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History of the Rockford Verdi Club in Illinois

Filed under: Uncategorized — emitaliablog
Posted on August 26, 2010 @ 1:44 pm
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The Giuseppe Verdi Club of Rockford, IL has quite a bit of interesting historical background. 27 Italian-born Rockford men met above a North lst Street grocery store to form a social club for the purpose of continuing their friendship and companionship. The 27 men named the newly formed organization the Giuseppe Verdi society. They chose the four rooms above the grocery store at 758 North 1st Street as their clubrooms.

The organization was officially founded on September 9, 1918 under the title of the “Giuseppe Verdi Society.” The club was established in order to provide two main objectives.

l. To provide and maintain a lodge for the pleasure and recreation of its members.

2. To increase the spirit of brotherhood and good fellowship among its members.

During World War II, the club furnished free Sunday spaghetti dinners and dancing for soldiers. They were also very engaged in charitable programs for fund raising purposes to benefit such organizations as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and the Veterans’ Organizations.

The club has changed its clubhouse location over the course of the century. They left the grocery store location about five months after the club was chartered in 1918. They moved to their current North Madison Street location. The club had also purchased a frame house also on Madison Street. In 1930, they constructed the first part of what is now their modern spacious hall.

The first Verdi hall (Rockford Banquet Hall)was a structure 40 x 60 feet, but was remodeled in 1950 and a major addition was constructed as well.

The present building, which includes the 1930 structure, has a total of 16,200 square feet on two floors. Besides a lounge, the building features a large auditorium for private parties, modern kitchen facilities, a basement barroom, and outdoor recreational equipment.

The present building has lighted grounds overlooking the Rock River and has playground equipment for children, picnic tables, an outdoor summer pavilion, basketball courts, and boat docks.

The 90 year old Verdi Club Society has upheld the high standards set forth by their founding members to this day. Besides being a sponsor for local events such as the Festa Italiana held each year at Boylan High School, the club board committee continually keeps current members active with club picnics, golf playdays, steak dinners, bond dinners, and formal dances. It is one of the elite social clubs in Rockford today and will be for many generations in the future.

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