Community West Foundation honors excellence in giving by presenting the prestigious Art of Caring Award each year. The award signifies exceptional generosity, commitment and outstanding community support.
The 2014 award winner is Milan “Mike” Busta, honored last Thursday, Oct. 9, in ceremonies at LaCentre in Westlake.
“Our award is simply and perfectly named – ‘The Art of Caring’ – and it is a description that certainly fits this year’s award recipient, Mike Busta,” said David T. Dombrowiak, President & CEO of the Community West Foundation.
“Mike excels in the grace of giving. He holds generosity as a value by choosing to give of his time, talents, and treasures to the service of others – and he is making our community a better place.”
Mike has made his mark on our community’s landscape. In addition to his regular cash contributions to charities, he feels so strongly about the necessity of giving back to others that he opened twenty Charitable Gift Annuities.
Mike has channeled the last six of those Charitable Gift Annuities through the Community West Foundation.
“Community West Foundation makes it easy to support the causes I choose by taking care of all the paperwork and administrative responsibilities,” said Busta.
Mike’s impact truly focuses on the local level and in all spans of local life, targeting social segments from Educational Institutions, Health and Wellness, Faith Based Institutions and Community Development.
His selflessness was noted by his three sons in attendance, Michael, William and Paul.
“As far back as I can remember, supporting charitable organizations was the norm for my parents,” said Michael.
William credits his “father’s contributions of time and resources as inspiration and example, creating a family culture of civic participation.”
“Our father taught us many family values during dinnertime conversations,” said Paul. “Those responsibilities include not just volunteerism, but also making an impact on chosen causes.”
Mike is just as active in the local community, willingly sharing his talents and expertise with others illustrated through his past and present involvement serving on the boards of many organizations including:
The Lakewood Rocky River Rotary, The Music School Settlement, Business Advisors of Cleveland, Gardeners of Greater Cleveland, The Cleveland Orchestra on the Heritage Committee, Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Cleveland, Northeast Ohio Savings and Loan League, Neighborhood Housing Service, Meals on Wheels, Eucharistic Minister at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church, Parma Chamber of Commerce, Cleveland Council of World Affairs, and many more.
In describing his reason for starting Charitable Gift Annuities, Mike said that, in 1997, he heard a radio advertisement from the Cleveland Orchestra about this type of giving vehicle. After discussing it with his wife, Jean, he called up the Orchestra and started his very first CGA. He thought it was a good idea and was something meaningful.
“Mike exemplifies the Models of Christian servitude to his community. As a donor, he is a shining example of Illuminating Hope,” said Dombrowiak.
“Throughout history, public stewardship and philanthropy have sustained nonprofit organizations. Tonight we honor a lifetime of generosity, devotion and service to our community.
“Giving from a generous heart, Mike Busta has shown us countless ways in which we may serve and thus meet the call that what we do unto the least of God’s children, we do unto Him.
“What a tremendous example of one who has practiced charitable and social responsibility to help meet community needs for the present and the future. Mike epitomizes the best of what philanthropy really means and he reflects the very best of what makes our community great.”