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By Jim Knowles • Taken from the April 24th 2014 issue of the San Leandro Times—Editor

Ialian Clubs East BayBuon Tempo Spruces up Toyon Park

  The Buon Tempo Club is down at the bocce ball court at Toyon Park this week, but this time it’s work, not play.   The members of the Italian- American club are repainting the courts, which needed a little sprucing up. The backstops are painted brown, and across the top they’re red, white

and green, just like the Italian flag.   The club uses the court at Toyon Park, but it’s open to anybody who wants to play. The court is made of crushed oyster shells, the traditional style.   “People think of bocce as an old man’s game but anybody can play,” said Buon Tempo Club member Les Nardine. “A lot of women play, too.”   Nardine thanked the city’s recreation director Carolyn Knudson and Winston McKee with the park department for their assistance in maintaining the bocce court.   The bocce ball court at Toyon Park on Bancroft Avenue was built in 1971 and opened on Oct. 12 of that year, Columbus Day.   The Buon Tempo Club has 190 members and was founded in 1958 in San Leandro, though its meetings are now held at the Moose Lodge in Castro Valley.   The club holds an annual dinner where the members give  scholarships to deserving local students. CAPTION: Buon Tempo Club members working on the bocce ball court this week are Pat Medeiros, Les Nardine, Bruce Tobia and Garry Kohler.  PHOTO BY JIM KNOWLES

Ialian Clubs East BayCASTRO VALLEY TIMES   Wednesday October 31, 2012

One of our own, Ken Martin, was recognized for his efforts on getting the Bocce courts built at the Abode Center Park in Castro Valley.  Here’s the article:


Friends and teammates who regularily play bocce ball at the Adobe Center Park gathered last Wednesday to thank Ken Martin whose volunteer effort got the installation of bocce ball courts at the park a few years ago.  “I am honored and proud of this.  It has been one my better endeavors.” quipped Martin.  A plaque was installed on one of the court’s benches with the inscription: “To Ken Martin who brought bocce ball and new friendships to Castro Valley.”

2012 Buon Tempo Community-Wide Open Bocce Tournament held Saturday August 11th @ Castro Valley’s Adobe Park

Congratulations to the winning team “D’Boccery” from San Rafael

Ialian Clubs East Bay

Left to right: Patti Bassett, Mark Bassett, Carmen Buglio, Mary Vinella

2nd place team, “I Tiri Lunghi” from Castro Valley

Ialian Clubs East Bay

Left to right: Leo Giacomini, Jim Murphy, John Anderson, Marge Perata

May 5th, 2012  Bocce Court Construction @ the VA Hospital in Livermore

On a Saturday morning about 9 a.m., 20 people  gathered near the Community Living Building at the Livermore VA grounds. By 3 p.m., an unused area of dirt had been transformed into a polished Bocce Court available to all the Veterans to use. My hard working crew consisted of members: Dave Stefani, Jim Remigio, Jim Pineo, Carlos Fonseca, Jerry Fontes, Ken Martin, Vita Ciarfaglio, Chris Bailey, Roland Garshol, Leonard Ancona, Bob Dows, Tim Gutierrez, Bob Hansen, David Blasquez and our Skid-steer driver Craig Durao. Others helping us out were spouses, Sue Garshol and Tricia Vogelenzang as well as, Chelsea Spencer, 2011-12 IAF Queen.

A delicious lunch was prepared by Wayne Caporusso, Rich Gorham & John Tandi. Wayne and Rich brought Italian sausage sandwiches and focaccia out to Livermore to give all a well deserved lunch break before we finished up the court.

Peterson Tractor of San Leandro donated the skid-steer CAT tractor that helped make moving the 18 tons of materials to the court a ‘life-saver’. Thanks go out to Kathy Gorham for arraigning the use of the tractor. Cresco Rentals of Fremont donated the use of a walk behind vibra-plate to help compact the court. Side board wood materials came from Osborne Lumber in Newark and the Bocce court materials came from Clark’s-Save Rockery in Hayward.

These companies discounted their materials to minimize our costs. Thank you to all our suppliers and volunteers.

Arrangements are in the works to have some sort of ‘Ribbon Cutting’ ceremony at the VA Bocce court for all Buon Tempo Members and their families to take part in. Stay tuned for more information on this.

