Story by: Jennifer Reynolds on April 26, 2023
Talk to Tonii Rizzo and you’ll find he’s a humble guy, despite the fact that he has led fundraising efforts that have netted $6 million for Norton Children’s Hospital. He and his wife, Martha, also have given generously from their own pockets. The former Abel Construction executive has taken the mission of Norton Children’s Hospital to heart for more than 25 years.
After being asked to join the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation board of trustees in 1998, he described himself as “jumping in with both feet.” That would be an understatement.
“Before I agreed to join the board, I had to feel a passion for the work. I didn’t want to just be filling a seat,” Tonii said. “There is a tremendous need in the community for a children’s hospital, and the mission of the hospital is an easy mission to make your own.”
Not long after joining the board of trustees, Tonii established the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation Golf Outing, now in its 22nd year. This year the outing takes place at Hurstbourne Country Club and Lake Forest Country Club during the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby. In 2022, it netted $375,000, which put it over the $6 million mark for total proceeds since the event began. Through the years, Tonii has served on the board of trustees not only as a member, but also vice chair and chair. He currently serves as secretary.
In 2013 he and Martha were inducted into the Wade Mountz Heritage Society after making an irrevocable estate intention to the work of Norton Children’s Hospital. They’ve also made significant outright gifts to the hospital. From these gifts and Tonii’s commitment to volunteerism, three rooms of the S. Randolph Scheen Family Conference Center located in Norton Children’s Hospital have been named in their honor.
“My family and I have been blessed with good health and have done well in planning for the future,” he said. “Now we have an opportunity to give back to families in need.”
The couple also went through a legacy planning process to make a gift that funded renovations to the Norton Children’s Hospital lobby.
“The cause closest to me has always been kids,” Tonii said. “When you visit the hospital and see so many kids in need of care, you just want to help.”
And that’s just what he’s done. Tirelessly, for nearly a quarter of a century. We thank you, Tonii.
Want to know more about estate and legacy planning?
There are many options for giving to the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation while you receive tax breaks and other benefits. Visit NortonPlannedGiving.com or call (502) 420-4299 to learn more.