TRUMBULL, Conn. — As Trumbull Democrats gather to present two inaugural awards, they will also hear about President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office from U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.
The Trumbull Democratic Town Committee will hold the Keys to Democracy Awards Dinner on March 26 at Tashua Knolls Restaurant in Trumbull.
Blumenthal, Murphy and Himes will speak on "Trump's First 100 Days: Our Voices, Our Actions, Our Country — Still Strong," discussing the impact of Trump's administration and positive actions that can be taken to protect the policies and laws that Democrats have fought to put in place.
The Kevin J. Sutherland Inspiration in Democracy Award will be presented to Matthew Kuroghlian, a Trumbull High junior. He was selected for his dedication to public service and for engaging young people in local and state elections.
Kuroghlian is vice president of his class and a leader in the Model United Nations Club.
He became involved in real world politics through Himes' recent campaign and held a leadership role in the 2016 campaign of Lino Costantino for state representative. Kuroghlian also recently formed the Eastern Fairfield County Young Democrats.
The award is given in memory of Kevin Joseph Sutherland, a 2009 graduate of Trumbull High who was a political strategist and photographer. He is the son of Douglas and Theresa Sutherland of Trumbull.
Sutherland lost his life in a senseless act of violence in 2015 in Washington, D.C.
The Trumbull Democratic Town Committee honors his dedication to Democratic ideals and his commitment to action while never seeking the limelight. Through this award, the committee and his parents hope to encourage others to follow in Sutherland’s footsteps.
The 2017 TDTC Leadership Award will be presented to two Trumbull residents who have contributed to town politics and the community 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 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. He is a lifelong Trumbull resident and with his wife, Dawn, raised two children in town.
Raised in Bridgeport and a graduate of the University of Connecticut, 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, which she developed into an internationally respected standard for excellence.
Kaufman pioneered the first conference in Connecticut on issues faced by high school graduates with special needs.