READY FOR FOUR MORE YEARS
By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Assistant News Editor
PERRYSBURG – Some times news that seems too good to be true turns out to really be true.
This is what Beth Guzzetta experienced when she received an email from Senator Charles Schumer’s office saying she had won tickets to President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Guzzetta said her first reaction was disbelief.
“I thought, ‘this can’t be right.’ And you needed to answer by a certain time and I hadn’t checked my email for a few days so I answered it and thought I would never hear from them again and then Schumer’s Buffalo office called and verified it,” she explained.
Guzzetta said she was encouraged by her mother, Ann Guzzetta, to submit a form for the lottery to win the tickets.
“I got an email that was an approval and I thought it was a joke so I called my mom. I said, ‘It seems I won two tickets to the inauguration. Are we going to go?’ And she said, ‘I don’t travel well,'” she added.
She said she didn’t think she would be able to go until a relative, Dolores Gugino, made the trip possible.
“This was such a polarizing election process. I have been almost reluctant to tell people … I’m hoping we can get past all that and just go and enjoy it,” she said.
Guzzetta said she decided to take her 18-year-old niece Kyra Delano and her 6-year-old son Lee Ricotta.
She noted the year she and her husband David Ricotta adopted Lee was the year Obama was elected the first time.
She said it is important to her Lee gets to have this experience.
“When the election came along and we realized Barack Obama was running, I brought Lee into the election booth and I had his little finger cast the vote because I thought it was important. That’s the reason I want to take him is I think it is really important that he sees the first president in his life that he will remember looks like him. I don’t think some people realize that but you nor I realize what it is like to grow up as a black man in this country. So this is a little nudge to him, showing him he doesn’t have any limitations because of his skin color,” she said.
Guzzetta added Obama won the Gowanda Elementary school vote where Lee goes to school. She said he is very excited for the trip.
“He keeps waking up in the morning and asking ‘are we going to Washington today?'” she said.
She said Kyra is also excited to go and is looking forward to the U.S. Marine Corps Band, a career she is considering after attending SUNY Fredonia for music.
Guzzetta said she hopes both Lee and Kyra take something away from the experience.
“How many people in their lives do this? I’m probably never going to get to do this again but hopefully this will spark something in them, that they will always be involved in the political process no matter what,” she added.
Guzzetta won two of the total 250,000 tickets issued to Monday’s swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address. The inauguration is usually held on Jan. 20, however this is only the seventh time the ceremony will be held on Jan. 21 because it falls on a Sunday. This year’s inaugural theme is “Faith in America’s Future.”
Guzzetta said they also hope to catch the parade and visit some of the nation’s monuments and memorials. They will fly to Baltimore, Md., Sunday and return Tuesday. She has been planning ahead and has even ordered special edition MARC train tickets which depict President Obama’s image in honor of the occasion.
Guzzetta lives on North Road in Perrysburg with her husband Davis Ricotta and her children Richelis and Lee.