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Sons of Italy® Announces Centennial Membership Drive

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900 kcafiero@osia.org

WASHINGTON, September 1, 2004 ­ Approaching its 100th anniversary in 2005, the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA) has launched a nationwide membership drive inviting Italian Americans and their families to become part of the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage.

OSIA offers members the opportunity to meet and socialize with other Italian Americans in their own towns and cities. In addition, members raise funds for philanthropic projects, promote Italian culture in their communities and fight the stereotyping and defamation of Italian Americans.

"Almost 100 years ago our founders had a dream of uniting Italian Americans across the country. Today we make that possible with a network of over 700 lodges in the United States. We invite all those interested to join us as we enter our centennial year," says OSIA National President Joseph Sciame.

Those who join during this centennial celebration will receive a personalized centennial member certificate and membership card, along with a limited-edition centennial lapel pin. All members receive a free subscription of Italian America® , the most widely read magazine in the United States for men and women of Italian heritage.

"OSIA members help preserve Italian customs, history and language, while forming an extended Italian American family in their lodges and among those in their community," says Valentino Ciullo, OSIA's national second vice president and membership chairman.

Italian Americans, their spouses and children are invited to join a lodge in their area and become active in lodge meetings and activities. For those who don't have a lodge nearby or unable to attend monthly meetings, OSIA offers an At-Large membership. At-large members enjoy all the benefits of OSIA but do not attend meetings and are not eligible to be elected to leadership positions.

For more information on how to join an OSIA lodge or become an At-Large member visit www.osia.org under the "About OSIA and Lodge Information," or call OSIA's headquarters in Washington, DC at 202/547-2900.

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.