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Gary Sinise, Tommy Lasorda, Kara Dioguardi, Jon Favreau, Dana Brunetti and Thomas Girardi Headline NIAF Gala in Santa Monica

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or elissa@niaf.org


GARY SINISE, TOMMY LASORDA, KARA DIOGUARDI, JON FAVREAU, DANA BRUNETTI AND THOMAS GIRARDI HEADLINE NIAF GALA IN SANTA MONICA

*Giuliana DePandi-Rancic, Joe Mantegna Attending*

(Washington, D.C. – May 12, 2011)
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) will honor Oscar nominated film producer whose credits include “The Social Network” Dana Brunetti; Grammy nominated songwriter, record executive, music publisher, author and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi; actor, screenwriter and director Jon Favreau; California trial lawyer Thomas V. Girardi; Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and Dodgers great Tommy Lasorda; and Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Gary Sinise on May 19, 2011, during its West Coast Gala at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Calif.

One of the highlights of the evening is a special tribute honoring the late Joseph R. Cerrell, a former NIAF vice chairman and a legendary Los Angeles public affairs consultant who cofounded Cerrell Associates Inc. in 1966.

During the black-tie dinner, a live auction showcase will offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- lunch with Kara DioGuardi and three of your closest friends in Los Angeles. Visit www.niaf.org/bid for more details.

DioGuardi and Lasorda will receive NIAF Lifetime Achievement Awards in Music and Sports Management, respectively. NIAF will present its Special Achievement Awards in Entertainment to Favreau and Sinise as well as Brunetti, who will also receive an award in Business and Entertainment. Girardi will accept a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Law.

Actor Joe Mantegna will be joining the celebrities and honorees as this year’s master of ceremonies. Hollywood’s notables will include Olympic Gold Medal figure skater and Food Network TV chef Brian Boitano; actor, screenwriter and producer Marco Bonini; actor Robert Davi; TV and film star of “The Incredible Hulk” Lou Ferrigno; actor Francesco Quinn; twelve-time MLB All-Star Mike Piazza; E! News anchor and managing editor and member of the NIAF Board of Directors Giuliana DePandi-Rancic; actor and model Antonio Sabato, Jr.; and TV and film star Brenda Vaccaro.

The black-tie gala begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception under the magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree, followed by an awards program and dinner in the Starlight Ballroom of the hotel. Tickets begin at $250 per person. For sponsorship and ticket information, contact Jerry Jones at 202-939-3102 or jerry@niaf.org. Visit www.niaf.org/westcoastgala.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit www.niaf.org.




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