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Sons of Italy Foundation® to Honor Leaders in Business, Academics & Philanthropy at May Gala in D.C.

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900

WASHINGTON, January 5, 2004 ­ The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF), a leading Italian American philanthropic organization, will honor three Italian Americans who have excelled in business, the fight against breast cancer and academia at its 16th annual National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala, May 19, 2004, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Joseph J. Grano, the Chairman of UBS Financial Services, will receive the SIF 2004 NELA award for his leadership in the financial world. Grano was president of PaineWebber when it merged with UBS in 2001. Before entering the business world he served in the US Army's Special Forces.

Frances M. Visco, Esq., president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), will receive the SIF 2004 Humanitarian Award for her dedication to the fight against breast cancer. She serves on NBCC's Executive Committee and represents the organization at various national and international events. Visco has served on the President's Cancer Panel since 1993.

John J. DeGioia, Ph.D., president of Georgetown University, will be recognized with the SIF 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Academia. He held various leadership positions throughout the University for more than two decades before becoming president in 2001.

The SIF is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the nation's oldest and largest organization for people of Italian heritage. Over the years, the SIF has contributed more than $83 million to medical research, disaster relief, and scholarships. The NELA Gala proceeds help fund these philanthropic programs.

About 1,000 guests attend the annual NELA black tie gala. Also honored are the 2004 NELA Scholarship winners. Past guests include the president of the United States, Cabinet officers, and members of Congress. Past honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, AIDS researchers Anthony Fauci and Robert Gallo, football coach Joe Paterno, and entertainers Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Regis Philbin and Joe Mantegna.

For more information on the 2004 NELA Gala, call 202.547.2900 or email: Web site:

OSIA has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of more than 700 chapters coast to coast. OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. See