Media Advisory: West Coast Gala


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


EVENT: West Coast Gala

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: May 27, 2009
6 p.m. Cocktail Reception (Pavilion Room)
7 p.m. Gala, Live Auction and Awards Program

WHERE: The Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 84108

The NIAF West Coast Gala will recognize titans of technology and patrons of philanthropy in the San Francisco Bay area. The gala begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception in the Fairmont’s Pavilion Room, followed by dinner, a live auction and award presentations.

This year’s honorees include philanthropists John and Romana Bracco. They will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Humanitarian Service. NIAF Special Achievement Awards in Business and Technology will be presented to Federico Faggin, chairman emeritus of Synaptics, Inc., Giacomo Marini, founder and managing director of Noventi Ventures and Pierluigi Zappacosta, chairman of Digital Persona, Inc. and Faro Ventures (Italy).

International recording artist Sergio Caputo will perform jazz and Latin- infused popular music that evening. Jeffrey M. Capaccio, Esq., NIAF vice president for the far west region, will serve as dinner chairman. Sportscaster Tony Bruno, a guest commentator at ESPN-affiliate KNBR 680 and host of the national sports radio show “Into The Night With Tony Bruno,” is this year’s master of ceremonies.

NIAF also will host a private dessert and wine reception with Academy Award-winning actor and director Roberto Benigni to welcome him to San Francisco immediately following his U.S. stage debut of his critically acclaimed one-man show “TuttoDante” on May 26 at Davies Symphony Hall. The Foundation previously honored Benigni at its 28th Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., where he received a Special Achievement Award in Entertainment.

Gala tickets begin at $250 per person. For sponsorship and ticket information, contact Carolyn Laurenzano at 202/939-3114 or

Media Contact: Elissa Ruffino at 202/939-3106 or

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