NIAF News Releases

NIAF New York Spring Extravaganza: A Couture Evening


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

SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

WHEN: Thursday evening, April 4, 2012
6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception; 7:30 p.m. Dinner

WHERE: Cipriani 42nd Street
110 East 42nd St.
New York, NY 10017

Actress and producer Annabella Sciorra will lead the list of honorees at the NIAF New York Spring Extravaganza: A Couture Evening to be held at the Italian Renaissance-inspired Cipriani 42nd Street on April 4, 2013. She will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Entertainment.

Emmy-nominated actress Sciorra, is also known for her critically-lauded role as a know-it–all detective on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” She will be joined by Mark J. Casella, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, who will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Accounting Services. Gerard A. Donini, chief operating officer of Corporate and Investment Banking at Barclays, will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Financial Services. Dino Fusco, managing director and global co-head of Corporate Services and Real Estate at Goldman Sachs & Co., will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Real Estate Services; and Tony May, legendary restaurateur and owner of a contemporary Italian restaurant SD26, will receive the NIAF Special Entrepreneurial Award in the Food Industry.

This year’s mistress of ceremonies will be Rosanna Scotto, co-host of Good Day New York. Scotto has won three Emmys for anchoring FOX5 News at 10 and Good Day New York.

NIAF’s New York Spring Extravaganza is chaired by Gerard S. LaRocca, NIAF board member and Barclays Capital CAO. The honorary dinner chairman will be Mario Mercurio, senior vice president, PepsiCo Americas Beverages.

As part of the evening’s entertainment, Italian American tenor Roberto Iarussi will perform before the more than 700 guests. Iarussi, who is being recognized as the most important Italian American tenor since Mario Lanza, recently recorded his debut album, “I Believe” with the London Symphony Orchestra, produced by Grammy-Award winner Jorge Calandrelli.

Special to the evening’s program, actress, singer and dancer Christina Carlucci, a recent graduate of New York University Tisch School of Arts, and famed Italian Australian singer ALFIO will sing the U.S. national anthem and “Inno di Mameli,” Italy’s national anthem, respectively. The evening will close with an exciting live auction.

Proceeds from NIAF’s gala will benefit the Foundation’s philanthropic and educational programs. Attire: Cocktail. For ticket information or sponsorship opportunities, visit: or contact Jerry Jones at 202-387-0600 or

Media Contacts: Elissa Ruffino at 202-939-3106,;or Gina Ghilardi at 202-939-3116, For additional information about NIAF’s events across the country, visit and click on Calendar.

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

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