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December 19, 2011

The American Foundation of Savoy Orders Hosts its Benefit Gala to Aid Children’s Education

Ballo di Savoia December 10, 2011 in the Ballroom of the Metropolitan Club, New York City

The elegant Metropolitan Club in New York City provided the sumptuous surroundings for the 14th Ballo di Savoia (Savoy Ball), the annual white-tie charity gala ball, on Saturday, December 10, 2011. The Ballo benefited the American Foundation of Savoy Orders’ charitable and philanthropic initiatives in the fields of education, emergency disaster, medical and poverty relief, social services and children’s causes throughout the world, such as the New York Foundling Hospital, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Doctors Without Borders, Casita Maria, among others. This year’s event also jointly benefited the Latin Patriarchate’s University of Madaba Scholarship Program to aid students in the Middle East. A welcoming reception at the Knickerbocker Club in New York City to kick-off the three days of events on the evening of December 9 was hosted by Savoy Foundation’s President Marco Grassi and Mrs. Cristina Grassi.

The annual ball, under the patronage of Their Royal Highness Prince Victor Emmanuel and Princess Marina of Savoy, is supported by the knights and dames of the American Delegation of Savoy Orders and friends of the Savoy Orders, an international association of the dynastic orders of the House of Savoy, continuing a thousand year tradition of goodwill through its honorable patrons and benefactors. The Honorary Committee consisted of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Emmanuel Philibert and Princess Clotilde of Savoy, Francesco Carlo Gricciolli Della Grigia, Johannes Niederhauser, Dr. Sergio Pellecchi, Marchesa Alexandra Rossi Longhi and Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò.

The Ballo recreated the traditions and pageantry reminiscent of 19th century European court balls. Following a glittering reception in the main ballroom, dignitaries and guests, with gentlemen resplendent in tail coats and wearing colorful chivalric and military decorations and ladies in flowing ball gowns, descended the long marble staircases to strains of historic Savoy royal anthems and marches popular when Italy was a monarchy under the House of Savoy. The Mitch Kahn Orchestra once again provided dance music.

The gala also recognized Cindy and Mark Pigott, who established the Savoy Orders Pigott Scholarship Endowment in 2010 for students pursuing careers in the humanities and international studies.

Thanks to the efforts of Joseph Sciame, the Ballo Chairman, together with Vice-Chairs Mark Pigott and Cindy Pigott, Vivian Cardia, Dr. Timothy De Zastro, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Pecora, and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Viscogliosi, the stellar event was a sell out. Included among the Ballo Committee were Cristina Grassi, Baroness Flavia Frati-Spagnola and Gaetana Enders. Among the numerous guests were: His Excellency Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations; Mark Pigott, Chairman and CEO of PACCAR; Daniel McClory, Managing Director of Hunter Wise Financial Group; and former Congressman Frank Guarini.

“The Ballo di Savoia was truly a memorable night for everyone and a real tribute to the Savoy Foundation volunteer efforts throughout the year. The event provided an outstanding social experience as well as raising needed funds for the charities supported by the Savoy Orders,” stated Marco Grassi, President of the Savoy Foundation.

Joseph Sciame, the 2011 Ballo Chairman, stated: “Philanthropists go the extra mile when times are hard, always looking for innovative ways to change the world through their gifts of time, talent and treasure. We can all do something to improve the human condition in this world, and to know that even one life has been brightened because of our efforts, is what the Savoy Orders is all about. While the calendar may be busy with events of social, cultural and charitable significance for all, the Savoy Orders will be in full force to celebrate the season and purposes of our Orders. We are already planning for 2012!”

For more information, please view the official press release.