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Press release

April 9, 2004

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April, 2004 | Supporting Education | Southern California

Phyllis Diller Presents “Heroes in Education” Award to Restaurant Owner


SACRAMENTO – Phyllis Diller presented Angelo Peloni with the California Lottery's “Hero in Education” award on “The Big Spin®” show, on April 10, 2004.

Peloni who owns the Los Angeles restaurant called “La Bruschetta,” noticed that when a nearby school, Emerson Middle School, dismissed the students for the day, students would barge into his restaurant and disrupt his customers.  Mr. Peloni decided to contact the school’s principal, not to complain, but to offer a way to turn that negative situation into a positive one.  He proposed that each week the principal select the six students who improved their study habits or behavior the most, and Mr. Peloni would treat those students to a free lunch at his restaurant.  The principal loved the idea.  Now there is positive energy making its way towards Mr. Peloni’s restaurant.  It’s the excitement of students who are setting goals in school, working hard to achieve them, and being recognized for their good work

Honoring Peloni was comedian Diller who has made people laugh for nearly 50 years.  She starred in television sit-coms like Blossom and Titus, and her voice was the character Queen in Disney’s animated blockbuster, A Bug’s Life.

The California Lottery’s “Heroes in Education” award has been presented monthly on “The Big Spin®” television show, since 1999.  The Lottery partners with celebrities to present these awards which recognize special individuals who volunteer time and resources to their schools and communities.
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