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Sons of Italy® Establishes 911 Fund to Assist Victims of World Trade Center/Pentagon Terrorist Attacks

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

Washington, D.C., September 14, 2001 – The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the world's largest and longest-established organization representing Italian-American men and women, together with its philanthropic arm the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) has announced today the establishment of the "SIF/OSIA 911 Disaster Relief Fund," to aid the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

"This tragedy has touched our entire country," said OSIA National President Robert A. Messa, of Feasterville, Pa., and OSIA National Past President Peter R. Zuzolo, of Massapequa Park, N.Y., who is chairman of the fund. "We know we speak on behalf of all 575,000 OSIA members, as well as all Italian Americans, when we offer condolences to the friends and families of the victims and best wishes for recovery to the injured survivors. Unfortunately, some of our own members have also been directly affected by these events and the loss of loved ones, and we offer special condolences and prayers to them at this time."

"It is vitally important that all Americans rally behind the efforts of the local, state and federal authorities, organizations and individuals who are aiding victims and their families," commented Zuzolo. "OSIA is based on the principles set forth by our nation's forefathers and recognizes its civic duty to uphold those principles. This fund is just one way we are doing our part for the good of our nation."

Monies raised through the fund will be presented to the appropriate reputable lead agencies in the relief effort, for direct distribution to those in need. To contribute to the fund, please call (202) 547-2900 and have a credit card ready, or donate online at Donations may also be sent by regular U.S. mail (checks and money orders only please) directly to the SIF, Attn: 911 Fund, 219 E St. NE, Washington, DC 20002. Please make sure your check is earmarked "911 Fund." All donations are completely tax deductible under IRS guidelines.

For more information on the "SIF/OSIA 911 Disaster Relief Fund," please contact the SIF at (202) 547-2900, or visit our Web site at