The NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

NIAF 26th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

MEDIA ADVISORY

Event: NIAF 26th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner

Sponsor: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

When: Saturday, October 20, 2001
6:00 P.M. reception, 7:00 P.M. dinner

Where: The Washington Hilton Hotel
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009

(202/483-3000202/483-3000)
Contact: Elissa Ruffino202/387-0600 202/387-0600 ext. 13 or elissa@niaf.org

The NIAF gala awards dinner is one of the premier annual events in Washington, DC, attracting more than 3,100 people from throughout the country and abroad. Traditionally, the event has been attended by every U.S. President since 1975. Members of the Italian American Congressional Delegation, and Italian American leaders in business, sports, entertainment and the arts are expected at the event. United States Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is this year’s dinner chairman.

The Year 2001 NIAF Honorees are:

Nicolas Cage, actor will be the first inductee into the NIAF’s new “Hall of Fame” for his work in the cinema. In 1994, Cage received a NIAF Special Achievement Award at that year’s Gala Award Dinner.

Domenico De Sole, president and CEO of Gucci Group NV, will receive NIAF’s Special Achievement Award in Fashion and Industry.

Roger Enrico, vice chairman, PepsiCo, Inc. will be presented with the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business.

Christopher Reeve and Dana Morosini Reeve to receive NIAF’s “One America” Award for their outstanding work in raising funds for spinal cord injury research.

United States Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is this year’s dinner chair. Yankee legend Yogi Berra and actor Dennis Farina will join other celebrities that evening. Italy will be represented by the Vice President of the Council of Ministers, Gianfranco Fini. United States Members of Congress of the Italian American Congressional Delegation, and prominent Italian American leaders in business, entertainment, and the arts will also attend the awards gala.

The NIAF 26th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner caps the Foundation’s two-day convention (October 19 & 20) which includes:

Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, to brief leading Italian American business executives during a private luncheon on Capitol Hill, Friday, October 19, followed by a White House briefing.

Conferences on Italy’s treasures and preservation of its cultural heritage, the traditional celebrity luncheon and auction, and a wine and olive oil tasting hosted by Bolla Wines and Colavita USA are part of the NIAF weekend events.

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, contact: Jerry Jones at  202/387-0600202/387-0600 or202/387-0600 jerry@niaf.org.