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    Saturday, April 20, 2024

    Buscetto, the ECC and Safe Futures show the power of together

    Waterford — It is a considerable trick now to teach our children the timeless tenet of a owning a deeper sense of obligation to things greater than their own self-interest. That's because the kids mimic the behavior of their elders, who are too immersed in our own self-indulgence to see what they're truly teaching.

    That's why stories like this need to be told.

    A number of adults in our corner of the world, with some inspiring esprit de corps, will be teaching kids the value of working together for something bigger and more meaningful next month. They didn't use technology as the teaching tool. Just some humanity.

    Many kids who play sports in our corner of the world — and many who don't — will be involved early next month in the Safe Futures Annual 4K Safe Walk inside Crystal Mall on Oct. 6 at 8:45 a.m. Refreshments, raffles and revelry will provide the backdrop for the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the very important work of Safe Futures, the New London-based organization that helps domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

    Eastern Connecticut Conference athletic directors and 2019 walk chairman Mike Buscetto have teamed to involve every school in the fundraising process. Each school in the ECC will select a home event in October and donate a portion of the gate proceeds to Safe Futures, while some individual schools will have athletic teams involved in the walk.

    Moreover, all students at Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford have the opportunity to walk for free. Three local businesses will sponsor the Clark Lane kids: Sixth grade (Mallove's Jewelers); seventh grade (Filomena's); eighth grade (Benvenuti Oil).

    Hundreds and hundreds of kids will be involved in this, all of whom will be better acquainted with Safe Futures and domestic violence. There's hardly a day now when a domestic violence story doesn't make the sports section. And now many of our kids will be taught practically — not electronically — about how our communities are affected.

    Last year, Safe Futures worked with 7,053 clients from 21 towns, changing — and saving — countless lives.

    Pretty good idea here to ask Buscetto to be this year's chairperson. He does persuasive better than Sinatra did "New York, New York." He knows everybody. And there's really never a time he's not willing to help people.

    Mad props and bon mots here to the ECC as well. Often, ECC schools are defined by their differences in enrollment, demographics and geography. "Differences" are a popular narrative in general. This is a wonderful example of how "different" can still produce the concept of "together."

    I'm not sure there's a more valuable lesson we can teach.

    And not just to our kids.

    Anyone who participates in the walk next month ought to spend some time in thought that day. Look around and experience what the concept of together looks and feels like. Sure beats the fear-based isolationism we see every night on the nitwit talk shows that disdain common-denominator information and instead just suit, service, reinforce and intensify their audiences' predispositions and prejudices.

    Domestic violence has become a byproduct of a society that thrives on fear, self-indulgence and instability. We can all preach plenty about how it is never to be tolerated. And yet the stories in the papers and on television come forth without fail.

    The event next month at Crystal Mall goes beyond the blather. It's visible support for the 7,053 clients that Safe Futures helped last year. It's a message of intolerance for intolerance. And our kids will be absorbing all of it.

    That's humanity and educational leadership in its best form.

    Pop into Filomena's for more info about the walk and event. Get there if you can Oct. 6. It's inside and air conditioned. More than 7,000 people will thank you.

    This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro

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