Robert Van Houten and Ross Rizzo To Be Honored

DANBURY—Immaculate High School will present the Nancy K. Dolan Leadership Award to Robert Van Houten ‘72 of New Fairfield and the Distinguished Service Award to Ross Rizzo of Danbury at the 2018 Immaculate Spring Gala on April 7 at the WCSU-O’Neill Center.

The Nancy K. Dolan Leadership Award was established in 2006 in honor of Nancy Dolan, the first chairperson of the Immaculate High School Advisory Board. This award honors special individuals who exemplify the beliefs, dedication and work efforts of Mrs. Dolan, who served IHS tirelessly and was a strong community leader committed to Catholic education, works of charity and to helping those in need. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who aid and support Immaculate High School and its young men and women. Recipients have served in or around the school community and have directly aided IHS students in striving to be the best they can be both in and out of school.

“A Spectacular Immaculate Gala Under the Big Top” will raise funds for programs and activities supporting students at Immaculate High School in Danbury, CT. The event features entertainment, cocktails, dinner and silent and live auctions. NEW this year is mobile bidding, which will allow guests to bid on auction items from their mobile devices at the event or remotely if they are unable to attend. For tickets, program ads and/or to sponsor the event, contact Debbie Basile, Director of Advancement, at 203.744.1510, ext. 159 or go to

Robert Van Houten, a 1972 a graduate of Immaculate High School, is being recognized for his various contributions to IHS, including organizing the Immaculate Alumni Association, the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Annual Golf Tournament.  Appointed by Bishop Edward Egan, Mr. Van Houten served on the inaugural Immaculate High School Advisory Board of Directors in 2000 and served as Co-Chair of the Development Committee and later as Secretary of the Board. Mr. Van Houten provided pro bono accounting and advisory services to the IHS accounting and finance offices while acting as a liaison with the Diocese of Bridgeport.  He also organized and administers the Mark J. McGetrick Memorial Scholarship at Immaculate High School, which has has awarded over $112,000 to deserving students at IHS.  His community service also includes assisting the Danbury War Memorial, the Macricostas Family Scholarship Foundation at Photronics, Inc. and countless non-profit organizations such as the Greater Danbury Area Korean War Veterans Memorial, The Donovan Children’s Education Trust, Old Timers Association of Greater Danbury, the South-West Conference, New Fairfield Goal Club and the Wolverine Foundation, as well as coaching youth sports in New Fairfield. Mr. Van Houten is the principal of Van Houten & Company, LLC, an accounting practice that serves businesses and individual clients in the Greater Danbury area.

Ross Rizzo, an advocate for Catholic school education, has been an active alumni parent to Immaculate High School for many years.  As a member of the IHS Development Committee for six years, Mr. Rizzo offered his time, creativity and expertise to raise necessary funds for Immaculate. In his position as Chairperson of the IHS Golf Outing annual fundraiser, Mr. Rizzo partnered with the school’s Advancement Office team to create a plan to increase participation and monies for the school. His committed service in 2012-16 exceeded planned annual fundraiser event goals and assisted the school with raising over $240,000 for the operating budget.  In addition to his fundraising efforts, Mr. Rizzo was instrumental in leading the IHS softball field reconstruction project in 2012. Besides his service at Immaculate High School, Ross served as Chairman of the St. Gregory’s School Board for seven years and as a member of the Abbott Tech Electrical Craft Committee for 20 years.  His selfless contributions earned him the Henry Abbott Tech Alumni of the Year award in 2007 and in 2012 the St. Gregory’s School Volunteer of the Year award. Mr. Rizzo is co-owner of NY-CONN, one of the leading electrical contractors in the Greater Danbury area; he and the company actively support over 20 local non-profit organizations.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others and personal goals. Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s parochial school system. For more information, go to