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Bill Pascrell

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Honorees with NIAF leaders. Photos by Betsy Spruill Clarke
Honorees with NIAF leaders. Photos by Betsy Spruill Clarke

The National Italian American Foundation celebrate in style with their lavish annual gala

By Janet Donovan

Connie Britton with Carla Gugino. Photograph by Betsy Spruill Clarke

Connie Britton with Carla Gugino. Photograph by Betsy Spruill Clarke

 Where was Gina Lolobrigida? The longtime perennial star of the National Italian American Foundation’s annual gala was nowhere to be found this year. You can’t help loving someone who has been quoted saying, “I studied painting and sculpting at school and became an actress by mistake … I’ve had many lovers and still have romances.” (She is 82.) We missed her. Another favorite, Yogi Berra, was also MIA. That did not, however, stop Cafe Milano proprietor Franco Nuchese from hosting a lavish gala eve dinner where Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi starred as the nation’s most powerful Italian-American woman. Moving graciously between guests, she and her husband, Paul, enjoyed a bit of down time after most of the other guests were gone and after lots of hand shaking, chitchat, and photo ops.

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Bill Pascrell

Articles