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Washington, D.C. - August 10, 2010 The Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF), the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America®, will present approximately $235,000 in September to Fondazione Il Cireneo Onlus per L'Autismo to rebuild a center for children with autism in L'Aquila, Italy.

The presentation will take place during a visit to the region by Sons of Italy® leadership and comes nearly a year and a half after a devastating 6.3 earthquake struck Italy's Abruzzo region, destroying much of the ancient town of L'Aquila, including the center, and other villages.

"When the earthquake hit, we knew immediately what we had to do. Within hours, we organized a fund-raising campaign and our members and supporters stepped up to the task," said SIF President Vincent Sarno. "Upon hearing about the destruction of the Fondazione Il Cireneo center in L'Aquila, we saw the opportunity to make a significant impact on a very special group of children and their families."

Fondazione Il Cireneo Onlus per L'Autismo is a non-profit organization that has established and operates four centers for children and young adults with autism in the Abruzzo region. The foundation was formed by a group of parents who thought centers, rather than institutions, could better help their children with autism. For more information about Fondazione Il Cireneo, visit (Note: This website is in Italian.)

In May, during a visit to the United States and a special appearance at the SIF's National Educational & Leadership Awards Gala, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano extended his appreciation to the Sons of Italy® for its efforts to help the rebuilding in Abruzzo.

"I want to take this occasion to praise all of you particularly for the great moral and financial support that you have provided for the tragic earthquake in Abruzzo last year," said Napolitano, addressing the crowd of nearly 1,000 Sons of Italy® members and supporters. "You belong to an organization of ancient and noble traditions which reflects the best of Italian values."

The Sons of Italy® also recently announced its plan to raise money for the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc., which promotes awareness and improves the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families in the United States.

Established in 1959, the SIF has contributed more than $110 million to medical research and support, scholarships, cultural preservation, disaster relief, and other projects. To learn more or make a donation, visit