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Sons of Italy® Elects Vincent Sarno National President

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 25, 2005 The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage, elected Vincent Sarno as its 31st National President during OSIA's 49th Biennial National Convention in New York City August 16-21. During the convention, OSIA also celebrated its 100th anniversary.

"I believe in inclusion not exclusion," Sarno said during his acceptance speech. "This is not a one-person job. We all need to work as one toward a common goal: the success and growth of OSIA."

The convention was held at the Grand Hyatt New York. About 300 OSIA national delegates, national trustees, state presidents and OSIA Board officers and their spouses were present to review OSIA's last two years' activities, elect a new slate of national leaders and set OSIA's cultural, philanthropic and administrative agendas for 2005-2007.

Among the dignitaries who saluted OSIA during the convention were New York Governor George Pataki, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Consul General of Italy to New York, Paola Munzi, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, and New York State Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli.

Albert De Napoli, Esq. of Walpole, MA was re-elected national president of the Sons of Italy® Commission for Social Justice® (CSJ), OSIA's anti-defamation arm. The CSJ fights the stereotyping of Italian Americans by the U.S. entertainment, advertising, and media industries. It also promotes the achievements and contributions of Italian Americans to the U.S. through research and public education programs.

The Hon. Robert A. Messa of Philadelphia and a former OSIA national president, was elected president of the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF), the philanthropic arm of OSIA. The SIF supports scholarships, medical research, cultural preservation, disaster relief and other special projects. Through the SIF, OSIA has donated more than $90 million to these causes.

The OSIA convention also honored Geno Auriemma, who coaches the Huskies women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut, received the 2005 OSIA Sports Award. Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr., a jurist on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and former OSIA national president, was honored with the OSIA's 2005 Sellaro Award.

The convention closed Saturday, August 20 with the Marconi Gala at the Waldorf=Astoria. Astronaut Michael Massimino received OSIA's 2005 Marconi Award, OSIA's highest honor given to a man or woman of outstanding achievement.

Established in 1905, 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. To learn more, visit OSIA on the Web at