News & Events





Not a Member?
Become One Now!

Sign up today for a free WebPass membership

SIF Announces 14th Annual NELA Gala Honorees

Sons of Italy Foundation® to Honor Renowned AIDS Researcher and Union Leader at 14th Annual Fund-raising Gala

Press Contact: Diane Crespy, 202-547-2900

For Immediate Release:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2002 - The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) has announced Dr. Robert C. Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) and world renowned cancer and AIDS researcher, and Martin J. Maddaloni, general president of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices (UA), will be honored at this year's 14th Annual National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala, May 22, 2002, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Gallo will receive the 2002 National Education & Leadership Award, while Maddaloni will accept the 6th Annual Humanitarian Award. Gallo has distinguished himself in the field of virology, discovering the first two human retroviruses and human immune deficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which he proved causes AIDS. Maddaloni has been general president of UA since 1997 and has pioneered new policies and practices to advance UA and the labor movement in general, including expanded educational programs, such as a college-degree program, and training for union members.

The NELA Gala regularly attracts corporate and nonprofit CEOs; members of congress; cabinet members; dignitaries; leading celebrities such as Connie Stevens, SIF Spokesperson Lo Bianco, Tony Bennett, Tommy Lasorda, Joely Fisher, Frank Sinatra Jr., Vic Damone, Cindy Williams, Isaac Hayes and fitness guru Denise Austin; members of the Italian-American community; and the president of the United States.

Proceeds from the gala, the foundation's largest and most important fund-raising and public affairs event, benefit various educational and health charities, cultural preservation, disaster relief and other special projects, to which the SIF has contributed approximately $76 million since its inception in 1959.

Foremost in the SIF's charitable efforts is its National Leadership Grant Competition (NLGC). Each year hundreds of Italian-American students compete for scholarship awards ranging from $4,000 to $25,000. The SIF and its state and local affiliates have awarded more than $34 million in scholarships since 1968. The SIF has contributed an additional $42 million to other philanthropic causes, including the Alzheimer's Association, the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, the SLE (Lupus) Foundation, Inc., the Children's Inn at NIH, the March of Dimes, the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, earthquake relief in Assisi and Mexico, and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

The SIF is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the nation's largest and longest existing organization representing men and women of Italian heritage. The SIF is dedicated to improving our world through support of education, medical research, cultural preservation, disaster relief and many other types of special projects. To learn more about the SIF, visit us on the Web at or contact us via e-mail at For more information on the 14th Annual NELA Gala, visit