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DANNY DeVITO, MIKE PIAZZA, YOGI BERRA, TOMMY LASORDA AT NIAF GALA HONORING TOM IZZO WITH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


MICHIGAN STATE MEN’S BASKETBALLCOACH TOM IZZO TO RECEIVE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN D.C.
*Danny DeVito, Giuliana DePandi Rancic, Sal Paolantonio, Tony Reali and Fernando Fiore at NIAF Gala**

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 4, 2010) Tom Izzo
, head coach of men’s basketball at Michigan State University, will be honored at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 35th Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Izzo will receive the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports on October 23, 2010 at the Washington Hilton. The black-tie event begins with a 6 p.m. reception followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

Honorees joining Izzo include Dott. Fulvio Conti, CEO of ENEL S.p.A.; Aurelio De Laurentiis, Italian film producer and president of the Naples Soccer Club; Christopher J. Nassetta, president & CEO of Hilton Worldwide; Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician-in-chief at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center; and Joe Uva, president and CEO of Univision Communications, Inc.

Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor Danny DeVito and CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton will present awards during the gala. Giuliana DePandi Rancic, anchor and managing editor of E! News and star of the Style Network show “Giuliana & Bill,” will serve as the evening’s emcee.

Sports greats Yogi Berra, Tommy Lasorda, Mike Piazza and Daryle Lamonica will attend the gala. NIAF’s convention will include a sports roundtable featuring ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio and Tony Reali as well as Univision’s Fernando Fiore on Saturday, October 23 at 2 p.m. at the hotel.

For the past 15 years Izzo has led the Spartan program as head coach; he joined Michigan State’s basketball program in 1983. He has been named National Coach of the Year four times and has led Michigan State to a 2000 NCAA National Championship, six regular-season Big Ten Championships, two Big Ten Tournament titles, six Final Four appearances and a Big Ten-best of 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. With a career record of 364-146, he earned the title of MSU’s all-time winningest coach. He is also the longest-serving active men’s basketball coach in his conference, the Big Ten. Izzo recently declined an opportunity to coach the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers in favor of remaining at Michigan State.

Born and raised in Iron Mountain, Michigan, Izzo graduated Northern Michigan University in 1977, where he played guard for NMU’s basketball team. He also received an honorary doctorate from Northern Michigan University in 2001 and an honorary degree from Michigan State University. A community activist, he volunteered with Coaches Vs. Cancer, Sparrow Hospital, the Jimmy V Foundation and the Catholic Social Services/St. Vincent Home for Children in Lansing. Last year, Izzo was presented the Coaches Vs. Cancer Champion Award, recognizing his work and leadership in the fight to save lives from cancer.

The NIAF gala is one of the premier annual events in the nation’s capital, attracting more than 3,000 guests from the United States and Italy. In keeping with our tradition of hosting the president, President Barack Obama has been invited to attend. Tickets to Saturday’s gala begin at $400 per person. Proceeds benefit NIAF’s educational programs. For tickets or sponsor information, contact Jerry Jones at 202/387-0600 or jerry@niaf.org, or register online at www.niaf.org.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent.





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