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Sons of Italy® Commission for Social Justice® Honors Justice Frank Montemuro and Lawrence Auriana

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 6, 2006 -Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr. and financier Lawrence Auriana were honored Saturday, November 4, by the Commission for Social Justice® (CSJ), the anti-defamation arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian descent in the United States.

The CSJ's Positive Image Awards Luncheon held at the Hilton New York in New York City was attended by over 150 guests including Sons of Italy® delegations from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Special guests included Salvatore Ferrigno, North American Representative to the Italian Camera dei Deputati; Stefano Mistretta, the Italian Consul General of Philadelphia and New York City Councilman Tony Avella.

Hon. Frank J. Montemuro, Jr. received the 2006 CSJ Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in founding the Commission for Social Justice® 25 years ago and his life-long leadership in the Italian American community. Recently retired from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Justice Montemuro was the first national president of the CSJ (1981-1987) and also served as the national president of OSIA (1977-1981).

Lawrence Auriana received the 2006 CSJ Positive Image Award for his leadership in campaigns to end the stereotyping of Italian Americans in the entertainment industry. In 2004, he spearheaded a movement to make the public aware of the Italian American stereotypes in the children's full-length cartoon, Shark Tale, drawing international attention to the problem. Currently, he is chairman of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which produces New York City's Columbus Day Parade—the largest such celebration in the nation. He also took legal action to prevent New York's Mayor Bloomberg from marching with cast members of the Sopranos in the parade several years ago. Well-known in financial circles, Mr. Auriana is co-founder and Senior Portfolio Manager of the Federated Kaufmann Fund.

The OSIA Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and Mr. Auriana were the main event sponsors. The awards luncheon included keynote speaker Thomas Bowden, Esq, who is the author of the book, The Enemies of Columbus. Governor George Pataki sent a special greeting through a letter to the attendees and Sen. Rick Santorum addressed the crowd via a filmed message of congratulations shown during the luncheon.

OSIA's Pennsylvania State President William D. Bucci and New York State President Carlo Matteucci presented Justice Montemuro with special awards honoring his dedication and lifelong leadership in OSIA.

Also presenting honors to Justice Montemuro were: Hon. Jack Panella, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, who presented him with a citation from the Pennsylvania State Legislature; Hon. Ralph Sposato, Judge Emeritus of the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline, presented a citation from the city of Philadelphia and CSJ National Treasurer, Dr. Edwin Camiel presented the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol at the request of Sen. Santorum on October 27, Justice Montemuro's birthday.

The proceeds from the event will be used to promote positive images and fight the stereotyping of Italian Americans.

The CSJ was founded in 1981 to fight the stereotyping of Italian Americans by the entertainment, advertising and news industries. Today it also collaborates with other groups to ensure that people of all races, religions and cultures are treated with dignity and respect.