Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Italy 68th Annual Spring Ball Raises over $600,000

Apr 26, 2013 1503

Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy a non-profit that empowers war refugee, migrant, and at-risk youth living on the streets of Italy, is thrilled to announce that it raised over $600,000 at its 68th Annual Spring Ball on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at The Pierre Hotel. The funds will be used for BGTI's innovative youth development program where young people from over 18 different countries learn through self-government to lead, rather than become victims to their lives.

At the sold-out event, BGTI honored Joseph B. Ryan Jr. of Sabey Data Center Properties as Man of the Year, and actor-playwright Chazz Palminteri as Celebrity of the Year. Also in attendance were the Italian Consul General, Natalia Quintavalle, actor-entertainer Mario Cantone, and 2012 Celebrity of the Year, Tony Danza.

"I am honored to be BGTI's Man of the Year for 2013. I am thrilled to introduce my friends and family to such an outstanding organization that is doing so much to help young people take charge of their lives and build their futures. The way they practice democracy is truly inspiring to us all," said Joseph B. Ryan Jr.

The stunning Jill Nicolini, FOX 5's Entertainment News Anchor, delighted guests throughout the evening as the Ball's emcee, rallying donations through text-a-pledge and the silent auction bidding. After a delicious sit-down meal, attendees promptly took to their feet and danced the night away to Manhattan's preeminent entertainment band, New York City Swing, before ending the night at the stroke of eleven.

"My father taught me that the saddest thing in life is wasted talent. While I was fortunate enough to have my parents in my life as a kid, the boys and girls at BGTI don't. Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy is there to help them recognize their talents and make choices that will shape their lives forever. I certainly support that cause," said Chazz Palminteri.

BGTI's success lies in its innovative self-government approach. The young people at the two campuses outside of Rome are related to as citizens responsible for running their Town. They elect one another to positions such as mayor, judge, and commissioner, and hold frequent assembly meetings to discuss the affairs of their Town. Through this activity, along with schooling and vocational training, they develop vital skills needed to integrate into and contribute to society as active, self-reliant adults.

"The money we raised last night at our 68th Annual Spring Ball is more than double from two years ago. It is a testament to the sheer generosity of our donors and their dedication to our cause. Our work is as important now as it was when we were founded after World War II. Our donors recognize this fact and are willing to step up to support us as we help young people around the world build better lives for themselves in an increasingly turbulent time," said Executive Director Carrie Sackett.

Since its inception in 1945 by Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, BGTI has been funded by a charitable community of American donors moved by the immigrant experience and a desire to give back. Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy would like to thank its patrons for their generous and continued support over the past six decades. For more information or to make a donation, please email the Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy New York office at or visit our website at

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