May 21 - 22, 2011

Buon Tempo supports this year’s Relay for Life with a donation of $2,500 (Gold Sponsorship).

Rich Gorham (center) and Roland Garshol (right) cook sausages during the Sausage and Suds Festival on Sunday Oct. 3, 2010 in San Leandro, Calif. (Aric Crabb/ANG Staff)

Carol Thornberry: George Mark Children’s House benefits from bocce tournament


ON A BRIGHT sunny day, the first Saturday in June, the Buon Tempo Italian American Club hosted the George Mark Children’s House Benefit Bocce Tournament at the Adobe Park bocce courts in Castro Valley, the use of which was donated by the Hayward Area Recreation Department.

The double-elimination tournament was directed by Buon Tempo board member Ken Martin. Registrar Patty Martin checked in 64 players representing 16 teams that had registered for the competition.

Many local organizations and businesses had teams entered, among them the Alameda County Fire Department, Castro Valley Unified School District, the Plaza Bottle Shop, B.A. Morrison General Contractors, the Village Barber Shop, Castro Valley Lions Breakfast Club, and the Native Sons No. 223. They were joined by several teams made up of families and friends, of which some were sponsored by local merchants.

Referees Al Bronzini, Buon Tempo President Sal Attinello, and Max Martin kept busy monitoring the 31 games played. Scorekeeper Russ Miller, who had the job of getting the teams to the courts and keeping track of who won or lost, also put in an active day.

After a long day of well-played bocce, a team called Spudorato (Italian for shameless), from San Rafael, with Patti Bassett, Mark Bassett, Tim Ceppi and Julie Nunes, defeated The Terremoti (Italian for earthquakes), from Castro Valley with players Gloria Bonora, Leon Vignale, Joanne Parenti and Doug Carlson, for the championship.Third place went to the Plaza Bottle Shop team from San Leandro, with Dick and Joann Dianda and David and Diane Oppocher on the roster.

All of the players on the top three teams received trophies, which were presented by Isabella White from the George Mark House. The awards were furnished by Ray Tai of Engravit in Castro Valley and donated by Patty and Ken Martin.

It was a festive day and the spirit of fun surrounded the courts. Many players brought food to share and Patti Basset of Spudorato donated a beautiful gift basket that Barbara Giacomini won as a door prize.

The highlight of the event, and its main purpose, was that a much-needed total of $2,500 in entry fees and donations was collected for the George Mark Children’s House. It will be presented to their representatives at the July Buon Tempo Club Family Dinner.

The George Mark Children’s House gives palliative care to terminally ill children and respite to their caregivers. Please help by sending donations in any amount to the George Mark Children’s House, 2121 George Mark Lane, San Leandro, CA 94578.

Italian opera night simply bellissimo

My HUSBAND, Kent, and I were guests for a beautiful evening of opera at the Buon Tempo Italian Club’s “Quattro Belli Voci” (”Four Beautiful Voices”).

The evening began with Buon Tempo President Sal Attinello welcoming guests to the club’s fourth annual event.

The night was about opera, but opera was not the only thing on the menu. Chef Joseph Sotello and his assistants Andy and Gail Lycette and Michele Pina prepared a pranzo eccellente (excellent dinner). After a five-course banquet that included Debbie Farinha’s delicious dessert, an evening of opera was still ahead.

My table companions included Marilyn Kosinski, director and founder of the Oakland Lyric Opera Company, and her husband, Ted; club member Bob Dows and his wife, Gerri; and event chairman Ken Martin and his wife, Patty. Kent and I were newcomers to the opera world, but Gerri grew up listening to her mother’s records of operatic arias, and of course Marilyn brought a wealth of knowledge and experience about the operatic world.

The opera company singers were wonderful. The performers for the evening were Rachel Michelberg, Svetlana Nikitenko, Jorge Orlando Gomez and Leland Shanley Morine. They were accompanied on the piano by Castro Valley’s Alexander Katzman.

