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OSIA's 46th Biennial National Convention

OSIA Announces 46th Biennial National Convention

Events to be held honoring Yogi Berra, George Graziadio, and Grace Campisi

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

Washington, D.C., August 4, 1999 - Officers for the 1999-2001 biennium will be elected and special guests Yogi Berra, George Graziadio, and Grace Campisi will be honored at the 46th Biennial National Convention of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), to be held from Aug. 15-22, 1999, in Long Beach, Calif.

OSIA will honor George L. Graziadio, chairman, CEO, and president of Imperial Bancorp, with the Guglielmo Marconi Award. Named after the Italian Nobel prize-winning physicist, the award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the United States in a manner that exemplifies the ideals for which OSIA stands - the belief in opportunity and equality for all, dedication to the advancement of our society, and respect for the Italian heritage. Graziadio co-founded Los Angeles-headquartered Imperial Bank in 1963 which today has assets of more than $6 billion. The award will be presented Saturday, Aug. 21, 1999, at the Marconi Award Dinner.

Former New York Yankees catcher and Manager Yogi Berra will receive OSIA's National Sports Award, at a luncheon on Friday, Aug. 20. Berra is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and holds multiple World Series records including: 14 World Series appearances and 10 wins; most games by a catcher (63); most hits (71); most at-bats and doubles; second in RBIs; third in home runs; and he was the first pinch hitter in World Series history to hit a home run (in 1947). He is a 15-time All Star and three-time American League MVP.

OSIA member Grace S. Campisi will be awarded the Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro Award at a luncheon on Tuesday, Aug. 17. The award is given every two years to an OSIA member who best exemplifies the ideals for which the Order stands. Campisi has been an active member of OSIA for many years, and has pioneered particular aspects of the organization. She was the first female Grand Venerable (president) in the state of Florida, and has worked extensively on fund-raising campaigns. She was also a co-founder of Loggia Mona Lisa #2699, a local chapter in Florida.

OSIA national officers, state presidents, and delegates from the 20 state chapters will gather at the Hyatt Regency, Long Beach, to elect new officers and discuss vital issues such as the financial and membership status of the organization. Current National President Frank J. De Santis will preside over the meeting. Representatives from the national Alzheimer's Association and the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, OSIA's two official national charities, will also be on hand to discuss the impact OSIA has had on researching and fighting these two deadly diseases. To date, OSIA and its philanthropic branch, the Sons of Italy Foundation®, have given close to $30 million to these and other charitable causes.

The Order Sons of Italy in America® is the largest, longest-established, and most diverse organization of Italian-American men and women. Since its inception in 1905, OSIA has strived to better the lives of Italian-Americans - and all Americans - by contributing positively to American society, preserving the Italian heritage and culture, promoting positive images of Italian-Americans, and supporting education, disaster relief, and other philanthropic causes.