Our lodge was founded in Myrtle Beach in 1992, by John Cuccia, Frank Senese and Leo L. Darrigo. During that year we incorporated in South Carolina as a non-profit organization and were presented our official OSIA Charter in a solemn ceremony attended by representatives from the National Office in Washington, DC. Our lodge is recognized as the largest and oldest continuously operating OSIA Lodge in the State of South Carolina. For many years we met monthly in local restaurants and civic center buildings.
Early on, our founders recognized the need for our own building and with that in mind, the idea of an annual Italian Festival for fund raising purposes came into being. The first festival was held in Chapin Park and when we outgrew that site we moved to Broadway at the Beach and Market Common. Our Italian Festival – the largest in South Carolina – has grown now to a 2 day event and occurs twice a year!
In the early 2000’s, President Joseph R. Crisalli spearheaded an aggressive property search and additional fund raising surge which lead to our purchase of a two acre site with two buildings in December 2005. After extensive renovations, the main building was opened to its first meeting in September 2007. The building contains a bar, dining area, and kitchen, and hosts a variety of events. We have added two regulation bocce courts, a gazebo and patio and a lovely Italian garden as well as other amenities.
Our Lodge meets regularly on the second Sunday of the month and we have over four hundred members. Guests are always welcome. Membership is open to men and women of Italian as well as non-italian heritage.
We are a very community-minded lodge and hold numerous fund raisers every year that enable us to contribute regularly to a number of non-profit organizations. This is accomplished primarily through two annual golf tournaments and two annual Italian Festivals.
Our Order stresses the spirit of early Italian immigrants that is embodied in the principles of the Order: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. We are dedicated to preserving and promoting our Italian heritage and combating negative stereotype images of Italians and Italian Americans.
Our lodge is a subordinate lodge of the nationwide Order Sons of Italy in America which was founded in 1905 as a mutual aid society for Italian immigrants by Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro. The Order is a fraternal organization with over 50,000 members that represent the Italian heritage in America. Its primary members are of Italian descent, or who have ties by marriage. In his inaugural speech, Dr. Sellaro concluded by stating his dream that was “… our children and their children’s children, even if they carry a single drop of Italian blood will be able and proud to continue to carry on our traditions, our culture and our language. This is our reason for being.”