When a member of the Italian American Community Center called Rudy Ciccotti and told him he was being honored as the organization's Man of the Year, he saidhealth issues might prevent him from accepting the award in person, and it should be given to someone else.
But for many members of the Albany-based Community Center, Ciccotti was the man of the year, whether he accepted the award in person or not.
Known throughout the Capital District for his acts of philanthropy, Ciccotti has spent his life in the area growing several businesses and working to improve the quality of life for Colonie residents.
In his personal life, Ciccotti said, he never found the time, or perhaps the right person, to be married. He has often said that his biggest regret in life is never having had his own children.
Although he has none of his own, children have remained a focal point of many of Ciccotti's charitable endeavors. They include his donated funding to the Colonie Youth Center, which helped the facility build the Rudy A. Ciccotti Center, a family recreation center, and an EMS center Ciccotti helped fund called the Kayla M. Franze EMS Center, named after Ciccotti's niece.
According to Jeanette Bowers, general manager of the Italian American Community Center, those efforts alone were enough to earn Ciccotti a nomination by committee members at the Italian American Community Center at their annual meeting.
We honor an Italian American from the community that we feel has gone above and beyond, said Bowers.
Bowers said that one community member is honored every year, and in previous years, police and fire chiefs have been honored. Ciccotti will be honored at the club's annual Columbus Day Dinner Dance Saturday, Oct. 18.
"We have a committee, and each year everyone that's on the committee goes out and they ask for suggestions. They brought it down to five or six people, and we voted on it," she said.