Sons of Italy Reaches $100,000 in Donations to Packard Children’s

For Release: December 07, 2011

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Grand Lodge of California, Order Sons of Italy in America, announced today that it has reached $100,000 in total donations to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Sons of Italy, the oldest and largest fraternal organization of Italian-American men and women in the country, was founded in 1905 in New York City.  To date, OSIA has donated over $117 million to education, medical research, cultural endeavors, disaster relief, and other worthy causes.

From left to right: Rosalia Margarit, Chair; Maria Fassio Pignati, State President; Louanne Hudgins, MD; Susan Schelley, MPH, CGC, LGC.

The Grand Lodge of California initiated its Birth Defects Program at Stanford University in 1974 to raise funds for research and medical books on pediatric genetics. This undertaking evolved into the Birth Defects Library Program, an effort that currently includes eight hospitals and universities in California and Nevada.  Today, the funds earmarked for Packard Children’s are used to help purchase educational materials and activities in the fight against birth defects. 

“The Grand Lodge of California is very pleased to reach the $100,000 mark here at Stanford, especially since this is where we established our first Birth Defects Library,” says State President Maria Fassio Pignati of San Mateo.  “Our members, who have worked very hard to raise these funds, want to make a difference in the community, and I am very proud of their efforts and generosity.”


Maria Pignati
State President, Sons of Italy

About the Order Sons of Italy in America

The Sons of Italy originally started as a support group for Italian immigrants to assist them in becoming U.S. citizens and assimilating culturally in America.  There are now more than 600,000 male and female members and more than 750 chapters from coast to coast.  The Grand Lodge of California encompasses members across California, western Nevada, and southern Oregon.  The organization is dedicated to many social causes including the research of genetic diseases and birth defects.  For more information, please visit

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at