A tavola non si invecchia

June 2020 Colombo Club Newsletter

Noi non potremo avere perfetta vita senza amicii

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Colombo Club birthday postcards mailed by the Club to members in 2020 may be exchanged for a free birthday or family dinner after the Club reopens.

Happy Birthday greeting

Ken Altomare 

Mark Alves 

Giancarlo Battino 

Giovanni Bevilacqua 

Tony M. Bevilacqua 

Frank Bienati 

Ronald Blair 

Cyril Bonanno 

Jeffrey Robert Bonato 

Steven Buscovich 

Armand Butticci 

John Silvio Castagnini 

Billy Castell 

Scott Caviglia 

William J. Cendak 

David Cerruti 

Ed Ciminello 

Nicholas Cosenza 

Shawn M. Crane 

Zachary Crouse 

Mike Dombrink 

William Elzig

Russell R. Emerson 

Daniel Fraioli 

Michelangelo Gasparro 

Cortland Golightly 

Leo L. Goria 

Steve Guggiana 

Timothy J. Harris 

Melvin A. Isola 

Justin Kaady 

Darin Karg 

John Kovacevic 

Ian Leong 

John J. Lucchese 

Dempsey Lydon 

Michael Maffeo 

Anthony V. Magliano 

Joe Malfitano 

Tony Marasco 

Matthew Mastrantonio 

Dan McCarthy 

Raymond G. Michardi 

Kevin Murphy 

Vinnie Natali 

Albert J. Nicora 

Scott Osterholt 

Les Palia 

Rick Palmieri 

Jim Pane 

Samuel S. Patti 

Greg Payette 

Mark Rezente 

Dewey Ridolfi 

William J. Rinetti 

Frank Sanzari 

Jim Scafetta 

Wayne R. Siligo 

William Silva 

Robert S. Stiriti 

Phillip Tenney 

Nick Tisa 

David Tullus, Jr. 

David Tullus, Sr. 

Christian M Valenti 

Richard J. Valenti 

Nick Vaticano 

June Birthday Dinners

The Club will be closed again this month because of the COVID-19 virus restrictions on mass gatherings. We will inform members via email when we are given directive from state officials that it is safe for the Club to reopen.

June 2020 Colombo Club Newsletter 1

Would You Like to Cook for the Club?

Join our team of chefs! Call Tony Tedeschi for more information: (510) 653-9716 Ext. 353.

Chairman’s Message

Colombo Club Volunteers

This month I would like to highlight a couple who have volunteered at the Club for over 14 years, Frank and Frances Bienati.  Frank has been a member since 1977 and Frances has been a member of the Women’s Auxiliary and served on the Board for many years. I am so impressed by their boundless energy and their love of the Club. For years they both have been part of the Set Up Committee for every dinner and event. Can you imagine setting up for party of 500? There is a small committee led by Frances and Frank that is responsible for setting the dishes and whatever else you see on the table for every Club and catered event. This is a huge undertaking and the Club could not do it without them. They can be seen at most other events at the Club volunteering wherever they are needed. 

Frank’s service and contribution to the Club has been invaluable. Frank completes the profit and loss statement for every event. He collects all the invoices and everything affiliated with the event so we can determine costs of each event. This is a tremendous undertaking and we are so thankful for all that Frank does for the Club.

Frances is the other part of this dynamic duo. I don’t know where they get the energy but they need to bottle and sell it. They are role models for all of us as they just celebrated being married for 65 years.  Frances is also the Catering Manager for the Club. Most everyone who meets Frances falls in love with the Club because of her salesmanship. She is a true ambassador for the Club.

Frances directs and is in charge of the decorating committee for the Club. She is there to ensure everything is perfect.  Everything she does is done with joy and exuberance.

So many Club events have raffle prizes that raise money for scholarships or for the betterment of the Club.  Frances is responsible for getting the gifts and wrapping them. This is no small undertaking but she does it for the love of the Club. She is one in a million. I look forward to the Club reopening and seeing Frank and Frances again. 

Thank you Frank and Frances for all you do for the Club.   

Cyril Bonanno, Chairman, (925) 202-9576.

President’s Message

Ciao, Ciao,

It is mid-June and it’s still Ground Hog Day. Never would anyone imagine that we would have postponed our 100th Anniversary extravaganza, and the continued cancelling of our famous birthday dinners. The good news is that we had an in-person social distancing board meeting on June 9th. The Board created a “Reopening Committee” that will come up with our strategy to reopen and report back to the full Board in August. The Club will closely follow all state, county, and city ordinances. We will work directly with the Alameda County Heath Department to come up with a plan to reopen as soon as possible. We want to reopen safely with proper procedures for operating the Club for all our members. The board members and officers take this responsibility very seriously and will not let you down. Noi come membri del consiglio e gli ufficiali prendiamo questa responsabilità molto sul serio e non ti deluderemo….

