December 3, 1999

 

Rizzo grandson tells why Pop-pop is Good Scout

The News-Times/Michael Duffy

Tony Rizzo, center, applauds his grandson Nicholas Ribeiro, a 9-year-old scout, yesterday at the Scout Award Luncheon at the Danbury Hilton. Left of Rizzo is Douglas Krofina, Scout Executive of the Connecticut Yankee Council. Rizzo was the recipient of this year's Good Scout Award. His grandson spoke about the fun times the two have.

By Karen Ali

THE NEWS-TIMES

DANBURY Nine-year-old Webelos Scout Nicholas Rebeiro told a crowd of more than 200 adults who gathered to honor his grandfather, Anthony Rizzo Sr., about the precious moments the two spend together.

"I have a lot of fun with my pop- pop,'' Rebeiro said. "Pop-pop takes us for rides in his van. The best part of that is he takes us to 7-Eleven for Slurpees.''

Rizzo's love for his family and his commitment to the community were some of the reasons why he was given the 1999 Greater Danbury Area "Good Scout'' Award yesterday at a luncheon in the Hilton. The award is presented to those who exemplify in their daily lives the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law. Friends and family, which included his wife, Joan, turned out to celebrate.

After receiving the award, Rizzo said that more families should focus on spending time with one another instead of getting caught up in the rat race.

"If we really stop worrying about material things, we could spend more time with our children,'' Rizzo said. "Most children are born innocent. It's up to us to put them on the right path.''

Some of Rizzo's good deeds in the community include serving as chairman of the board of Nutmeg Federal Savings and Loan Association and the regional hospice art show. He has also been a board member of organizations including The Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce.

Rizzo said that he became acquainted with scouting when his oldest son, Michael, became a Cub Scout. "I pitched in for a short period of time,'' said the father of four children.

Wayne J. Shepperd, general chairman of the luncheon, bestowed the award on Rizzo. "I believe you enjoy laughter more than anyone I know. I believe you communicate with laughter better than anyone I know,'' said Shepperd, president and publisher of The News-Times. "I believe your deep belief in your church is a guide for all of us. I believe you care more deeply for family than anyone I know. I believe you carry a marvelous ability to build teamwork whether on community, family or business issues.''

As he accepted the award, Rizzo spoke about coming to America as a 12-year-old from Italy. He described the trip as "one of the most memorable experiences'' of his life.

Rizzo recalls saluting the Statue of Liberty as he sailed toward Ellis Island in 1952. "It was the symbol of freedom,'' he said. "It was a symbol we were entering the land of opportunity.''

Rizzo attended Henry Abbott Regional Technical School, from which he graduated in 1958. Four years later, he founded A.M. Rizzo Electrical Contractors, Inc., a company that provides electrical construction services to business and government in Connecticut.

 

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