The family of Fulbright’s Tony Pantaleoni received a rare honor on November 27th in New York at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball. The Pantaleonis were presented the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award, which recognizes "individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the work of UNICEF through philanthropy, volunteerism, advocacy or efforts in the field."
The family connection with UNICEF began with silent film star Helenka Pantaleoni, mother of Tony and grandmother of nationally-renowned actress Téa Leoni, who are credited with carrying on her work. Helenka—widow of World War II hero, Guido Pantaleoni—founded the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in 1947. It was designed to educate the public about UNICEF’s work and to help raise funds for it. The U.S. organization was the first of its kind and became the model for 36 countries around the world.
The award bears the name of Audrey Hepburn, who actively supported the work of UNICEF for many decades and traveled the world as its Goodwill Ambassador.