NIAF News Releases



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

Nicholas P. Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, Actor Joe Pantoliano, Founder and President of No Kidding, Me Too!

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 27, 2010)
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) will host The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Education Luncheon featuring keynote speeches on education and health issues on Friday, October 22, 2010 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the Foundation’s 35th Anniversary Convention Weekend, October 22-23, 2010.

Among the featured speakers is Nicholas P. Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, an organization founded by ESPN and former North Carolina State Basketball Coach Jim Valvano. Valvano recruited friends and family to lead The V Foundation in his quest to eradicate the disease that ultimately claimed his life. Since 1993, The V Foundation has raised more than $100 million and awarded cancer research grants in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, Emmy Award-winning actor Joe Pantoliano, founder and president of No Kidding, Me Too!, will speak on mental disease and breaking down the stigma. No Kidding, Me Too! is a public charity whose purpose is to remove the stigma attached to brain disease through education and the breaking down of social barriers. Their goal is to empower those with brain disease to admit their illness, seek treatment and become even greater members of society.

Special guests attending the NIAF Gala Weekend include sports greats Yogi Berra, Daryle Lamonica, Tommy Lasorda and Mike Piazza, culinary notable Lidia Bastianich, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Hon. Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will host Expo Italia, a two-day exhibition showcasing the best of Italy, an Auction Showcase and “Talking Points,” a sports roundtable featuring ESPN’s Tony Reali and Sal Paolantonio and Univision’s Fernando Fiore. The convention will also feature a conference on breast cancer awareness, “Let’s Talk About It!” with National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., and a wine tasting and seminar “Wines and Authentic Foods of Italy - An Endless Adventure in Taste” sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission.

Tickets for The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Education Luncheon are $65 per person. To purchase tickets, contact Carlo Piccolo at 202/939-3105 or Proceeds benefit NIAF’s educational programs.

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.

Follow NIAF on Facebook! Follow NIAF on Twitter! Check out NIAF on YouTube!


Find out more!