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Oceanside's Rocky Marciano Lodge reopens in style

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After one year and $40,000 of renovations, the Oceanside chapter of Sons of Italy reopened the Rocky Marciano Lodge in the fall. On Jan. 15, the non-profit organization will host an open house and ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled reception hall.

“I think it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Oceanside,” said Joe Samoles, vice president of Sons of Italy Oceanside. “I want to showcase this gorgeous place and show it off to the public.”

Sons of Italy offers the 150-capacity event space to local schools and other community groups at little to no cost, and rents the venue out for private parties, including Sweet 16s, bridal and baby showers, weddings and christenings. The organization also donates to various charities, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.

Renting the party room costs an average of $700, Samoles said. The new hall features a television and monitor, a serviceable bar with a soda gun, black canvas to decorate, tables and chairs, colored, remote-controlled lighting on the walls, an ice machine, refrigerator and ample parking.

“We’re trying to give the community a better place to have gatherings at a reasonable rate,” said Lorenzo Barbados, president of Sons of Italy Oceanside.

Sons of Italy has 55 members and is accepting new applicants for membership. Members need not be Italian; all are welcome to join for a fee of $50 per year.