Thursday, March 31, 2016

VIDEO - Legacy of believing in next generation lives on

Dave Waterman, Shell Rotella North America Marketing Manager, presents a $10,000 check to OOIDA Board Member Dick Pingle, OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer and OOIDA Board Member Monte Widerhold, who accepted the check on behalf of the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund. 
It’s become an annual thing of sorts to collect a big honking check from Shell Rotella to the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship fund at the Mid-America Trucking Show. While this year was no different – it was different.

Earlier this year, OOIDA treasurer, board member and scholarship fund committee chairman Bill Rode died unexpectedly. It was a shock to all who knew and loved Bill.

Among his many contributions to truck drivers and OOIDA, one of his most passionate causes was the scholarship fund for OOIDA descendants and dependents.

His enthusiasm for investing in the future of the next generation – whether they were going into a trucking-related field or not – was tireless. His dream was a self-sustaining fund that helped pay for five new college entrants each year, funding them at $2,000 and $1,000 levels renewable for a total of four years for tuition and other legitimate school-related expenses.

In a day when “youngsters,” “Millennials,” whatever label is tossed around, seem to be to the target of criticism for approaching life differently. It was no matter to Bill and others behind the scholarship fund. They saw and continue to see potential.

Bill’s passion for the scholarship fund and the students it benefited was infectious to say the least. That passion, in part, is responsible for the ongoing commitment Shell Rotella has made to the scholarship fund.

As we gathered for the $10,000 check presentation this year, Bill’s absence was felt by all. But it was important to carry on.

He had a vision. One was to make the dreams of more children, grandchildren and dependents of OOIDA members come true. With the help of Shell each year, that goal of a sustaining scholarship program and granting more dreams comes closer to becoming reality.

Bill would be proud.