Ernest Borgnine, Yogi Berra & Paul Tagliabue To be Inducted into Italian American Hall of Fame *Lawrence Babbio & Louis Lamoriello To be Honored at NY Gala*


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

(WASHINGTON, DC – April 13, 2004) Ernest Borgnine, Academy Award-winning actor, Yogi Berra, baseball legend and Paul Tagliabue, National Football League Commission (NFL) commissioner, will be inducted into the Italian American Hall of Fame during the Foundation’s East Coast Gala on Tuesday evening, April 20 at the Grand Hyatt New York, in New York City. The gala begins with a reception and silent auction at 6:00 PM followed by dinner at 7:00 PM.

Lawrence T. Babbio, president and vice chair, Verizon Communications, and Lou Lamoriello, president, CEO and general manager, New Jersey Devils, will also be honored during the gala. Babbio will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business and Lamoriello will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Sports and Business.

Actor Danny Aiello and singer Tony Bennett will be joined by many prominent Italian Americans, including CNBC anchors Maria Bartiromo and Ron Insana. Bennett will be joined by his daughter, Antonia Bennett. She will perform during the event.

The gala is chaired by Vincent Viola, senior strategic advisor of the New York Mercantile Exchange and NIAF board member. Christina Johnson, NIAF board member, is the gala honorary chair.

Dinner tickets start at $250 per person. Attire: Business. To purchase tickets, contact, Bonni Cellini at 202/939-3114 or . You can also register on line at .

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Learn more about our programs and events by visiting