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NIAF ESTABLISHES RELIEF FUND FOR VICTIM'S FAMILIES OF EARTHQUAKE IN ABRUZZO, ITALY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


(WASHINGTON, D.C. -- April 6, 2009) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has established a special NIAF/Abruzzo Relief Fund to help the victims and their families who perished from the recent earthquake in the town of L’Aquila and other small towns in central Italy in the region of Abruzzo.


“NIAF extends its sincerest condolences to the victims and their families suffering from the recent earthquake that struck residents as they slept. This tragic disaster has claimed the lives of innocent people. Words cannot convey the Foundation’s sense of loss for the victims. Our hearts and prayers are with them and the rescue workers, who are frantically trying to save those who remained trapped in the debris,” NIAF President Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq., said. Del Raso’s ancestors trace their roots to the region of Abruzzo.

Many members of the NIAF Board of Directors including Gabriel A. Battista, John F. Calvelli, Arthur J. Furia, Esq. and Anthony A. Marnell II also trace their heritage to the region of Abruzzo. The ancestors of the Honorable Pat Tiberi of Ohio, who serves as co-chair of the Italian American Congressional Delegation of the 111th United States Congress, emigrated from the Abruzzo region to the United States.


The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.3 reported by the U.S. Geological Survey, has resulted in the deaths of 207 people with approximately 1,500 people injured and many people still missing. With residents still buried under the debris of the collapsed buildings, rescue workers continue to work diligently to save the remaining trapped victims. Between 30,000 and 40,000 people are believed to have lost their homes and Italian authorities are working to find them shelter before nightfall.

Individuals, corporations and foundations who wish to donate to the NIAF/Abruzzo Relief Fund can make their donations online at www.niaf.org/relief. All donations are tax deductible.

For more information about NIAF’s efforts in L’Aquila and its neighboring towns, visit www.niaf.org for the latest updates.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent.




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