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Sons of Italy Foundation® Only Ethnic Organization in Alzheimer's Prestigious Donation Program

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900 kcafiero@osia.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 17, 2005 The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) has joined the Alzheimer's Association as a member of its prestigious Zenith Fellows Program. SIF is the first and only ethnic organization out of 35 Zenith Fellows to join this program. As a fellow in the Zenith Program, SIF has pledged to donate $1 million dollars to the Association over the next ten years.

The Alzheimer's Association, the world leader in Alzheimer research and support, is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimer's. For nearly 25 years, the donor-supported, not-for-profit Alzheimer's Association has provided information and care consultation; created supportive services for families; increased funding for dementia research; and influenced public policy changes.

According to Alzheimer's Association an estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. By 2050 the number of individuals with Alzheimer's could range from 11.3 million to 16 million. The current average lifetime cost for care for an individual with the disease is $170,000.

"SIF is proud to be a part of the Zenith Fellows Program. Alzheimer's is a disease that not only affects patients, but their families as well. Imagine yourself having to choose between paying the health care for a parent with Alzheimer's or sending a child to college. No one should have to make that choice," says SIF President Paul S. Polo.

The SIF is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the largest and longest-established national organization for men and women of Italian heritage in the United States. The SIF supports education, medical research, cultural preservation, disaster relief and other special projects. Since its inception in 1959, the SIF has donated nearly $89 million to these causes.

The Zenith Fellows Program began in 1990 and has given over $25 million to the Alzheimer's Association. Other Zenith Fellows include, A.W.A.R.E- Colorado, Palmolive Venture, Dart Foundation, Frazier's David Hyde Pierce, and the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust. The addition of SIF as the only ethnic organization adds to the growing diversity of Zenith Fellow members.

Established in 1905, OSIA has 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. To learn more, visit OSIA on the Web at www.osia.org.