Over the past month some of the pleasures have been spending a lot of time with my mom and grandkids. I would have been running around the state getting the fairs and events rolling. Now that there are no fairs or large gatherings. Family time is at a premium – and what a pleasure it is. To sit in the kitchen and have little Nicholas say “cook, cook,” basically his first word. He now knows the word “hot,” and understands what it means. He stood next to me by the BBQ and put his hand slowly on the top and I would say “hot,” and then he would touch softly and say “hot.” I may not have been the one to help him understand that if I was working my normal pace – it’s a backwards blessing. Sapere che non sono stato io ad aiutarlo a capire che, se stavo lavorando il mio ritmo normale è una benedizione arretrata. After last month, I now have committed to video and paper all our family signature recipes. This is another backward blessing that most likely would not have happened without this pause in our lives.

I am taking the time to realize truly how lucky I am to be part and president of such a great Club. I was at a meeting the other day and was asked a question about respect and history. The individual made a comment about his grandfather and father working the fairgrounds, and he works there now. How would I continue the tradition if he uses our company to perform the catering and concessions duties? I looked at him and spoke about the Colombo Club and the Nicora/Conte family. I expressed the desire to always remember the past and the individual family members that have gotten us to this point in our life. Our past has bound us together as a club and families. This bond needs to be appreciated and placed in your heart knowing that it is a blessing to be who we are at this time in our life, as strange as it is. Questo legame deve essere apprezzato e posto nel vostro cuore sapendo che è una benedizione essere ciò che siamo in questo momento della nostra vita. Per quanto strano sia.

We have been activating the online purchasing of our merchandise. At this point it is the only way we can continue to make money and support the Club without being at the Club. We will notify you when it is ready.  When you receive the notice, please go to the website buy shirts, hats, golf balls, the 100-year anniversary book and the many other things we have to offer. Even custom Colombo Club 100th anniversary  face masks will be available. Fifty years from now when your grandkids find that face mask in the box you left behind, it will be a story that binds the family and continues our tradition of love and support. 

Until next time please be safe, and keep your family safe as well. Fino alla prossima volta si prega di essere al sicuro e mantenere la vostra famiglia al sicuro.

Celebrare Cento Anni,

Nick Nicora, President
nnicora@comcast. net

Colombo Club Auxiliary President’s Message

Life has changed for all of us. Our Colombo Club activities are missing from our lives, and I for one feel a large void.  Being an Italian has always meant greeting familia with warm hugs and usually kisses. As I grew up, I was a little taken back when hugs and kisses were not the norm greeting.  

Joining the Colombo Club Auxiliary brought back that warm Italian greeting to me. Now, we wear masks, use elbow bumps to our cloistered family and friends, zoom meetings, text messages and emails, not to mention our six feet social distancing.  What has become of our Italian warmth?  Well, what we have discovered is our warmth and caring is being carried out by our members who work with the people who have contracted COVID-19. They work knowing their lives and their loved one’s lives are in harms way – because they are devoted healthcare workers.  We have members delivering food and meals to people who need assistance. Also, we are calling members to check on their wellbeing. In fact, we are sending our warm hugs and kisses in a safer form, but still letting people know the warmth that we, as Italians, have experienced. 

We are all working hard to adjust to our new roles and rules, but hasn’t it been refreshing to shelter in place and use this time to prepare home-cooked meals.  We seem to be filling up our gas tanks maybe once a month. We take the time to see the beautiful clear sky and smell the sweet orange and lemon blossoms.  Have you noticed that all the little critters are also enjoying the slower, cleaner pace we have grown accustomed to?  I realize that we need to get back to work but let us not forget that if we help each other with kindness, distant hugs, and mind kisses that we are warm generous people.

Let us all pray that this horrendous pandemic is tamed and eradicated.  I for one miss seeing my Italian family and the hugs and kisses that we share.

Baci e abbracci, Dio ti benedica,

Sylvia Jesuit, Colombo Club Auxiliary President

In Memoriam

Angelo Parrinella
Active member since 1983

Henry Persoglio
Golden Member since 1966

Gilbert Presto
Member since 2009

Sal Riele
Member since 1986

Sunshine Corner

Our condolences to the families of Colombo Club Members: Angelo Parrinella, Henry Persoglio, Gilbert Presto and Sal Riele for their loss.  Also, we extend our sympathy to the family of Vince Pistello, Past President of the Fratellanza Club, who passed away in April.  

We send “get well wishes” to Mario Marinai, a member for 42 years. 

Our best wishes to Ron Blair for a speedy recovery.

If you know of a member who is ill or passed away, please let Gordon Bowman,Sunshine Chair know. Call him at (925) 449-5549.  

