NIAF News Releases



Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

*Dallas H.S. Student Bianca Tamez-Buccino to Receive NIAF Award*

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – MAY 11, 2010) Kenneth J. Aspromonte
, former major league baseball player and manager for the Cleveland Indians and a National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) vice president for the southwest region, will present a scholarship in his name to an Italian American student at NIAF’s Texas Gala on May 15, 2010 at The Adolphus hotel in Dallas, Texas. The fund-raising event for the Foundation’s educational programs will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by a silent auction, awards program and dinner.

Kenneth J. Aspromonte, former major league baseball player and manager for the Cleveland Indians
Bianca Tamez-Buccino of Dallas, Texas, is the recipient of the Kenneth A. Aspromonte Scholarship. A senior at the School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Buccino received the distinction of AP Scholar from the College Board in 2009. She also is a recipient of the Yale Book Award and a Bobby Bragan Scholarship. “I could not be more proud of my Italian ancestry. One way I express my pride in my rich culture is through family traditions and dance, as a member of ‘I Colori Italiani,’ an Italian folk dance group,“ Buccino said.

Through its Grants Program NIAF also has funded several cultural and educational programs in Texas including “Italia Mia! A Kid’s Eye View,” a PBS documentary about the Italian American community and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy, and its companion publication chronicling four generations of an Italian American family. The past exhibit at the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin “Luca Cambiaso: From Michelangelo to the Escorial” and an educational website “Behind Enemy Lines: The OSS and the Italian Resistance in World War II,” are two other projects that have been funded through NIAF grants in Texas.

During NIAF’s Texas Gala, the Foundation will honor Mike Modano, Stanley Cup champion and seven-time NHL All-Star for the Dallas Stars ,and the following business executives: Jay Lombardo, president and CEO of Lombardo Custom Apparel; Bruno Mascolo, CEO and a co-founder of international hair care business TONI&GUY; and Victor “Vic” Salvino, dealer principal of Texas Kenworth Co. Bruno Mascolo’s brother Gaetano Mascolo, also a co-founder of TONI&GUY, will also receive an NIAF Special Achievement Award, posthumously.

This year’s gala dinner chairman is Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc., and a member of NIAF’s Board of Directors. President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura W. Bush will serve as honorary patrons of NIAF’s Texas Gala.

Dinner tickets: $250-$1,000 per person. Attire: Cocktail. For sponsorship and ticket information, contact Geri Jones at 202/387-0600, or visit

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Italian Americans.

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