NIAF News Releases

Media Advisory: West Coast Gala


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



SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: Thursday evening, May 19, 2011
6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:30 p.m. Dinner

WHERE: The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
101 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, Calif. 90401

Hollywood stars, a Dodgers legend, a former public affairs icon and one of the nation’s top trial lawyers are coming out to shine at NIAF’s West Coast Gala. During the black-tie dinner, a live auction showcase will offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- lunch with Grammy nominated songwriter and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi and three of your closest friends in Los Angeles. Visit for more details. The NIAF West Coast Gala Honorees:
• Dana Brunetti
, Oscar nominated film producer of “The Social Network,” will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Business and Entertainment.
Kara DioGuardi, Grammy nominated songwriter, record executive, music publisher, author and former American Idol judge, will receive a NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award in Music.
Jon Favreau, actor, screenwriter and director, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Entertainment.
Thomas V. Girardi, prominent California trial lawyer, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Law. • Tommy Lasorda, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and Dodgers great, will receive a NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Management.
Gary Sinise, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner, will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Entertainment.

One of the highlights of the gala is a special tribute honoring the late Joseph R. Cerrell, one of the Foundation’s leaders and a legendary Los Angeles public affairs consultant. Film and TV star Joe Mantegna will be this year’s master of ceremonies.

Joining the honorees will be Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine; champion Olympic figure skater and Food Network TV chef Brian Boitano; actor, screenwriter and producer Marco Bonini; actor Robert Davi; TV and film star of “The Incredible Hulk” Lou Ferrigno; one of the famed Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas; actor Francesco Quinn; twelve-time MLB All-Star Mike Piazza; E! News anchor and managing editor and member of the NIAF Board of Directors Giuliana DePandi Rancic; actor and model Antonio Sabato, Jr.; TV and film star Brenda Vaccaro.

Tickets begin at $250 per person. For sponsorship and ticket information, contact Jerry Jones at 202-939-3102 or Visit

Media Contacts: Elissa Ruffino at 202-939-3106 or
Natasha Borato at 202-939-3116 or

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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