O. Mario Favorito Contributed photo

Meet Concord’s 2024 Honored Citizen: O. Mario Favorito   

March 1, 2024

By Andrew Stojkovich, Correspondent

Throughout decades of service to Concord, O. Mario Favorito hasn’t been one to seek the spotlight.  

“My style has always been to be what I describe as a ‘backbencher,’” Favorito says. “I’m not usually out front on things. I just do what’s good for the community and then just leave it at that.” 

But those years of work haven’t gone unnoticed: The Public Ceremonies and Celebrations Committee just announced Favorito as this year’s Honored Citizen. 

“Many residents know Mario through his extensive work on behalf of the library,” said committee Chair Susan McCrory, “but Mario’s contributions to the town of Concord extend far beyond it, and they have helped shape our community in important ways.” 

Favorito, a Concord resident of more than 50 years, called the award a complete surprise and one hard to describe.  

“I’m honored,” Favorito, 85, said, “to be among all the other honored citizens, who are all volunteers and wonderful people.” 

Since Favorito moved to Concord in 1970, he’s rooted himself in community efforts: He was a member of the Bus Transportation Committee (’73-’75), the Planning Board (’75-’81), and the Zoning Board of Appeals (’85-’91).  

A trustee of the Concord Free Public Library Board for more than 25 years, he also served as vice president and treasurer. He’s now trustee emeritus. 

And how’s this for irony: “In high school, I had an English teacher who required us to read Emerson,” Favorito remembers.  

“I wasn’t enthralled with Emerson —  and I got my payback by ending up being a trustee of the library taking care of Emerson’s works.”  

Favorito has already joined the roster of Honored Citizens recognized at the Town House. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

Favorito was not always the Concord cornerstone he is today: He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. 

During his time at St. John’s University School of Law, a professor, Charles Sparacio, sparked what would become Favorito’s passion for community service.  

Sparacio, Favorito remembers, explained that as “a member of the legal profession, [your] job is going to be to help people.”  

Favorito carried that charge with him when he and his wife, Corina, moved to Concord from Washington D.C. He quickly learned that here, he could do much-needed service work with a real impact.  

“All you had to do is write out a green [volunteer] card and indicate what your ideas were or what you were interested in, so I did,” Favorito said, “It was kind of amazing.”  

His first project was working to help establish the Bus Transportation Committee to help those in need get around free of charge.  

In some cases, Favorito’s knowledge of law has come in very handy in his public service to Concord. 

For example, “There was a painting that we loaned to the Smithsonian, so I got involved in whatever legal work that might be in making the transaction happen,” he said. “The legal background is helpful in negotiating agreements that [the] Special Collections of the library [are] involved in.” 

Favorito stayed actively involved in Concord’s volunteer efforts as the town grew and changed and as he and his wife raised a family here. 

Despite these evolutions, volunteering has remained a robust part of the town’s culture. There has always been a diligent base of people willing to help, he says.  

“I think it’s just part of the culture of being in town,” Favorito said. “If you’re in town and are involved in one thing or another, you get the idea of volunteering and people do volunteer … It just happens.”  

Whether or not Concord has physically changed, he says, the town’s spirit has not — and nor has Favorito’s. 

In 2013, musician and Concord oral historian Michael Kline told Favorito, “Your spirit of volunteerism is exceeded only by your humility about your own accomplishments.”  

More than ten years after that observation, Favorito is quietly adding another accomplishment to his list. 

Favorito will be formally recognized as Concord’s 2024 Honored Citizen on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. at the Town House, per the Public Ceremonies and Celebrations Committee. All are welcome to attend.