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March 22, 2013     Post-Gazette
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POST-GAZETTE, MARCH22, 2013 Page 7 3N by Pamela Modugno The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, Massachusetts Chap- ter held its Annual Induction and Scholarship Awards Banquet on March 9 at the Venezia Waterfront. Four- time dinner chairman, Phil Garofalo led a committee of NIASHF Board of Directors to ensure a successful and in- spiring night that celebrated Italian-American heritage, outstanding Italian-Ameri- cans in the sports world and promising student athletes about to embark on their college journey. The evening began with inspiring renditions of the Italian and American Na- tional Anthems, sung by Frank Zarba who recently returned from winning a singing competition in Naples, Italy. Following the anthems, Voice of the Bos- ton Celtics, Eddie Palladino took over as emcee for the evening. Eddie recounted his experiences over the years with NIASHF, including his pride in being present in 2004, when his boss, Joe DeNucci was inducted to NIASHF in Chicago. Deacon Frank Valeri gave the invo- cation as all were seated to enjoy a delicious Italian meal before the program for the evening got under way. A video tribute produced by Joe Rocco of RocJo produc- tions, introduced each hon- oree before they stepped to the,podium to accept their induction to the Massachu- setts Chapter of NIASHF and speak of their inspirations and experiences. First to speak was 2013 Man of the Year, Frank Privitera, a long-time phi- lanthropist whose generous contribution to NIASHF MA ensured the completion of a long-time goal of the Board of Directors, to erect a statue honoring NIASHF MA President Emeritus, Tony DeMarco. Frank's speech thanked God and poked light-hearted fun at many of his friends and associates who were in attendance at the banquet. Next to take the podium, was Sean Stellato, the pride of Salem High School and a current sports agent. Sean is proof that hard work and determination will ensure success. Sean is currently a sports agent representing several NE Patriots as well as other NFL players. Eddie Palladino joked that with free agency taking place, Scan had his phone at the head table, ready to work for his clients if needed. Sean recounted a story of missing a shot at a basketball game and coming home to make that shot in the driveway hundreds of times before he ate dinner. He thanked his father for pushing him to excel and his mother for her support and encourage- ment. Both parents, as well as his wife, daughters, in- laws and brothers were proudly in the audience cheering Sean's success along with a host of his cli- ents, friends, and colleagues. The final inductee, Joe Andruzzi, has 3 Super Bowl rings from his career as an offensive guard with the New England Patriots. But there's far more to the Andruzzi story... In 2001, Joe and his wife befriended CJ Buckley, a young fan with terminal L-R: Toni-Ann, Presley and 2013 NIASHF "Man of the Year" Frank Privitera, 2013 NIASHF Inductee Joseph Andruzzi, Philip and Payton Privitera. Open Easter Sunday 8 am - 2 pm L-R: 2013 NIASHF Inductee Joseph Andruzzi, vocalist Frank Zarba and "The Champ" Tony DeMarco. If you would like to review the photos that were taken by D&S Video at the NIASHF Induction Dinner on Saturday, March 9, 2013, please go to Dsvideophoto.smugmug.com. 2013 NIASHF Inductee Sean Stellato (4th from left) and his Family. cancer. Joe and wife Jen created the CJ Buckley Brain Cancer Research Fund at Children's Hospital. His charitable efforts were slowed for a period when Joe himself fought cancer in 2007. Joe is in remission now and continues his mis- sion. The Andruzzi Founda- tion founded in 2008 works to provide assistance to can- cer patients and fund re- search. Joe's family is also inspirational, his 3 brothers are all NYC Firefighters and all responded to the 9/11 tragedy. In 2002, Joe orga- nized a trip for 100 NYC firefighters to attend a Patri- ots game. Joe, along with his bro~her~ and father, were all honorary captains of the game that day. Both Sean and Joe were presented with framed cari- cature drawings by Eddie Germano to commemorate their induction into the Na- tional Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Massa- chusetts Chapter. And of course, the reason NIASHF MA continues its fundraising efforts, the scholarship awards presen- tation made by Judge Domenic Russo, Ret., NIASHF MA director and scholarship committee chairman. For 2013 there were 3 deserving student athletes awarded scholar- ships. Vanessa Faro-Peter- sen attending Mount Saint Joseph Academy received the Tony DeMarco scholar- ship; Simone Aeeto-Black attending New York Univer- sity received the Andy Puopolo scholarship; and Frank Iudiciani, Jr., attend- ing Harvard University re- ceived the Mark Frattaroli Scholarship. Frank, Jr., was chosen to read the essay he submitted as part of his scholarship application. His essay spoke of his delight in attending a NIASHF MA bocce tournament with his father and learning about tradition and family. His goal is to start the first ever bocce tournament at Harvard University. Congratulations to the 2013 National Italian Ameri- can Sports Hall of Fame, Massachusetts Chapter inductees and scholarship recipients. (Photo by Dora Campochiaro, D&S Video, www.dsvideop ho to.corn) 2013 NIASHF Scholarship recipients, L-R: Vanessa Faro Petersen, Frank Iudiciani, Jr., and Simone Black. 2013 NIASHF Banquet Chairman Phil Garofaio and 2013 NIASHF Inductee Sean Stellato. 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