A charitable organization supporting young Texans

2018 Scholarship Recipients


The Annual TIASF Scholarship Luncheon

July 28, 2018

Damian's Cucina Italiana

 2018 Luncheon

The 2018 Texas Italian American Sports Foundation Scholarship Awards Luncheon was held July 28 at Damian's Cucina Italiana Restaurant. Houston Astros World Series Champions Manager AJ Hinch was the special guest of honor. Former Astros television broadcaster Bill Brown served as master of ceremonies and introduced AJ to the 126 guests, including 19 recipients who received $1,000.00 scholarships each. Sophomore scholarships were renamed and awarded in memory of retired Astros Clubhouse Manager Dennis Liborio.


Since becoming the Houston Astros Manager in September of 2014, AJ Hinch has proven himself as one of the best managers in Major League Baseball and one of the most successful managers in Astros history. He has produced two playoff appearances and a World Series Championship.


The 2017 Astros won 101 games. During their 18 game journey to the World Series, the Astros defeated the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers and won two Game 7's, in the ALCS vs. New York and in the World Series at Los Angeles. AJ was named the 2017 Baseball America Manager of the Year and won the 2017 MLB Award as Major League Baseball's Best Manager.


AJ delighted the crowd with several entertaining "behind the scenes" baseball stories. He encouraged the student-athletes receiving scholarships to work smart in the classroom and on the playing field and never give up towards achieving their goals.


Faces in the crowd at the luncheon included Astros TV broadcasters Todd Kalas and Julia Morales , Astros radio play-by-play broadcaster Robert Ford and MLB national correspondent Alyson Footer. Also in attendance were former Astros player Enos Cabell, Tim Purpura, President of Texas Baseball League Association and the 2017 special guest of honor, Carolyn Faulk, CEO and President of A&C Plastics.






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