Trumbull Democrats

Trumbull Democrats Drew Capacity Crowd to Keys to Democracy Awards Dinner

Trumbull Democrats Drew Capacity Crowd to Keys to Democracy Awards Dinner
with Speakers 
Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy and Congressman Himes

Local Heroes Timothy A. Cantafio, Beryl Kaufman and Matt Kuroghlian Honored

Click here for a photo gallery from the event

Beryl Kaufman, Congressman Jim Himes, Timothy Cantafio, Senator Chris Murphy, and Matthew Kuroughlian

On Sunday, March 26th, the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee (TDTC) held its first Keys to Democracy Awards Dinner at which 225 guests heard Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy and Congressman Jim Himes speak on Trump’s First 100 Days:  Our Voices, Our Actions, Our Country – Still Strong. The Dinner Co-chairs were Anthony Musto, Trumbull Town Treasurer; Vicki Tesoro, Trumbull Board of Finance member; and Cindy Katske, TDTC Secretary.

Vicki Tesoro, speaking for the Dinner Co-Chairs, stated, “This great turnout represents the growing local political activism here in Trumbull, and Trumbull Democrats are thrilled to lead this movement as we approach the municipal election season. We are committed to bringing a positive agenda to our town and creating real change in Trumbull. This is a great community and it is time that our town government represents the values of our citizens – that is, respect, cooperation, and inclusion.” She continued, “We want to thank Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, and Congressman Himes for being with us, our Honorees for their dedication, and everyone who came or made donations to this successful night.”

Following the dinner, Senator Richard Blumenthal stated, “What an energetic evening. It is so great to honor Timothy Cantafio, Beryl Kaufman and Matthew Kuroghlian for their significant community contributions.  I look forward to working with the Trumbull Democrats on their way to victory in November.”

Senator Chris Murphy added, “There’s no level of fear or sadness or anxiety that you feel about this political moment that can’t be cured by political action. It still works. Take for example last week. For all the attention the Republicans have tried to put on the Freedom Caucus, the real story of how Trumpcare failed is about the more moderate Republicans who started to feel the heat of the overwhelming grassroots pressure at town halls, on their phone lines, and online,” said Murphy, “This movement is real, and it’s growing organically. It’s going to be a tough couple years, but I feel more confident than ever before because of growing political activism like we saw here tonight in Trumbull.”

Congressman Jim Himes commented, “We need principled progressive activism more now than ever – both to move our country forward and to honor the legacy of those who have come before, including my dear friend Kevin Sutherland.  I’m proud to have helped honor him last night through presenting Matt Kuroghlian with his namesake award, and I thank Timothy Cantafio and Beryl Kaufman for their important contributions to the community.”

Anthony Musto, Beryl Kaufman, Senator Chris Murphy, Tom Kelly, Vicki Tesoro, Congressman Jim Himes

Tom Kelly, TDTC Chairman, stated, “Trumbull Democrats are excited about the success of our dinner and the number of new, motivated citizens who are supporting us.  We have a united party, full of passion and pride, and we have momentum going into the municipal election cycle.  We will bring much needed positive change to our town this November.”

The night was energizing and emotional as local heroes were honored for their contributions to the community of Trumbull.  Timothy A. Cantafio, a lifelong resident of Trumbull and vice president of engineering for Northeast Electronics Corp. in Milford, received the inaugural 2017 Leadership Award for over four decades of involvement in local political and social issues. Beryl Kaufman, born in Bridgeport but a resident of Trumbull for over 50 years, was honored for furthering the participation of citizens in our government and protecting the rights and education of people with special needs.

The Kevin J. Sutherland Inspiration in Democracy Award was presented to Matthew Kuroghlian, a Trumbull High School junior, for dedicating himself to public service and engaging young people in local and state elections while still in high school.  The award is in memory of Kevin Joseph Sutherland, a 2009 graduate of Trumbull High, political strategist, and photographer, who lost his life in a senseless act of violence in 2015. It was given by Douglas and Theresa Sutherland, Kevin’s parents.  The TDTC honors Kevin’s dedication to Democratic ideals and his commitment to action while never seeking the limelight. Through this award, the TDTC and his parents hope to encourage others to follow in Kevin’s footsteps.

