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Joe Mantegna to be Honored at Sons of Italy® Gala

Press Contact: Diane Crespy, 202-547-8115

For Immediate Release:

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2002 - Acclaimed actor Joe Mantegna, who portrays a U.S. Supreme Court Justice in the hit CBS series, FIRST MONDAY, will be honored at the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) annual gala in Washington, D.C. this spring.

The SIF, a leading Italian American philanthropic organization, will hold its 14th annual National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala, May 22, 2002, at the National Building Museum, an historic Washington landmark building.

Joe Mantegna's career encompasses stage, screen and television. He received a Tony Award for his Broadway performance in "Glengarry Glen Ross;" and an Emmy for "Bleacher Bums," which he conceived and co-authored.

In Hollywood, Mr. Mantegna's impressive feature film credits include "Alice," "Searching for Bobby Fischer, " and "An Eye for An Eye," among many, many others. His numerous television appearances include "State of Emergency, " "A Call to Remember," "Boy Meets Girl," and "The Rat Pack," for which he was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award.

A native of Chicago, he currently lives in Los Angeles with his family while filming his first television series, "First Monday." For his work in this series, the SIF will give him its Excellence in Media award at the SIF Gala.

Also honored that evening will be Robert Gallo, M.D., director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute in Baltimore. He will receive the SIF 2002 NELA award for his work in cancer and AIDS research.

Labor leader Martin Maddaloni, general president of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices (UA), will be honored with the SIF Humanitarian Award.

Gallo distinguished himself in the field of virology in the early 1980s with his co-discovery of the retrovirus that causes AIDS. He and his research team then pioneered the development of the HIV blood test, which enabled health care workers to screen for the AIDS virus, thereby protecting the nation's blood banks.

Maddaloni has pioneered new policies and practices to advance both his union and the labor movement in general; including expanded educational programs, such as a college-degree program and training for union members.

The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the nation's oldest and largest organization for Italian Americans. OSIA has 575,000 members and supporters and a network of 700 chapters throughout the U.S.

Over the years, the SIF has contributed more than $77 million to these causes. The NELA Gala proceeds fund the SIF's philanthropic programs. To date the SIF has aided the victims of earthquakes in Naples, Assisi and Mexico City as well as those affected by Hurricane Andrew, the Oklahoma City bombing and the families whose lives have been scarred by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

About 1,000 guests attend the annual NELA black tie gala. Past guests include the president of the United States, Cabinet officers, members of Congress, and such celebrities as Tony Bennett, Tommy Lasorda, Regis Philbin, Larry King and Sam Donaldson.

Tickets are $500.00 each and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by federal law. For tickets and other information, call 202/547-2900. E-mail: Web site:

The Order Sons of Italy in America®n (OSIA) is the oldest and largest organization for people of Italian heritage in the nation. Founded in 1905, today it has 575,000 members and supporters and a network of 700 chapters throughout the country.