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Scholarship Recipients Honored

Italian-American Scholarship Recipients Honored by Sons of Italy Foundation®

President Clinton Congratulates Scholars

Contact: Diane E. Crespy, (202) 547-2900

Washington, D.C., May 22, 1999 - A stellar crowd of 800 corporate CEOs, nonprofit executives, government officials,entertainers, and other dignitaries gathered at the National Building Museum to join the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) in honoring outstanding Italian Americans and their contributions to their communities, including 12 scholarship recipients, at the 11th Annual National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala on May 22, 1999.

The high school, undergraduate, and graduate students were selected to receive scholarships through the Sons of Italy Foundation®'s National Leadership Grant Competition. The competition attracts hundreds of applicants each year, and is considered very competitive. This year's recipients were selected from a pool of more than 400 qualified applicants. [See enclosure for more details on scholarship recipients.]

For the second year in a row, President Clinton addressed the gala audience and also took time to meet and take pictures with the scholarship recipients.

". . . Those you honor tonight for their gifts - from physics to music, to political science, to community service - prove that people of Italian descent will continue to make enormous contributions to our country in the century just ahead," Clinton said of the scholarship recipients.

Larry King served as Master of Ceremonies, and Frank Sinatra, Jr., and tenor Michael Amante performed for the audience, which included HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, Italian Ambassador to the United States Ferdinand Salleo, Rep. Connie Morella, SIF spokesperson Tony Lo Bianco, actress Connie Stevens, and singer Isaac Hayes.

Also honored were Kmart Corporation President and General Merchandise Manager Andy Giancamilli, who was presented the 1999 National Education & Leadership Award, and Tony Bennett, the recipient of the 3rd Annual Humanitarian Award.

The Sons of Italy Foundation® is the philanthropic branch of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the longest-established, most demographically diverse organization of men and women of Italian heritage in the United States. The SIF is dedicated to supporting education, medical care and research, cultural preservation, and other philanthropic programs for the benefit of all Americans, especially those of Italian descent. The SIF, along with OSIA national, state, and local chapters, has awarded nearly $30 million in scholarships to date.

For more information on scholarships for the 2000-2001 academic year, write to (and enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope): Diane E. Crespy, Sons of Italy Foundation®, National Leadership Grant Competition, 219 E St., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002.