The final piece to the perfect evening was the door prize raffle. Lucky winners included Carol Bettencourt, charter member Al Bronzini, Ron Green, Barbara Green, Jill Taylorand me. Yes, I won a basket of Italian goodies donated by Jerry Weinmeinster of Castro Valley’s Al’s Market. A few others I spotted enjoying the evening were Ernest Avellar, Florence Bartolini, Fran and Frank Bienati, Vito and Marlene Ciarfaglio, Al and Beverly Cusortelli, Dick and Joann Dianda, Steve and Marianne Dimick, Fred and Peg Gavello, Leo and Barbara Giacomini, David and Doree Guidotti, Valerie Gunton, Liz Hartman, Joan Jacques, Chuck and Pennie Kadlecek, Al and Gloria Kappadahl, Al and Pam Laspina, Eden Garden Club President Martha Maxson, Francis and Betty Miraglia, Bill and Donna Russell, Rose Silva, Sal and Jo Spinardi, Sylvia Tedesco, Bob and Angie Vaccarezza, and June Wallace.

It was una sera meravigliosa di cibo e la musica (an evening of wonderful food and music).

The Buon Tempo Club is a family-oriented social organization with membership open to men of Italian descent, and non-Italian men who are interested in and supportive of the Italian culture. They are a small club, but they have long supported many worthy causes, and now they are coming to the aid of the George Mark Children’s House. On June 5, the club will host the George Mark Children’s House Benefit Open Bocce Tournament at Adobe Park in Castro Valley. All funds raised will go directly to the children’s hospice. The tournament is limited to 16 four-person mixed teams of all skill levels. The entry fee is a tax-deductible $100 per team.

For more information, entry forms and rules, contact Ken Martin at or 510-727-9296. To just make a donation, send checks made out to George Mark Children’s House to 3785 Somerset Ave., Castro Valley, CA 94546.

Wednesday Dec. 2, 2009  -  Castro Valley Forum

Lori and Sam Nouv, at left, received checks totaling $5,796.

Click Here to View the Complete Castro Valley Forum Article

Prevailing over seven other teams, the Castro Valley Breakfast Lions Club won the Donut Hole Open Bocce Tournament November 21st at the Adobe Park bocce courts in Castro Valley.  The members of the 1st place team were Gil Jess, Bob Gianni, Khush Bodin and Jake Jacoby.  The Ricellanza Club and Team Tricarico finished second and third, respectably.

The tournament, hosted by the Buon Tempo Italian-American Club, was a fundraising event in conjuction with a larger Chamber of Commerce effort to raise money to go to Sam Nuov, the operator of Lee’s Donuts, who was robbed and badly beaten in October putting him in the hospital and, consequently, creating some large medical bills.  A total of $1000 was collected from the tournament.

Prizes for the winning teams were donated by B.A. Morrison Heating & Air Conditioning and Al’s Food Market, both in Castro Valley.


As part of our community outreach program to get recognition for our club, on September 18 some Buon Tempo members met with special needs students from the Castro Valley Adult School Adults with Disabilities Program to teach them the game of bocce.

Vicki Cross, the Lead Teacher for the program, brought a busload of 17 students to the Adobe Park courts that day. They were surprisingly adept and learned the game very quickly. It was a great experience for everyone involved, students and instructors alike. We all had fun. This will be an ongoing Buon Tempo program with special needs adults from the Adult School.

Board Approves Funds to Support Italian Language Program

The Buon Temple Club Board of Directors approved a motion to provide continued funding for the Italian Language Programs at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland.  Started in the 2008-9, Oakland Tech is offering its students, UC & CSU accredited Italian language classes.   Short on funds, the Buon Tempo Club donated $1,000  to help purchase needed books as the program has grown from 58 students in its initial offering of Italian I to its current enrollment of 120 students and the addition of an Italian 2 class.  Plans are currently being made to add an Italian 3 class for the 2010-11 school year.

The funds that the Buon Tempo Club donated for these books will have a name attached into the books thanking the Buon Temple Club.

The Buon Tempo Italian American Club participates in a wide variety of community events from Opera Night, to Bocce Tournaments, to Fund Raisers and more.  

Below is a list of noted events and newspaper articles about the involvement of The Buon Tempo club and it’s members.  

This is by no means a complete list, but it is a good example of the generosity of spirit of the Buon Tempo club and proof that the club really does live up to it’s name “Good Times”.