A charitable organization supporting young Texans

2016 Scholarship Recipients


The Annual TIASF Scholarship Luncheon

August 6, 2016

Damian's Cucina Italiana


The 2016 Texas Italian American Sports Foundation Scholarship Awards Luncheon was dedicated to the memory of TIASF co-founder and president Frankie B. Mandola. Houston Astros television broadcaster Bill Brown was the special guest of honor at the August 6, 2016 event at Damian’s Restaurant. Former Astros pitching legend and manager Larry Dierker served as master of ceremonies and introduced Bill to the 122 guests, including 17 recipients who received $1,000.00 scholarships each.


All the scholarships were awarded in honor of Frankie B. Mandola. Special guest of honor Bill Brown is celebrating his 30th anniversary as the Houston Astros play-by-play voice on television. Commonly known as Brownie, Bill is a true professional. He has been around the game since he did play-by-play for the Cincinnati Stingers Television Network for the 1975-76 season and the Cincinnati Reds Television Network from 1976-1982. Bill also called Xavier Musketeers and Cincinnati Bearcats basketball and Cincinnati Swords hockey early in his career. He was a senior producer and anchor of the Financial News Network's SCORE, programming and sports director of the Sports Time Cable Network and he was sports director of Home Sports Entertainment in Pittsburgh. In 2011, Bill was inducted into the Media Wall of Honor at Minute Maid Park and represented the Astros on the fan ballot for the Ford C. Frick Award. In 2012, the Houston baseball media presented him with the Fred Hartman Award for Long and Meritorious service. In 2013, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him Texas Sportscaster of the Year. And to top it off, he is a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.


Bill lives in Houston with his wife, Dianne. They have three grandchildren. The Texas Italian American Sports Foundation saluted Bill Brown, not only for his outstanding broadcasting career, but his involvement in the community. TIASF was proud to have him as the 2016 special guest of honor.


Faces in the crowd at the luncheon included Astros starting pitcher Collin McHugh, Astros radio play by play broadcaster Robert Ford, former Astros player Enos Cabell, former Astros GM Tim Purpura and TIASF friends and supporters Solly Hemus and Carolyn Faulk.


Johnny B. Mandola


Carlo Dechiro

Vice President

Daniel Sessions


Paul Galante


Ross Gagliano

Scholarships Chairman


Sam Biondo •  Charlie Cash  • Sandy Embesi • Sam Listi • Michael Patronella • Lynda Pontecorvo • Noxie Romano



Joe (Bubba) Butera • Matt Galante • Ciro Lampasas, Sr. • Damian Mandola • Frankie J. Pizzatola III • Cindy Richardson


Texas Italian-American Sports Foundation   •    713-863-0056   •   info@TIASF.org   •   PO Box 130163   •   Houston, TX  77219-0163