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(AGI) Washington, April 21 - The National Italian AmericanFoundation (NIAF) has decided to donate 100,000 dollars tosponsor the "Save the Saint" restoration project for theCathedral of Milan. "It is our hope that this grant will serveas a leadership gift to encourage the rest of the ItalianAmerican community to raise the remaining funds necessary forthe full restoration of the Saint Francesca Cabrini spire andthis most valuable project," NIAF President John M. Viola said.The statue of Saint Francesca Cabrini, the first Americansaint, is one of the 135 spires up for restoration in the "Savethe Saint" project. Known as the "mother of emigrants", thewould-be saint landed in the United States in 1889, where shecommitted to taking care of orphans, building homes, schoolsand hospitals. She also founded the order of the MissionarySisters of the Sacred Heart to help Italian immigrants in NewYork. She died in 1917 and was canonised as the first Americansaint almost 30 years later. Her statue was placed on the MilanCathedral spire to commemorate her beatification in 1956. Thedonation is a collaborative effort between NIAF and theInternational Patrons of Duomo di Milano, a New York City-basedcharitable organisation established in 2014 to raise funds tofinance the conservation, restoration, protection and upgradingof the Duomo in Milan. (AGI) Rmo/Tig. .