Family honors his 90th brithday celebration with annoucement of The LaRosa Family Foundation

NEWS RELEASE: Ann Keeling & Amy Green for LaRosa’s (Edited for publication by Chuck Gibson) 

CINCINNATI, OH (August 25, 2020)- Buddly LaRosa is celebrating his 90th birthday. Born this day in 1930, Donald S. “Buddy” LaRosa, is the son of a Sicilian immigrant with a tireless work ethic.

Buddy LaRosa & Crew on First Day Open in 1954 (Provided)

Buddy opened his first LaRosa’s pizzeria on Boudinot Avenue in Westwood in 1954. Later his sons Michael and Mark joined the family business. They helped expand LaRosa’s into a regional restaurant chain with 65 pizzerias and sales topping $167 million.  Buddy has been in self-isolations since mid-March due to the global pandemic. In celebration of his 90th birthday today, he held a virtual press conference to announce The LaRosa Family Foundation.

Buddy has led an exemplary life as an entrepreneur and icon in the Greater Cincinnati community. His life of accomplishment has been filled with joy and passion while maintaining a focus on helping and recognizing others. To honor  and recognize his life, his career and focus on giving back to the community, the LaRosa has formed The LaRosa Family Foundation to ensure Buddy’s legacy will live on for decades to come. 

Buddy LaRosa surrounded by sons Mike & Mark during WCET Auction (Provided)

In celebration of Buddy’s 90 years, the LaRosa family has established the Foundation with an initial contribution of $90,000. The Foundation’s purpose is to support programs and activities focused on youth/adolescent development through education, athletics and life skill development. Christina LaRosa, Mark’s daughter and Buddy’s granddaughter, has been named as the Foundation Director.  She is a practicing attorney and Executive Director of Cincinnati Golden Gloves for Youth, an organization founded by Buddy LaRosa to help local inner-city youth develop life skills.

Buddy LaRosa with native Cincinnati Gold Gloves Boxer Aaron Pryor (Provided)

The plan is to grow the Foundation’s initial endowment over time with ongoing contributions from the family along with gifts from members of the community who support the Foundation’s mission. The LaRosa Family Foundation plans to invest in local programs focused on providing kids with the tools they need to achieve success.

“We’re betting that successful kids grow up to be successful adults who’ll build a stronger community” said Christina LaRosa.. “We’re still finalizing the details of how the Foundation will practically work.” 

Buddy LaRosa, age 5 (Provided)

Buddy LaRosa – 1986 (Provided)

During the virtual press conference today, Buddy’ son Michael, LaRosa’s CEO, son Mark LaRosa, President & Chief Culinary Officer for LaRosa’s, and Christina LaRosa honored Buddy on his 90th birthday by sharing anecdotes from his life and the singing of the traditional “Happy Birthday” song and cake. 

“Our dad is an incredibly genuine and caring person; his zest for life has not waned and he looks forward to many more years to come,” said Michael LaRosa.  “He came from nothing, worked hard and made a difference.  He truly believes in ‘taking care of the neighbors you serve’. He’s incredibly excited about the Foundation and the impact it will have on the youth of our local community.”

Buddy LaRosa tossing the pizza dough – 1970’s (Provided)

A video recording of the virtual press conference is available at:’s%20Press%20Conference.mp4?dl=0

LaRosa’s fans are encouraged to post well-wishes, Happy Birthday photos and videos celebrating Buddy’s 90th on social media using the hashtags #HBDBuddyLaRosa and #LaRosaFamilyFoundation.

Additional details and information on grant process and timing will be announced by mid-2021.  For details on how to contribute to The LaRosa Family Foundation, contact Cathy Shondel, Director of Community Involvement, at

 To learn more about LaRosa’s, go to