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NIAF Establishes Fund for Children of Fallen Rescue Workers in New York Tragedy


Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF)  202/939-3106202/939-3106 or 202/939-3106

**Education Fund in Memory of Chief Ganci**
(WASHINGTON, DC – September 13, 2001) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) today established an educational fund for the children of the firefighters, police, emergency medical personnel and other rescue workers who perished in the terrorist attack in New York City. The non-profit organization will kick off the fund with a $250,000 pledge. The fund will be named in memory of deceased New York Fire Department Chief Peter J. Ganci Jr., a 32- year veteran with the New York City Fire Department (F.D.N.Y.), who died in the collapse of New York City’s Twin Towers.

According to NIAF Chairman Frank J. Guarini, “New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard A. Grasso, who serves as NIAF vice chairman, will play a major role in the effort.” “The Foundation also plans to team-up with our supporters in the financial community and other organizations to launch this multimillion-dollar project.”

“We urge all organizations, including Italian American groups, to assist the NIAF in this most heartfelt effort on behalf of the many children of these fallen heroes,” said NIAF President Joseph Cerrell.

Chief Ganci held the highest-ranking civil service title in New York State. He joined the New York City Fire Department in 1969. Prior to his position in the F.D.N.Y., he served as chief in charge of the Bureau of Fire Investigation. Ganci revamped the Bureau and implemented new programs and procedures to bring the investigative unit into the 21st Century.

During the Foundation’s 26th Anniversary Awards Gala Dinner on Saturday, October 20 in Washington, the NIAF plans to announce contributions from the Italian American community.

Contributions to the educational fund can be made by calling the NIAF directly at 1/800-989-NIAF (6423) or visit our web site at for the latest information. The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage of an estimated 26 million Americans of Italian descent, the nation’s fifth largest ethnic group.