The Vinenzo Bellini Lodge #2519 was founded May 28, 1982 in Chico, California by charter. At it's founding, seventy five members were initiated, twelve of which are still active today in our lodge. The name of Vincenzo Bellini was chosen by Antonini (Antonio) Lucido. Bellini was a composer of opera music from his native Sicily, and Antonio loved music. One of Bellini's famous compositions was "La Norma." In his birthplace of Catania, are the gardens and theater of Vincenzo Bellini.
Antonio Lucido was president of the Monterey Lodge from 1955-1962, and again from 1966-1970. During his second term, he was living in Watsonville where he owned a restaurant. In 1975, the Lucido family moved to Chico. Antonio missed his Italian friends and the Sons of Italy Lodge he left behind. He and his family began inviting Italian people they knew to a local Chico restaurant owned by his sons in an effort to encourage the group to form a new lodge. He asked his daughter Catherina (Cathy) to go through the phone book and start calling people with Italian names. Marie Del Carlo and Frank Scotella, the 1st President, were very active in helping to organize our lodge. Cathy became Financial Secretary.
Past Presidents include:
Letitia Sanchez, (1-term)
Fred Caperello, (2-terms)
Sal Aiello, (1-term)
Michael Colletti-Smith* (7 terms) *Michael is our longest serving president.
Gary Smith, (1-term)
Jim Lamana is our State Deputy
Roy Vanoni (former State President) is a member of our lodge.
The lodge celebrated its 37th anniversary in 2019 and enjoys active membership of all ages. Annual events include our Spaghetti Feed, where we have served up to 1200 in the community, a formal anniversary dinner-dance, a family summer picnic and bocce tournament, and a family Christmas dinner/party. We also assist with the Northern California Golf Classic to benefit Western Foundation Charities. Among other charities we support are Birth Defects, Libraries, Cooley's Anemia, Handi-riders, Alzheimers, and The American Cancer Society. We also award scholarships to local high school students.
In the past, we have played an active role in the activities of the Italian Language Department at Chico State University. Several of our members were on the Italian Studies Advisory Council (ISAC). Through our Opera Benefit, Festa Primavera, and Festa d'A'tunno, we sponsored an enrolled University student to study Italian Language in Italy.
We are presently striving to increase our membership with additional club activities.