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A day of their own

R’dam Sons of Italy to host traditional Italian celebration honoring women

Rotterdam Sons of Italy Lodge President Louis Fazzone gives a yellow mimosa flower to his wife, Antonietta, during last year’s “La Festa della Donna” celebration, which honors female lodge members.

Rotterdam Sons of Italy Lodge President Louis Fazzone gives a yellow mimosa flower to his wife, Antonietta, during last year’s “La Festa della Donna” celebration, which honors female lodge members. Submitted photo

— What started a century ago in Italy as a way to recognize the achievements of women is quickly catching on in the Town of Rotterdam as a regular social event.

The Rotterdam Sons of Italy Lodge No. 321 is hosting “La Festa della Donna,” also known as Woman’s Day, on Saturday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate and honor the achievements of five female lodge members. The event is taking place at the lodge hall on Hamburg Street in Rotterdam and reservations are required, with tickets available at the lodge. The celebration includes a dinner and Benita Zahn will be the guest speaker at the event.

While the event isn’t well known to everyone, there were some people eagerly waiting for it to be celebrated.

“It is catching on because when you will tell people we are celebrating La Festa della Donna they say, ‘It is about time’ because it has been going on for so long,” Lodge Trustee Dolores Scalise said.

This is the third time the Sons of Italy has hosted the event, which Lodge President Louis Fazzone said is growing into a popular tradition among members. The event actually started because a fellow member asked Fazzone about it.

“Someone came up to me and said, ‘In Italy every year they celebrate La Festa della Donna,’” Fazzone said. “I said, ‘Yes, okay, let’s do it.’”

The women selected to be honored during the event, said Fazzone, have made significant contributions to the lodge or community and are typically longtime lodge members. All women are honored by their male partners that evening, though.

“The men are going to serve,” Fazzone said.

“That is always nice,” Scalise replied

The staple of La Festa della Donna, which falls on March 8, is a yellow mimosa flower, which men will give to their partners. Scalise said the flowers aren’t easy to find nowadays.

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