The Burlington Select Board recognized the Burlington Sons of Italy for its decades of contributions to the town, particularly in the field of education.
According to its Facebook page, the Burlington Sons of Italy, Lodge 2223 disbanded in December of 2022 after 52 years due to a lack of membership and a lack of interest in holding office positions.
“Times have changed. Situations have changed,” said Pat Moreno, former vice president of the lodge. “What we’re looking for is simply a bit of recognition from the town, because we have done a great deal for Burlington, not only in terms of donations, but many of our leaders in the past have been part of this board.”
Over the years, the lodge hosted charitable events, cultural series, speaker events, and social gatherings, as well as Italian language classes.
“Our organization has aged, like any of the cultural organizations today – the Irish, the Polish and whatnot,” Moreno said. “It’s a different America, a very different America than the time that we started.”
“Attrition took its toll on us,” said longtime lodge president Don McGowan. “We took a vote and most of the members said, ‘Let’s shut down.’”
McGowan said the organization took all the money left in its bank accounts and sent it to the Town of Burlington Scholarship Fund.
“I was one of the lucky students who received a Sons of Italy scholarship back in the day,” Select Board Chair Nick Priest told Moreno and McGowan. “Your efforts over the years have not gone unnoticed. Your organization has touched many lives in Burlington and will not soon be forgotten.”