June 2020 Colombo Club Newsletter 2

Message from Billy Castell

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Father & Son Gift Giveaway Night in June has been canceled until further notice. 

June 2020 Colombo Club Newsletter 3

The Walk-in Refrigerator Looks Amazing! Thanks Donnie

While the Club has been closed due to the pandemic, Don Ceremello volunteered to clean out and refurbish the frig by the Isabella Room. He did a fine job of disinfecting and general cleanup. He then applied washable walls and a new coat of paint – gave it a nice spit shine. Now it is ready for the reopening of the Club for the next 100 years!  

This Month in Colombo Club History – JUNE

by Rich Puppione

On June 27, 1922 the 22 members of the club met and conducted “The First Stockholders Meeting of the Columbo Club.” (The original spelling was “Columbo.”)

In June 1925, all members were issued membership badges. The total cost of purchasing the 200 badges was $80. The badge was reversible. One side for Club events and the other side of the badge was black for funerals.

June 20, 1939, it was discovered that the club needed a license to sell alcohol. At that point, the board immediately passed a resolution to purchase one. 

In June 1952 Marcello Graziano retired after 31 years of recording secretary for the Club. Tony Zeni took over as club secretary and held that duty for the next 32 years.

In June of 1961, after a 5 cent raise in the price of drinks a notice went out to all the members “Do not embarrass the bartender and yourselves by questioning or causing trouble when asked for the increased price of drinks.”

In the June of 1963 the Club held its first boxing event in the Club ballroom.

On June 17 – 18, 1963, Frank Sinatra paid for all the expenses for a group of Colombo Club members to fly to Cal Neva to see his show.

In June of 1966 the club was in need of a TV set, so they collected 150 Blue Chip stamp books from the membership and obtained a 21’ color TV for the Club room.

In June, 1980, twenty members volunteered to do extensive cleaning and painting of the Club took place under the direction of Lou Celia and Ed Basso. It was said that if the members continued to upgrade the kitchen that “chef George Mossino would be forced to wear a tie while cooking.”

Congratulations to our Deserving Students!

The Colombo Club is proud to be home of two generous scholarship programs open to the children and grandchildren of members of the Colombo Club and Colombo Club Auxiliary. The scholarships were awarded in May. 


The Colombo Club/Auxiliary Scholarship Program is funded by the proceeds of the two Scholarship Crab Feeds held in January along with generous donations throughout the year from members of the Club and Auxiliary as well as private sources. The committee read the applications and 13 scholarships were awarded, each student receiving $2000. The following students were awarded scholarships from this program for 2020:

  • Lindsey Amaro
  • Ella Baumer
  • Nicholas Bellison
  • Lucas Fanelli
  • Eli Farrington
  • Kendall Rose Harris
  • Ben Isola
  • Abigail Konigsfeld
  • Vito Magliano
  • Leara Potestio
  • Aiden Sanchez
  • Michael San Nicolas
  • Adelle Senneca

Our appreciation to the program committee members for their time and expertise: Rich Puppione, Chairman; Tony Ballestero, Jerry Shelley, Lonnie Chase, Steve Dellanini, Bev Chernoff, Joan Cummings and Tim Sbranti. 

THANK YOU to our Club members for their support of this program!

by Doug Emeldi

The Lawrence Bossola Scholarship Program was established in 2002 through the efforts of Larry Bossola, Al Gavello, Larry’s godson, and Ricardo, Al’s brother. The Bossola Scholarship Program is a “stand alone” program. It is independent from the Colombo Club Scholarship Program. However, like the Club program, applicants of the Bossola program must also be children or grandchildren of Colombo Club or Colombo Club Auxiliary members. Because of the foresight and generosity of Larry, Al and Ricardo, the Bossola Scholarship Trust has distributed $507,000 in scholarships since 2002. 

Recognition should also go out to the Bossola Scholarship Committee members who have worked so diligently on Club scholarships for the past 18 years. They are Denise Picetti, Lou Mascola, Diane Proto, Dave Urbanus, MaryAnne Giuntoli, and Doug Emeldi. 

The following nine students were awarded scholarships from this program for 2020:

  • Ella Baumer  – Daughter of Lisa Baumer and Granddaughter of Mary Pandolfo
  • Nick Bellison – Son of Joel Bellison and Grandson of Linda Bellison
  • Lucas Fanelli – Grandson of Frances Fanelli
  • Eli Farrington – Son of Mary Pezzuto
  • Jacqueline Ficarra – Daughter of Steven Ficarra 
  • Kendall Harris – Granddaughter of Rich Puppione
  • Benjamin Isola – Son of Ernest Isola and Grandson of Penny & Mel Isola
  • Michael San Nicolas – Grandson of Michael Seereiter
  • Aiden Sanchez – Son of Derek Sanchez

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