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Order Sons of Italy in America® Members Raise in Excess of $725k for Charities

Sons of Italy Foundation® giving passes $76 million mark

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

Palm Beach, Fla., August 24, 2001 - The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF), the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the world's largest and longest-established organization representing Italian-American men and women, has surpassed the $76 million mark for giving to health charities, education and cultural preservation, among other special projects.

The most recent contributions came at OSIA's 47th Biennial National Convention in Palm Beach, Fla., where OSIA members presented more than $725,000 to the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, the Alzheimer's Association, and the American Battle Monuments Commission for the building of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. These contributions in conjunction with other individual and corporate donations over the past two years, primarily through the SIF's major fund-raiser the National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala and scholarship program, have increased the SIF's total giving to $42 million for health, cultural and related charities and $34 million for educational scholarships.

"Our members have shown a dedication to these causes that is unparalleled," said SIF President Paul S. Polo, Sr. "Time and again they come through with the financial support needed to improve the lives of adults living with Alzheimer's disease and children affected by Cooley's anemia, as well as the loved ones that must care for these individuals."

The Cooley's Anemia Foundation was chosen the national charity of OSIA in the late 1980s. Since then OSIA members have raised in excess of $2 million for the organization that supports research for a cure for the disease and provides patient services. The SIF began supporting the Alzheimer's Association in 1993. To date close to $1 million has been raised for research, advocacy and patient and caregiver services and resources.

In November 2000 OSIA pledged to raise between $125,000 and $250,000 for the building of the World War II Memorial. To date almost $100,000 has been raised and efforts continue.

Other beneficiaries of SIF fund-raising efforts include the American Red Cross for Hurricane Andrew disaster relief, Arab American Institute, Arthritis Foundation, Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health, Ethiopian famine relief, Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, Hoop Dreams (Washington, D.C., based scholarship fund), In Italiano language program, Italian and Mexican earthquake relief, March of Dimes, Multiple Sclerosis, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, SLE (Lupus) Foundation, Special Olympics, Statue of Liberty Restoration Project and the U.S. State Department (refurbishment of American Embassy in Rome). Additionally the SIF provides more than $70,000 a year in academic scholarships to college students through its National Leadership Grant Competition.

For more information on the Order Sons of Italy in America® or the Sons of Italy Foundation® and its philanthropic efforts, visit, contact 202/547-2900 or, or write to OSIA, 219 E St., NE, Washington, DC 20002.