Citizen of the Year shares heartfelt story

 In an emotional acceptance speech before a packed house at the Hamden/North Haven Elks recently, North Haven Citizen of the Year, Mark Minotti, spoke from the heart. In describing the impact of a surgeon discovering that he had a brain tumor in the fall, Minotti advised his listeners to “learn one thing from every experience”.
Noting that he was not exactly grateful for the frightening experience, he said, “What it did do was change me forever and introduced me to a whole new view on how precious life truly is, and how important it is to make every moment count.” However, to reassure the audience he added, “My last MRI in Dec showed no growth and no detectable cancer!”
Saying that he has always tried to reach out to others in need, he emphasized, “I also believe in surrounding myself with like minded people and joining clubs that focused on the same goals. Becoming a Rotarian was one of the best things that my wife and I ever did.” Indicating that he follows the Rotary motto of ‘service above self’ and pointing to a personal incident with one of his fellow honorees on the stage, he added, “Share your knowledge, your time, your talents, and your experiences, because you never know who they may effect.”
After a passionate review of his personal philosophy, he concluded, “Lastly, let go of what no longer serves you in this life. Remember the lessons you’ve learned and the blows you’ve received, but do not dwell on them.” Finally, paraphrasing JFK he said, “Ask not what you can do for yourself, rather what you can do from your heart for someone else.”
PHOTO: In honor of this year’s Citizen of the Year, North Haven’s First Selectman Michael Freda (R) declared February 23rd as  Mark Minotti Day
Text courtesy of David Marchesseault, Photo by Josephine O'Neil