Press Releases – 2001 Westchester Gala


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



*National Italian American Foundation Donates Tickets & Sponsors Reception*

(WASHINGTON, DC- March 19, 2001) Kanak Gupta, a visually-impaired sophomore at NOVA High School in Davie, and four high school music students at New World School of the Arts in Miami, will attend the Andrea Bocelli concert and meet the Italian tenor on Thursday evening, March 22 at the National Car Rental Center in Ft. Lauderdale. The tickets were donated by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), the nation’s leading advocacy group for Americans of Italian descent. The Foundation will also host a private reception immediately following Bocelli’s concert for the students to meet Bocelli. The concert is part of his Spring 2001 North America Tour.

“My son (Kanak Gupta) became visually impaired two years ago due to Steven Johnson Syndrome, a negative response to medication. He is so excited to meet Bocelli who serves as role model for those visually challenged,” said Karen Gupta.

“Our students work hard every day and make sacrifices because they are dedicated to their art. What an inspiration it is for them to be able to meet someone like Andrea Bocelli, who has reached the absolute top of his profession, ” said Ellery Brown, principal at New World School for the Arts .

In October 2000, Andrea Bocelli received the National Italian American Foundation’s Year 2000 U.S./Italy Friendship Award during the NIAF gala awards dinner in Washington, DC . President Clinton, Muhammad Ali and over 3,100 prominent Italians and Italian American leaders in business, sports, entertainment, the professions, and government attended the dinner. Bocelli also performed via satellite with the Boccherino Institute Youth Orchestra from Lucca, Italy during the NIAF gala in honor of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary.

Andrea Bocelli has sold more than 20 million records worldwide since he entered the American music scene in 1997 with the release of his album, Romanza and the single “Con Te Partirò” (Time To Say Goodbye). Romanza topped the charts in more than 13 countries and sold more than 500,000 copies in the U.S. alone during the first three months of its release.

The NIAF has secured 100 of some of the best concert seats in the house. The special NIAF concert tickets are being sold at their face value of $350 per person. For tickets, please contact: Lisa Pitocco at 202/387-0600 x 40.