DOWNINGTOWN, PA – Senator Andy Dinniman recently joined with members and families of St. Anthony’s Lodge to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Italian-American fraternal organization that has touched the lives of so many Chester County residents.
In recognition of the milestone event, Dinniman presented Anthony Mascherino, Secretary of the Board of Trustees and co-chair of the 100th Anniversary Committee, with a special Senate citation at the organization’s 100th Anniversary Banquet.
“The story of St. Anthony’s Lodge and that of the Italians who came to our area to work, raise their families and make a positive impact on the community is the story of America,” Dinniman said. “After all, we are a nation of immigrants and I salute the members of St. Anthony’s Lodge for their dedication and commitment to building a better town and a better country. And I offer my best wishes for continued growth and success for the next 100 years. Cent’anni.”
Saint Anthony’s Lodge was established on November 26, 1919, with approximately 40 members at a building at the corner of Stuart and Lancaster Avenues in Downingtown. The purpose was to encourage a social and neighborly atmosphere, accumulate funds from dues for members who fell ill or injured, and to provide for wives and families after death.
Over time the group moved from place to place before breaking ground at its current location on Church Street in 1929. Over the years the lodge added a Women’s Auxiliary organization (1949), a large swim club (1959) and many other facility improvements, including a full-service restaurant with Banquet and Catering Hall, not to mention countless other social and service opportunities.
Perhaps most of all, the organization is known for its annual Frog Leg Party, which began in 1934 and continues to draw sold-out crowds today. In addition to social events, the lodge is very active in the community, and giving back to charitable organizations to benefit neighbors in need. Over the past 100 years, St. Anthony’s Lodge has contributed an estimated one million dollars to churches, hospitals, medical research, veterans organizations, education, scholarships, adult and youth activities, annual community events, local charities, and youth organizations.
In recent years, the lodge has experienced a resurgence of activity and involvement from younger residents and their families. Today, its membership numbers are approximately 200 beneficial members and about 2,000 social members.
The 100th Anniversary Banquet rounded out a full year of centennial celebration events, including a wine tasting, classic car and motorcycle show, bicycle ride, family picnic, Mass to honor St. Anthony and dedication of a stained-glass window at the new St. Joseph’s Church in Downingtown. In addition, at the banquet an original painting, “The First 100 Years” by Adrian Martinez, was unveiled.
For more information, visit www.saintanthonyslodge.com/
Source: Andrew E. Dinniman (D), Pennsylvania State Senate, Senate District 19
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