Published October 11, 2010
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – A Connecticut boy with a rare developmental disorder came to Pennsylvania to meet his hero: the groundhog known as Punxsutawney Phil.
Eleven-year-old Mark Russo, of Trumbull, Conn., traveled to Punxsutawney on Saturday. The town about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh is home to an annual Groundhog Day celebration that airs on national television.
Russo was born with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, a developmental disorder. Michele and David Russo, the boy’s parents, say he reads a lot and surfs the Internet to research subjects that fascinate him. For he last two years, that’s been Groundhog Day.
Russo’s family says the boy wakes up each morning and hoists one of his pet rabbits into the air to re-enact the Groundhog Day celebrations he’s seen online, while listening to the "Pennsylvania Polka."