He was a young college student, full of accomplishment, loved by friends and family and then suddenly–he was gone.
Ten years ago 19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo, of Kingston, was murdered in a series of senseless killings by convicted murderer Gary Sampson.
Jonathan’s family chose to honor and remember him with a golf tournament to support causes that he would have supported.
Jonathan’s father, Mike Rizzo, says that after seven years, this year’s tournament will be the last.
“And we wanted to make sure we got the word out to our supporters to let them know that we appreciate their support over the last few years and we hope that we can have some folks come back and play with us this year for the final year,” said Rizzo.
The tournament has raised over $925,000, and they hope this year to hit the million dollar mark. Rizzo says that money goes to various worthy charities and individuals.
“We normally help about 150 families a year with either back to school clothes for their children, Christmas presents, food, electricity, and help with heating oil throughout the year. We’ve had many of them send us notes, and many come back and and that kind of thing,” said Rizzo. ”One young man in particular we helped–one of five children with a single mom. He saw me selling raffle tickets outside of Stop and Shop; he went and he told his mom that he wanted to stay and help me sell tickets rather than leave with her. “
Rizzo says that the tournament has been a comfort to him and his family through the years following their loss.
” Thank you again to everyone for the support that my family and the foundation have received ove the last ten years–as difficult as it has been, it would have been significantly more if we had not had the support from our friends and community that we have. We appreciate that and look forward to seeing you on the 11th if you can make it,” said Rizzo.
The Jonathan Rizzo Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the Pinehills on October 11th. For more information and to register go to www.jonathanrizzofoundation.org
Rizzo says that in the future they plan to explore other ways to make make money for the foundation, perhaps at a series of smaller events.