The spirit of goodness that continues to guide us forward comes from a 19-year-old known to his friends simply as “Rizzo” and to his mom as “sunshine.” Jonathan Rizzo had an energy and positive outlook on life that people liked to be around.
“This is our purpose, to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that a part of us lives on.”
Jonathan was instinctively drawn towards people that needed help, and this passion for helping others prompted his father Mike to refer to him as “a herder of stray cats.” His parents never knew whom Jonathan might bring home for dinner but they had learned to expect to be ready to set another plate at the dinner table. “He made an impact on a lot of people because he wanted to help,” recalls one of his closest friends, Joe Scorzoni.
Jonathan spent 4 years volunteering at Christmas in the City in Boston and we never forgot the expression and animation on his face when he came home after his first year of volunteering. He was astonished and quite disturbed that these kids, hundreds of them, who were fortunate enough to come to the event, did not have a Christmas morning like he and his brothers did; that they didn’t have family dinners at their grandparent’s house with their cousins.