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White House Commission on Remembrance Director and no Greater Love Founder Carmella Laspada To be Honored at Italian American Gala in Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or elissa@niaf.org


(WASHINGTON, DC –September 27, 2004) Carmella LaSpada, director of The White House Commission on Remembrance and founder of No Greater Love, will receive the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Special Achievement Award in Humanitarian Service at the Foundation’s 29th Anniversary Awards Gala, Saturday evening, October 16 at the Hilton Washington & Towers, Washington, D.C. The gala begins with a 6 PM reception followed by dinner at 7 PM. LaSpada has arranged for wounded troops, Special Operation Forces and families of casualties to join her that evening.

The NIAF Gala is one of the premier annual events in Washington, D.C. attracting more than 3,000 people from throughout the country and abroad. The NIAF gala has been traditionally attended by the presidential candidates, members of the Italian American Congressional Delegation and Italian American leaders in business, sports, government, entertainment and the arts.

Luciano Pavarotti, legendary tenor, will be inducted into the NIAF Italian American Hall of Fame in Music and Tim McGraw, Grammy Award-winning country music star, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Music. McGraw will be accompanied by his wife, singer Faith Hill. Joseph J. Plumeri, chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings Ltd., will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business.

LaSpada has spent more than three decades showing families of America’s fallen that their sacrifice is not forgotten. In 1967, LaSpada was a White House Special Projects aide when she organized a USO tour to Southeast Asia. She met a wounded medic who had desperately tried to save 35 of his comrades during a battle in Vietnam. Handing her a black scarf symbolizing his unit, the medic pleaded with LaSpada, “Promise you will do something so that the men who died, and their families, will never be forgotten.” In 1971, working out of her apartment with limited resources, she created No Greater Love, which comforts children of those who died in service to our country or by an act of terrorism.

Since 2001, LaSpada serves as director of the White House Commission on Remembrance, which was established by Congress in 2000 to honor America’s fallen and recognize our veterans and those who continue to serve our nation.

Dinner tickets begin at $400 per person based on table location. Attire: Black tie. Proceeds from the event will benefit the NIAF scholarship and education programs. For tickets or sponsor information, contact Bonni Cellini at 202/939-3114, bonni@niaf.org or register on-line at www.niaf.org .

The NIAF is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation dedicated to promoting the contributions of Italian Americans. Visit our website at www.niaf.org