Celebrities To Gather at East Coast Gala in NYC *Isabella Rossellini to Award a NIAF Scholarship* *Alan Alda to be inducted into Hall of Fame by Jack Valenti*
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or elissa@niaf.org

(WASHINGTON, D.C.– April 11, 2006) Actors Danny Aiello, Alan Alda, Dennis Farina, Tony Lo Bianco and Isabella Rossellini will be joined by sports greats Mario Andretti and Yogi Berra, and Italian couture designer Renato Balestra at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) annual East Coast Gala on Tuesday, April 18 in New York City. The gala, which will benefit NIAF scholarship and education programs, will be held at The New York Marriott Marquis Hotel with a reception and silent auction at 6 p.m. followed by dinner.

Actor Alan Alda will be inducted into the NIAF Italian American Hall of Fame by Jack Valenti, former president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). In 1990, Alda received a NIAF SpecialAchievement Award in the Performing Arts at the NIAF Gala Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.

During the NIAF gala, famed actress and model Isabella Rossellini will present a scholarship to an outstanding Italian American student. Legendary racer Mario Andretti will receive a NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports. Joseph M. Boitano, senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business.Rocco B. Commisso, chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation, will receive the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award. LTG Raymond Odierno of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is best known for commanding the division that captured Saddam Hussein, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Military Service.

The gala is chaired by Frank Petrilli, president and CEO of Nexxar Group Inc. Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo will perform selections from his self-titled CD during the event.

Attire: Business. For ticket information, contact Bonni Cellini at 202/939-3114 or bonni@niaf.orgor visit www.niaf.org

NIAF is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. To learn about our programs/events, visit www.niaf.org