NIAF News Releases



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

EVENT: NIAF 32nd Anniversary Awards Gala and Annual Convention

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: Friday, October 12, 2007
9 a.m. Conferences, 8 p.m. Evening Entertainment
Saturday, October 13, 2007
6 p.m. Reception, 7 p.m. Dinner and Awards

WHERE: Hilton Washington & Towers
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. (202/483-3000)

CONTACT: Elissa Ruffino – 202/939-3106,

More than 3,000 guests from across the United States and Italy will attend the National Italian American Foundation’s 32nd Anniversary Awards Gala and Annual Convention on October 12 and 13 at the Hilton Washington & Towers in the nation’s capital.

Highlights of the weekend include a performance by rock and roll legend Neil Sedaka at the annual “Salute to the Martini” on Friday evening, and a special tribute to NIAF founding member Jack Valenti, former president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), during Saturday evening’s awards gala. Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese will be recognized for launching a new NIAF program in memory of Valenti. This year’s gala honorees include:

Rudolph W. Giuliani, presidential candidate and former New York City mayor
William D. Novelli, CEO of AARP
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Ellen Pompeo, actress on the ABC drama series “Grey’s Anatomy”
Connie Stevens, actress, singer, and entrepreneur

During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will host Piazza d’Italia, a two-day exhibition of Italy’s best, a Celebrity Auction and Luncheon, and Renaissance Kids’ Club, an educational program for youngsters ages 7 to 13. A travel conference, “Discovering Italy,” will be held Friday. On Saturday, NIAF will host a conference, “The 2008 Presidential Election: Is There an Italian-American Vote?” Liguria is this year’s sponsoring region from Italy. Dinner tickets begin at $400 per person. Attire: Black tie. Proceeds benefit NIAF educational programs and Gardens of Hope, a NIAF co-sponsored community garden project benefiting the homeless and those in inner-city shelters. For tickets or sponsor information, contact Carolyn Laurenzano at 202/939-3114 or, or register online at

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

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