The NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

Christopher Reeve & Dana Morosini Reeve To Receive “One America Award”at Italian American Gala in Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF)  202/939-3106202/939-3106 or 202/939-3106 elissa@niaf.org


(WASHINGTON, DC – September 13, 2001) Actor Christopher Reeve and his wife, Dana Morosini Reeve will receive the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) “One America” award at the Foundation’s 26th Anniversary Awards Gala, Saturday evening, October 20 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C. This special award will be presented before 3,100 Italian American leaders in business, the arts, entertainment, and public service.

“The NIAF ‘One America‘ award exemplifies Christopher and Dana Reeve’s commitment to motivate scientists around the world to conquer the most complex diseases of the brain and central nervous system through their outstanding work raising funds for spinal cord injury research,” said NIAF Chairman Frank J. Guarini. “The Reeves represent the true spirit of ‘One America.’ Their achievements and team effort, despite their adversities, have helped to improve the lives of all Americans,” added Guarini.

Last year, NIAF’s first ” One America” award was presented to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and his manager Angelo Dundee.

During the dinner, actor Nicolas Cage will be the first inductee into the NIAF’s new “Hall of Fame” for his work in the cinema. Domenico De Sole, president and CEO of Gucci Group, NV will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Fashion and Industry. Roger Enrico, vice chairman of PepsiCo, Inc., will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business.

The NIAF Gala Awards Dinner is one of the premier annual events in Washington, DC. U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is this year’s dinner chairman. During the Gala Awards weekend, the NIAF will hold a CEO conference for leading Italian American business executives, Friday October 19. Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, will brief the executives during a private luncheon on Capitol Hill followed by a White House briefing.

Christopher Reeve appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival at the age of 15 and went on to establish a reputation as one of the country’s leading actors. Since his injury in an equestrian competition in 1995, he and his wife have been actively involved in the fight for increased medical research funding.

After graduating from Cornell University in 1974, Reeve studied at Juilliard under the legendary John Houseman and made his Broadway debut opposite Katharine Hepburn in A Matter of Gravity. Film credits include: “Superman” in 1978 and its sequels, “Deathtrap,” “Somewhere in Time,” “The Bostonian,” “Street Smart,” “Speechless,” “Noises Off,” “Above Suspicion” and the Oscar-nominated “The Remains of the Day.” Stage credits include: The Marriage of Figaro, Fifth of July, My Life, Summer and Smoke, Love Letters and The Aspen Papers.

Christopher Reeve made his directorial debut with “In the Gloaming” on HBO in 1997. The film met with rave reviews; was nominated for five Emmys, and won six Cable Ace Awards, including Best Dramatic Special and Best Director. Reeve’s autobiography, Still Me, was published by Random House in April 1998 and spent 11 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Reeve continues his directing career and serves as a board member of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In 1999, Reeve became the chairman of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF). Reeve’s community and political involvement pre-dates his spinal cord injury. He has served as a national spokesman on behalf of the arts, campaign finance reform and the environment.

Dana Morosini Reeve, whose ancestors are from Venice, Italy, is an actress and a singer. She appeared on Broadway in the comedy “More to Love” and Off-Broadway. On television, Dana Reeve has guest-starred on “Law and Order,” “All My Children” and “Loving.” She had recurring roles on the CBS drama “Feds” and the HBO series, “Oz.” As a singer, she has performed on national television and at various New York venues. Her book, CAREPACKAGES: Letter to Christopher Reeve From Strangers and Other Friends was published by Random House in November 1999.

With her husband, she is actively involved in the fight for increases in medical research funding and serves on the board of The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, where she helps distribute grant funds to organizations that improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. Dana Reeve is a graduate of Middlebury College. The Reeves’ have three children. The NIAF convention will also feature conferences, exhibits, the traditional celebrity luncheon and auction, a seminar on tourism, and a wine and olive oil tasting hosted by Bolla Wines and Colavita USA.

Dinner tickets begin at $350 each. Proceeds from the event benefit the NIAF Scholarship and Education Programs and “Gardens of Hope,” an inner-city food program to benefit the homeless and those in shelters. For tickets or sponsor information, contact: Jerry Jones at  202/387-0600202/387-0600 or jerry@niaf.org.