’s Anemia  Fund,  Autism  Fund, Veterans, Community Outreach  & Alzheimer Fund. Our Lodge  sponsors various fund raisers which have raised  thousand  of dollars in support of  these charities. We also have a scholarship  program  that  addresses the needs of graduating  high school  students. We work  in partnership with the  George Snow  Scholarship  Fund since 1994 and have raised a total of  $43,250.00 through  2015 and have   awarded these  funds to 22 students. We also have a scholarship program that awards scholarships  to the children and grandchildren of our members.

It’s our goal to continue to  promote our Italian  Heritage, Culture and Language. We also work closely with the  Italian Consul General and Education Director with offices in Coral Gables, Florida  in an effort to promote the teaching of the Italian language in Florida’s High Schools. Our pride and joy is what  we accomplished  in the Legislative area, nationally and state wise. On the national level  the Sons and Daughters of Italy worked tirelessly along with our Federal Senators and Congressman to produce two great pieces of  Legislation, namely “Una Storia Segreta” (The Secret Story), about the WWII Wartime Violation of Italian Civil Liberties Act which was  signed into law on November 11, 2000, by President  William Clinton. It took  four years of  hard work to have  “The Secret Story”  become  law. Also, we were able to have a United States postage stamp produced  in honor of Gunnery Sgt, USMC John  Basilone recipient of the  ”NAVY CROSS AND THE MEDAL OF HONOR, the two highest awards a member of the military can receive.  House  Resolution  218 was passed  on  November 10, 2005, which just happened to be the birthday of the United States Marine Corp. “SEMPER FI”.

Another two legislative programs passed in Florida was a dream of our membership, and became law thanks to the valuable assistance of Florida State Senator Maria Sachs. Also, certificate testing of the Italian language became State Law when HB 207 was passed on June 20, 2008. Once again Senator Sachs comes through fo us, and on May 1, 2014, the Florida Senate Resolution passes  Senate Resolution 720 by a vote of 40-0, which called for the month of October, and every month of October thereafter as Italian and Italian American Heritage month. An original copy of  this resolution was signed by then  President of the Senate, Don Gaetz, is  in the possession of our Lodge. Senator Gaetz is currently a member of  the United States Congress.

In the several years, we have  become part of the social media craze.

We stand ready to face the future & will continue to promote programs that will keep  the dreams of our ancestors alive who came to the shores of America to make a better life for their families. They did not fail.