Bucco’s Rising Stars Foundation honors Nutley Commissioner Petracco

Petracco, left, with Bucco.

Nutley Public Safety Director & Commissioner Alphonse Petracco was honored by the Bucco’s Rising Stars Foundation (BRSF) as Humanitarian of the Year during the charity organization’s annual Christmas luncheon and toy drive Sunday, Dec. 3 at Mamma Vittoria.

Founded by Carmen Bucco, who spent many years in the foster care system, BRSF’s mission is to help support foster children and prepare them for the future.

Bucco struggled during his years in foster care. He ran away frequently, later battling drug addiction and experiencing life on the streets and in boarding houses. One day, he made a decision to become part of society rather than be a statistic.

Today, he is the successful owner of a growing menswear company.

He began BRSF to make a difference in children’s lives.

Since BRSF got its start over 10 years ago, Petracco has been a strong supporter, working to help fundraise and regularly participate in the foundation’s events.

Petracco, who says he was humbled by the award, said: “It’s really an honor and a privilege. I was really taken back by Carmen choosing me for this award. I was fortunate to be blessed with two great parents. Imagine going through life without a parent and growing up in the foster care program? I’m really proud of Carmen Bucco. He was in foster care and God bless him, he pulled himself out and became a successful businessman.

“Can you imagine waking up on Christmas morning without a mom, or a dad and no gifts? I always say not I, but we — we can change the world together. If we all pull together, we can make sure these kids at least have Christmas presents. It’s a wonderful thing to pay it forward and try to change one kid’s life at a time.”

Through its partnerships with public and private organizations and programs, BRSF endeavors to help under-served youth and those concluding their time in foster care to prepare for self-sufficiency.

BRSF says it is committed to the intellectual development and economic empowerment of youth, acting as a catalyst to help provide individualized services and develop a mentoring relationship to help each individual to address their educational, financial and personal development needs.

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