Sons of Italy News Bureau
Press Release For Immediate Release
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WASHINGTON, DC, July 28, 2010 - The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), through its philanthropic arm the Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF), will join the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. in its mission to promote awareness and improve the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families. 
"We are extremely enthusiastic about this partnership," said OSIA National Executive Director Dr. Philip Piccigallo. "The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation was selected as a recipient of the Sons of Italy's philanthropic efforts for its mission of supporting families affected by autism spectrum disorders and its national reputability."
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation was established in 1998 by NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and his wife Laurie in honor of their son, Doug, Jr., who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.  The Foundation funds a wide range of programs that support and provide resources for those affected by the disorder, and has raised $10 million for these programs since its inception.
Autism is a complex neurodevelopment disorder that affects approximately 1.5 million people in the United States.  "The prevalence of autism is on the rise in the United States, and we know we can be an effective partner in supporting efforts to improve the lives of people with autism and their loved ones," explained Carol DiTrapani, chair of the OSIA committee that will focus on fundraising efforts to support autism services and programs.
The Sons of Italy has also committed its support to the Fondazione Il Cireneo Onlus per L'Autismo, a school for children with autism in L'Aquila, Italy, which was devastated by the April 2009 earthquake.  In September, approximately $235,000 will be presented to Fondazione Il Cireneo Onlus for rebuilding efforts.
The Doug Flutie Jr., Foundation joins the Sons of Italy's list of esteemed philanthropic partners, which includes the Alzheimer's Association, the American Cancer Society / Coaches vs. Cancer, and the Cooley's Anemia Foundation.  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 donate to the SIF's fund for the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation, visit

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Founded 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.
Sons of Italy News Bureau
219 E St., NE · Washington, DC 20002
(202) 547-2900 ·(202) 546-8168-fax
Contact: Diane Crespy
(202) 547-2900