NIAF To Host Ninth Annual Youth Gala in Washington, DC *Celebrity Appearances at Gala Dinner, Networking, Conferences*


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

(WASHINGTON, DC – October 10, 2005) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) will host its ninth annual youth gala, Saturday evening, October 15 at the Hilton Washington & Towers in Washington, DC. The event is held during NIAF’s 30th Anniversary Awards Gala and begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and dancing.

The NIAF Youth Gala will feature celebrity appearances and a simultaneous video transmission of the NIAF 30th Anniversary Gala from the International Ballroom of the hotel. The weekend also includes programs and conferences for young people (ages 35 and under) on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15.

The NIAF Youth Weekend begins Friday, October 14 with the NIAF Teacher of the Year Award presentation during a luncheon featuring the Foundation’s programs, its scholarship and grant recipients in the Int’l Ballroom East, Noon – 2:30 p.m. Saturday morning, October 15, NIAF will also host a youth networking breakfast, and a meeting of Italian Club presidents from campuses across the country. Joseph Moglia, NIAF board member and CEO of Ameritrade Holding Corp., is the keynote speaker. All conferences are free and open to the public.

Actors Danny Aiello, Dennis Farina and Antonio Sabato, Jr.; singers Jay Black and Natalie Merchant; and baseball greats Yogi Berra and Tommy Lasorda, will join the more than 3,000 people from across America and Italy at NIAF’s 30th Anniversary Gala on October 15. Popular entertainer Tony Danza will be the evening’s master of ceremonies.

During the Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Awards Gala, Paul S. Otellini, president and CEO of Intel, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award for Military Service. Michelle Peluso, president and CEO of Travelocity, will also receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business. Ambassador Peter F. Secchia, chairman of the board at Universal Forest Products Inc., and managing partner of SIBSCO LLC, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award for International Affairs.

Youth Gala dinner tickets are $100 per person and includes tickets to Friday night’s “Salute to the Martini.” For more information, contact: Brock Olivo, at 202/939-3107 or

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans.