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Sons of Italy® 49th Biennial Convention in New York City

Celebrating the Sons of Italy® 100th Anniversary

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 21, 2005 The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage, will hold its 49th Biennial National Convention in New York City August 16-21.

"We are excited to be able to hold our convention in the city of the organization's founding during our centennial year. In 1905 OSIA was founded by Italian immigrants in New York's Little Italy. Here we are, 100 years later, with a membership that reaches coast-to-coast," says Joseph Sciame, OSIA national president.

The convention will be held at the Grand Hyatt New York. About 300 OSIA national delegates, national trustees, state presidents and OSIA Supreme Council officers and their spouses will attend the convention to review OSIA's last two years' activities, elect a new slate of national leaders and set OSIA's cultural, philanthropic and administrative agendas for next two years.

During the week OSIA will honor Geno Auriemma, who coaches the Huskies women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut. Auriemma will receive the 2005 OSIA Sports Award at a luncheon Friday, August 19. Auriemma currently holds the record of having the highest winning percentage of any active coach in Division I basketball. He is the only basketball coach in history to lead a team to five consecutive Final Four appearances.

Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr., an esteemed jurist on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court who has led OSIA in so many capacities, will be honored with the OSIA's 2005 Sellaro Award. Justice Montemuro has served as OSIA's Pennsylvania state president, National President for two terms and was a principal founder of the OSIA's anti-defamation arm, the Commission for Social Justice®. A luncheon honoring him will be on Thursday, August 18 at Cipriani's restaurant.

The convention will close Saturday, August 20 with the Marconi Gala at the Waldorf=Astoria. Astronaut Michael Massimino will receive OSIA's 2005 Marconi Award in honor of Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian inventor of wireless telegraphy. This award is bestowed on those who have made important contributions to the United States, exemplifying the ideals of OSIA.

Guests wishing to purchase tickets to convention special events should contact the OSIA National office at 202/547-2900. Tickets to the Sports Luncheon are $125.00, the Sellaro Luncheon $75.00 and the Marconi Gala Dinner $200.00.

OSIA is the largest and longest-established national organization for men and women of Italian descent in the United States. Established in 1905, OSIA has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of more than 745 chapters coast to coast.

OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation?fs fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit OSIA on the Web at