Trumbull Democrats Celebrate Award Winners at Keys to Democracy Dinner

Matthew Kuroghlian

Matthew Kuroghlian

The Trumbull Democratic Town Committee (TDTC) announced the recipients of the inaugural 2017 Leadership Award and the Kevin J. Sutherland Inspiration in Democracy Award.  The awards will be presented at their first Keys to Democracy Awards Dinner, Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Tashua Knolls Restaurant, Trumbull.  The Dinner Co-chairs are Anthony Musto, Trumbull Town Treasurer; Vicki Tesoro, Trumbull Board of Finance member; and Cindy Katske, TDTC Secretary.

The Kevin J. Sutherland Inspiration in Democracy Award is being presented to Matthew Kuroghlian, a Trumbull High School junior, for dedicating himself to public service and engaging young people in local and state elections while still in high school.  He is vice president of his class and a leader in the Model United Nations THS club.  Matthew became involved in real world politics through the recent campaign of Congressman Jim Himes and held a leadership role in the 2016 campaign of Lino Costantino for State Representative. Matthew also recently formed the Eastern Fairfield County Young Democrats with the goal of bringing interested young people together to help make a difference.

The award is given in memory of Kevin Joseph Sutherland, 2009 graduate of Trumbull High, political strategist, photographer, and beloved son of Douglas and Theresa Sutherland also of Trumbull.  Kevin lost his life in a senseless act of violence in 2015.  The TDTC honors Kevin’s dedication to Democratic ideals and his commitment to action while never seeking the limelight. Through this award, the TDTC and his parents hope to encourage others to follow in Kevin’s footsteps.

Timothy A Cantafio

Timothy A Cantafio

The 2017 TDTC Leadership Award is being presented to two Trumbull residents who have contributed to town politics and the community of Trumbull over time.  The recipients are: Timothy A. Cantafio, vice president of engineering for Northeast Electronics, Corp. in Milford, for over four decades of involvement in local political and social issues and Beryl Kaufman for furthering the participation of citizens in our government and protecting the rights and education of people with special needs.

Cantafio has been involved in local politics and community needs since he ran for a Trumbull Town Council seat when he was 18 years-old.  He is a lifelong Trumbull resident and with his wife, Dawn, raised two children here. Always involved in his children’s activities such as coaching Little League, he also found time to make a difference in the lives of others.  Presently he is a member of the Trade Technology Advisory Committee for Platt Technical High School, Deputy Treasurer of the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee, board member of the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation, Corporator Milford Health & Medical & Milford Hospital Board, and a member of the Trumbull Board of Assessment Appeals.

Beryl Kaufman

Beryl Kaufman

Raised in Bridgeport and a graduate of the University of Connecticut, Beryl Kaufman has been a compassionate and dedicated advocate throughout her life. She began her career as a teacher of history and civics.  As a young mother, she became Executive Director of the Connecticut Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficits (CACLD), which she developed into an internationally respected standard for excellence. Mrs. Kaufman pioneered the first conference in Connecticut on issues faced by high school graduates with special needs.  CACLD helped educators recognize the importance of early intervention and, before the age of the Internet, the CACLD library served as a bountiful resource for parents, children and, educators.  Under her leadership, CACLD funded the first community college staff member in the country to help students who learn differently receive support in college.

Beryl has served as a member and on the boards for many nonprofits and civic organizations. At this time, she is a Board Secretary of The Downtown Cabaret Theater, member of the Trumbull Economic and Community Development Commission, Trumbull Chamber of Commerce, (past president) Greater Bridgeport League of Woman Voters, and Women on Watch.  In 1968, she was the League of Women Voters’ Connecticut liaison with ABC News for the US Presidential Election Night reporting.

The topic of the evening is Trump’s First 100 Days:  Our Voices, Our Actions, Our Country – Still Strong. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy and Congressman Jim Himes will speak on the impact of the Trump administration’s actions in Washington, D.C. And they will discuss positive actions that can be taken to protect the policies and laws that Democrats have fought so hard to put in place.

Tickets are $100 pp, on or before March 17; $110 pp, from March 18th and at the door. Purchase tickets at https://causes.anedot.com/keystodemocracy or call 203-452-7427.  For event sponsorship and advertisements in the event program, please email lisa@trumbulldemocrats.org.