When Middlesex Middle School seventh-grader Michael Borecki heads to Washington, D.C., to represent Connecticut in the national geography bee competition, he'll take with him a little something to represent his state: a case of 50 Connecticut-made PEZ dispensers shaped like "bees."

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) wanted to send Michael off to Washington D.C. with a symbol of Connecticut, so he contacted PEZ, which is headquartered in Orange, and the company was happy to provide Michael with a box of "bee" PEZ dispensers to take to his geography bee. Sen. Duff visited Middlesex Middle School recently to present Michael with the gift and to wish him good luck at the national competition, sponsored by National Geographic.

"I am so impressed by Michael's knowledge of geography and I know he will put Connecticut on the map at the national competition," Sen. Duff said. "In this global age, it is so important to know places and understand cultures. It is just as important to know where you come from and the geography of your home. That's why I'm sending Michael off to Washington D.C. with a special token of Connecticut pride and I thank PEZ for its generosity in providing this gift."

Michael accepted the gift alongside his geography bee coach, Barbara Ivey, who is also the librarian at Middlesex Middle School.

"It's a tough competition and I'll be pleased with whatever the outcome is," said Michael, who is representing Connecticut for a second time at nationals. "I liked looking at maps when I was little and it grew from there."

"We're going to give it a good shot," Ivey said. "We've been working all summer long, three to four days a week. Michael has worked so hard."

More Information

Fact box

The National Geographic Bee started in 1989 and has students all over the country competing each year for a $25,000 college scholarship.