Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. To be Honored at Niaf Youth Gala in Washington, D.C ** Celebrity Appearances At Gala Dinner, Networking, Conferences **


Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

(Washington, DC – October 15, 2003) Antonio Sabato, Jr. will be the Year 2003 honoree at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) seventh annual youth gala, held Saturday evening, October 25 at the Hilton Washington & Towers in Washington, DC. The event, held in conjunction with the Foundation’s 28th Anniversary Awards Gala, begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and dancing.

The NIAF Italian American Youth Achievement Award will be presented to Sabato for his achievements in television, movies, and service to the community through the various AIDS related charities he supports.

Born in Rome, Italy, Sabato moved with his family to the United States at age 12 and settled in Southern California. He joined the daytime drama, “General Hospital” in 1992 and was nominated the Hottest Male and Outstanding Newcomer by Soap Opera Digest. He appeared in “Melrose Place” and later signed as Calvin Klein’s spokesmodel.

In 1994, he wrote, “ No Excuses: Workout for Life.” Recently, he started his own production company, NAMTAB productions.

The NIAF Youth Gala will feature celebrity appearances and a simultaneous video transmission of the NIAF 28th Anniversary Gala from the International Ballroom of the hotel. The weekend also includes programs and conferences for young people (ages 35 and under) on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25.

The NIAF Youth Weekend begins Friday, October 24 with the conference “Children of the Greats,” which will include stories by some of the most famous Italian Americans of the past. Immediately following the conference, the NIAF Teacher of the Year Award will be presented at an Italian Regional Food Tasting Luncheon.

Saturday morning, October 25, NIAF will host a youth networking breakfast followed by a youth conference with Tom Means, former NIAF scholarship winner and founder of the Means Language Institute in NYC, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the International Ballroom West of the hotel. Later that afternoon, Janet Napolitano, governor of Arizona, Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist with the Chicago-Sun Times and host of CNN”s Crossfire, and Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst, are the featured panelists at the conference, “The Italian American Vote: Does it Count?” from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Room. All conferences are free and open to the public.

At the Foundation’s 28th Anniversary Awards Gala, actor Roberto Benigni, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Entertainment. Celebrities joining the honorees include singer Tony Bennettand actors Tom Dreeson and Doris Roberts.

Youth Gala dinner tickets are $100 per person and includes tickets to Friday night’s entertainment, “The Fourth Annual Salute to the Martini,” conferences and the Saturday night black tie (optional) gala. For more information, contact: Rich Santoro, manager of NIAF Youth Programs, at 202/939-3119 or e-mail: