Media Advisory – NIAF 31st Anniversary Awards Gala and Annual Convention

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

EVENT: NIAF 31st Anniversary Awards Gala and Annual Convention

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: Friday, October 20, 2006
9 a.m. to midnight
Saturday, October 21, 2006
6 p.m. reception, 7p.m. dinner

WHERE: Hilton Washington & Towers
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (202/483-3000)

More than 3,000 people from across the U.S. and Italy will attend the National Italian AmericanFoundation (NIAF) 31st Anniversary Awards Gala and Annual Convention on October 20 and 21 at the Hilton Washington & Towers in the nation’s capital.

Highlights of the weekend include: a performance by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at NIAF’s annual Salute to the Martini on Friday, October 20, and a variety of honorees including:

Samuel Alito Jr., Supreme Court justice, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award for Public Service
Anne Bancroft, Academy Award-winning actress, will be posthumously inducted into the NIAF Italian American Hall of Fame. Her husband, director Mel Brooks, will represent Bancroft.
Raffaello Follieri, chairman and CEO of Follieri Yucaipa Investments, will receive the NIAF SpecialAchievement Award for Humanitarian Service
Tom W. LaSorda, CEO and president of Chrysler Group, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business
Catherine B. Reynolds, businesswoman, founder and chairman of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Education and Cultural Affairs.
Frankie Valli, singing legend, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in Entertainment

During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will host Piazza d’Italia, a two-day showcase of Italian products, our signature celebrity luncheon/auction, and the new Renaissance Kids’ Club – an educational program for youngsters ages 7 to 17. A travel conference, “Italy’s Thermal Waters, Wines, and Food,” will be held Friday. On Saturday, NIAF will host a conference featuring U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito Jr.

Dinner tickets begin at $400 per person. Attire: Black tie. Proceeds benefit NIAF educational programsand Gardens of Hope, a NIAF co-sponsored community garden project benefiting the homeless and those in inner-city shelters. For tickets or sponsor information, contact: Carolyn Laurenzano at 202/939-3114 or or register on line at