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Tony Bennett, Joe Mantegna in D.C for Sons of Italy Foundation® Gala

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

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For Immediate Release:

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2003 - Legendary entertainer Tony Bennett and award-winning stage and screen actor Joe Mantegna will play key roles in the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) gala, May 22, at Washington's historic National Building Museum.

Bennett will perform and Mantegna will be the evening's master of ceremonies during the SIF's National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

The event helps the SIF raise funds for scholarships, medical research, disaster relief and cultural programs. Since 1959, the SIF has given more than $83 million to these causes.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is the guest speaker. New York Gov. George Pataki is honorary dinner chairman. Other guests will include the U.S. ambassadors to Italy and the Vatican and leaders from the U.S. Congress, industry, business and labor.

This year's honorees are former ambassador Charles Gargano, now chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, which is overseeing the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan and Ground Zero; Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO; and automotive designer and engineer Andy Granatelli, considered by many as the man who made auto racing America's number one spectator sport.

Tickets are $500 each (tax deductible: $400). For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Diane Crespy at or 202.547.8115.

The Order Sons of Italy in America®n (OSIA) is the largest and longest-established national organization for men and women of Italian heritage in the United States. Founded in 1905, today it has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of 700 chapters coast to coast.