Buscetto wins Connecticut MLK honors for youth work
By JC Reindl
Hartford - Former New London City Councilor Michael Buscetto III was one of four citizens honored Monday at the 26th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony in the state Capitol.
Leaders of the Connecticut Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission presented Buscetto with their 2012 Leadership Award for his years of commitment to improving the lives of New London youth. He was chosen from a group of 27 nominees.
"I didn't know Dr. Martin Luther King," Buscetto said in accepting the honor, "but I think I know what he was all about. That was making a difference, and that's all I ever tried to do."
'Bash at the Beach' praised
Commissioner William Dixon praised Buscetto's deep involvement in the community, highlighting his creation of the annual "Bash at the Beach" event that has donated more than $200,000 to two dozen city nonprofit organizations in its first four years.
Buscetto, who finished second in last fall's mayoral race as a write-in candidate, also co-founded the New London Athletic Hall of Fame, helped revitalize Toby May Field and is a mentor to students at the Science & Technology Magnet High School.
He is a board member and past president of New London Little League and a volunteer coach for local baseball, softball and basketball teams.
"The kids - that's what it's all about," Buscetto said. "Giving them an opportunity and showing them that they can make a difference."
The award came with a gold medallion, crystal plaque, and four proclamations from Connecticut leaders, including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Buscetto also enjoyed a personal meeting before the ceremony with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Past recipients of the leadership award have included Blumenthal, state Supreme Court Justice Norcott Flemming and former University of Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall.
In addition to Buscetto those honored Monday were the following:
The Community Service award, Tom Ficklin of Ficklin Media Group in New Haven.
The Humanitarian award, Principal Edward Robbs, Danbury.
The Chairman's Award, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, president of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury.