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Sons of Italy Foundation® Chosen For Scholarship Endowment By Charles Evans Foundation

Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2009 – The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF), the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), has announced the creation of a new perpetual scholarship funded by an endowment from The Charles Evans Foundation. The new scholarship, to bear the name of the late Charles Evans, is added to the slate of 10 to 12 merit-based scholarships the SIF awards every year in its nationwide scholarship competition, the National Leadership Grant Competition.

Through the SIF and more than 650 state and local lodges, OSIA has awarded more than $47 million in scholarships to date. The gift from The Charles Evans Foundation will enable the SIF to further this tradition by rewarding an additional student of Italian descent for years to come.

The Charles Evans Scholarship will be presented for the first time at the SIF"s 2010 National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala on May 26 in Washington, D.C.

"The Sons of Italy Foundation® is profoundly honored to have been chosen as the custodial institution for the Charles Evans Memorial Scholarship," said Philip R. Piccigallo, Ph.D., SIF national executive director and CEO. "We will do everything necessary to uphold and give tribute to his outstanding memory and legacy."

The Charles Evans Foundation chose the Sons of Italy Foundation® for its reputable scholarship program and continual advancement and promotion of Italian culture.

Charles Evans was a successful businessman, a U.S. veteran, and a lifelong philanthropist. He founded the fashion house Evan-Picone, which was later sold to Revlon. Afterward, he became involved in the real estate and entertainment businesses. Among his career accomplishments, Evans was executive producer of the Academy Award-winning film "Tootsie." Turning personal challenges into positive outcomes, Evans crusaded for causes close to his heart, namely fire detection safety and Alzheimer"s disease research, for which he served as National Director of the Alzheimer"s Association. Though Charles Evans was not Italian himself, his business partner Joseph Picone was Sicilian, and Evans maintained strong working relationships with Italian-Americans all during his career.

To learn more about the SIF"s annual scholarship program, please visit

For more on the NELA Gala, the vehicle through which the SIF honors its scholarship recipients as well as other outstanding Italian American scholars, business leaders and humanitarians, visit

The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA). Established in 1959, the SIF has contributed more than $108 million to scholarships, medical research, cultural preservation, disaster relief, and other projects. To learn more, visit

Established in 1905, OSIA has more than 500,000 family members and supporters and a network of more than 650 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's fifth largest ethnic group according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit