13th annual Bishop Rizzotto Golf Classic helps religious, elderly at St. Dominic Village

February 21, 2016

HOUSTON — Retired Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Rizzotto has developed a passion for golf that goes way beyond the Archdiocese where his namesake tournament is played. In fact Bishop Rizzotto, who is celebrating his 60th year in the priesthood, said, “Our goal for this year’s tournament is to hold the grandest and most successful tournament in the 13 years since that first one.” 

Bishop Rizzotto has always said he wanted event participants to have fun, enjoy fellowship and a good game of golf. This year’s 13th annual Bishop Rizzotto Golf Classic, which supports retired priests, religious and elders of St. Dominic Village Retirement Community (SDV), will be played on March 31 at Wildcat Golf Club, located at 12000 Almeda Road in Houston. The tournament offers fellowship that extends to SDV. It gives participants an opportunity to learn about SDV and embrace Bishop Rizzotto’s mission.

Sponsors are attracted by a variety of factors: the opportunity to enjoy a great sport in good company and the chance to put hard-earned dollars to good use for the physical and spiritual well-being of the elderly, including many clergy. For Stan Marek, who is a title sponsor of this year’s tournament along with his father Ralph Marek and Marek Bros., it’s very straightforward: “When your Bishop calls, you answer!”
Bishop Rizzotto said his affection for the tournament has grown since he moved to the campus. 

“I am truly astounded by the number of people who come to the portals of SDV,” he said. “To lose this facility would be a major blow to our Church and community.” 

He is the first to point out that, without the support of the Church and all its members, there would be no facility. Commercial enterprises would welcome the elderly and others who need specialized nursing as long as they or their families can pay a price. But the spiritual care that is part and parcel of SDV is something money cannot buy. 

Amy Shields, chief executive officer for SDV, said, “As a non-profit facility, fundraising is critically important to the overall life and operations of our Village. The funds raised at this golf tournament go towards supplementing the cost of living expenses for some of our elders who have outlived their resources. State reimbursement for these residents do not cover their daily living costs, and we rely on donations in order to ensure that the residents that call SDV home have the quality of life that they deserve.” 

That’s a tall order in today’s economy but SDV leaders remain optimistic that the funds raised at the 2016 Golf Classic will meet or exceed a goal of $100,000. 

Bishop Rizzotto began supporting the mission of SDV long before he thought about retirement.

“We are fortunate bishop chose SDV these last 12 years,” Shields said. “He encourages others to support this place that he loves, and now calls ‘home.’”

Bishop Rizzotto, on the other hand, is grateful to be part of the process that keeps SDV open to his community.

“I am amazed at the care and attention that people get here. Their lives are touched by living with people who are in the same boat,” he said. “We give them the opportunity to live among their peers and to deepen their faith through participation in the Eucharist and other activities. Other facilities might be better appointed, but none has the spiritual nourishment provided to seniors at SDV.”

The committee has decided to honor Bishop Rizzotto on my 60th anniversary.

“I am honored,” he said. “This tournament that carries my name provides so much good for the people of our city and Church.”

To sign up to play or sponsor this tournament, contact Kimberly Elliott at 713-741-8722 or kelliott@stdominicvillage.org.