NIAF News Releases

**Celebrity Appearances at Gala Dinner, Networking, Conferences**


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

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 12, 2007) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) will host its 11th Annual Youth Gala for Italian Americans and Italophiles ages 18-35 on Saturday, October 13, 2007 at the Hilton Washington & Towers in Washington, D.C. The event is held in conjunction with NIAF’s 32nd Anniversary Awards Gala and Convention Weekend. The Foundation’s youth gala will begin at 7 p.m. with entertainment, dinner, and dancing.

The NIAF Youth Gala features celebrity appearances and a simultaneous video transmission of the Foundation’s gala from the International Ballroom of the hotel. Throughout the evening, prominent Italian Americans will address the attendees.

The NIAF Youth Weekend begins with a luncheon on Friday, October 12, 2007, in the International Ballroom East from noon to 2:30 p.m. During the convention weekend NIAF will host Piazza d’Italia, a two-day best of Italy exhibition, and a networking breakfast in the Jefferson Room on Saturday, October 13 from 9 -11 a.m. At the Saturday breakfast former NFL player Vincent Francis Papale will give the keynote address and will be introduced by Super Bowl-winning former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil.

More than 3,000 people from across the U.S. and Italy will attend the NIAF gala. This year’s honorees include Rudolph W. Giuliani, presidential candidate; William D. Novelli, CEO of AARP; Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; Ellen Pompeo, actress on the ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy;” and Connie Stevens, actress, singer, and entrepreneur. Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese also will be recognized for launching a new NIAF program in memory of Jack Valenti, former head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and a NIAF board member for more than 20 years.

Italian Americans attending the gala include actress Susan Lucci, Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Jr. and Antonin Scalia, Italy’s Ambassador to the U.S. the Hon. Giovanni Castellaneta, and the U.S. Ambassador to Italy the Hon. Ronald P. Spogli.

Youth Gala dinner tickets are $115 per person. For more information, contact Giuseppina Spillane at 202/939-3107 or

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

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