Former radio roomer wins reporting award
By Roger Gillespie
Former Toronto Star radio room reporter Christina Commisso has won an award for her story about the shattered dreams of a childless Burlington couple following the bankruptcy of a Cambridge adoption agency.
Commisso won a Metroland best news story award for an article she wrote last July about the collapse of Imagine Adoption and the grief it caused for Robyn and Bruno Bertucci.
The Bertuccis had planned to adopt two children from Ethiopia, and spent all their savings for the $20,000 adoption. They had already been through two IVF procedures that cost about $20,000. When they learned of the company's bankruptcy on a visit to its website they were devasated and too broke to pursue another adoption.
Reader response to the story was fast and furious.
"The reaction was incredible," says Commisso, who began working as a reporter at the Burlington Post in February 2009 after spending nine months in the Star's radio room.
"Many readers offered to help the Bertuccis financially to pursue another adoption and one woman even offered to be a surrogate mom. A lot of other community members who had previously adopted wrote into the paper to offer emotional support to the couple."
The award judges liked that Commisso had found a local spin on a larger story.
"A local face has been placed on an international story. It's not only heartwarming but instructive and informative."
Commisso likes to get out of the office to do her reporting and this past winter she was in California with Burlington soldiers who were training in the Mojave desert before deploying to Afghanistan.
She wrote several articles for the Burlington Post, Georgetown Independent and the Mississauga News.