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Sons of Italy® Announces Marketing Grant Program

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

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2004 ­ The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage, has launched a new grant program consisting of five $1,000 grants for the best marketing plans to be used in its coming centennial membership drive this fall.

Approaching its 100th anniversary in 2005, OSIA is aiming for a 25% increase in membership across the nation. The organization invites any individual or team of marketing or business graduate students to submit a marketing membership plan.

Funding of the grants comes from a personal donation by Sons of Italy Foundation® President Paul S. Polo.

"We are ever so proud to put forth a competitive grant program which will result in a marketing plan that will affect the future of OSIA," says National President Joseph Sciame. "As a centennial organization, we know we are on the right road to success with America's educated force assisting us."

"Harnessing the talents and creativity of the next generation of business leaders will allow OSIA to meet our membership increase mark while also educating students about the Sons of Italy® and its heritage," says National 2nd Vice President Valentino Ciullo.

To apply, interested parties should submit a two-page outline of the plan, keeping the proposed marketing plan within a budget of $100,000 to $200,000 and send it electronically to Projects must cover all the areas of a basic marketing plan.

Applicants are restricted to students currently enrolled in a Master's degree program in marketing, integrated communications, or business. Individuals and teams may submit a plan. Only one grant per plan, however, will be awarded. Professors are encouraged to make this assignment a class project.

The application deadline for the Polo Marketing Grant is May 28, 2004. Winners will be notified by July 1. They must then submit a detailed 10-15 page marketing plan by September 1. After receiving the full plan, OSIA will present the award. Winners also will be profiled in Italian America® , OSIA's official magazine.

There is no application fee. All research on OSIA is available on

OSIA has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of more than 700 lodges/chapters coast to coast. OSIA works at community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.