FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or firstname.lastname@example.org
EVENT: NIAF 27th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner
SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
WHEN: Saturday, October 26, 2002
6:00 P.M. reception, 7:00 P.M. dinner
WHERE: The Hilton Washington & Towers
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW
During the NIAF's 27th Anniversary Awards Gala with 3,000 guests in attendance, the Foundation will announce the Dean Martin Scholarship in Music. Deana Martin, daughter of the famed crooner, will be on hand for the announcement.
Outstanding Italian Americans in business, the arts, and entertainment will be honored that evening during the NIAF Gala. The Year 2002 NIAF Honorees are:
Singers Tony Bennett, Connie Francis and Bobby Rydell, actors, Michael Badalucco, Ruth Buzzi, Robert Davi, Robert Loggia and Doris Roberts are among the celebrities attending this years's gala.
- Paul Chiapparone, vice chairman of Electronic Data Systems (EDS), will receive the NIAF's Special Achievement Award for Humanitarian Service
- Robert De Niro, actor, director, and producer, will be inducted into the NIAF's Italian American Hall of Fame
- Christina Johnson, president & CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, will receive the NIAF's Special Achievement Award in Business
- Sophia Loren, actress, will be inducted into the NIAF's Italian American Hall of Fame
- Thomas (Tommy) D. Mottola, chairman & CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Inc., will receive the NIAF's Special Achievement Award in the Music Industry
- Robert Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO of The Home Depot, will receive the NIAF's Special Achievement Award in Business
Sports celebrities including: Bruce Arena, US World soccer coach; Yogi Berra, baseball legend; Brian Boitano, Olympic gold medalist; Joe Gibbs, NASCAR team owner; Tommy Lasorda, Dodger icon, Phil Rizzuto, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Bruno Sammartino, former World Champion wrestler, will also join the NIAF honorees at the dinner. They will be joined by Governor Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Advisor.
The NIAF 27th Anniversary Awards Gala caps the Foundation's two-day convention (October 25 & 26). On Friday, "The 3rd Annual Salute to the Martini," which includes a complimentary cigar and grappa bar will be held from 8PM to midnight.
Proceeds from the event benefit the NIAF Scholarship and Education Programs.