Actress Linda Dano and Broadway Star Patti Lupone To Present NIAF Scholarships at East Cost Gala in NYC


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

(WASHINGTON, DC — April 15, 2003) Actresses Linda Dano of ABC’s television series One Life to Live, and Patti LuPone of the HBO series OZ, will award National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) scholarships in their names to two students at the Foundation’s East Coast Gala on Wednesday evening, April 23 at the Regent Wall Street, 55 Wall Street in New York City. The gala begins with a reception and silent auction at 6:00 PM followed by dinner at 7:00 PM.

Two Italian Americans, Guido Grasso-Knight, a Swarthmore College graduate who will attend medical school this fall, and Naomi Cavanaugh, a graduate student in social work at Fordam University, will each receive a $5,000 NIAF scholarship before 500 prominent Italian Americans in business, the arts, government and public service.

The NIAF will award more than 150 scholarships in the academic year 2003-2004. Since 1976, the NIAF has awarded over $6 million in scholarships and grants across the country. The Foundation’s scholarship program celebrated its 27th anniversary last year. The program has grown from four scholarships of $250 each to over 150 scholarships that range from $2,500 to $15,000 each in the humanities, medicine, engineering, business, music, Italian language and culture and other specialized fields.

During the NIAF East Coast Gala, the Foundation will honor three prominent industry leaders for their outstanding leadership in business: Salvatore Sodano, chairman & CEO of the American Stock Exchange; Vincent Viola, chairman of NYMEX Holdings Inc. and chairman & CEO of the New York Mercantile Exchange; and Anthony J. Corso, Sr. (posthumously), prominent New York Stock Exchange member.

Dick Grasso, New York Stock Exchange chairman & CEO and NIAF vice chairman, and Christina Johnson, Saks Fifth Avenue president & CEO and NIAF regional vice president for the Greater New York area, will co-chair the gala awards dinner. Maria BartiromoCNBC anchor, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Dinner tickets start at $250.00 per person. Attire: Business. To purchase tickets, contact Bonni Cellini at 202/939-3114 or

Register online today.