HURON – Blair and Verna Rodman taught their children the importance of lending a helping hand whenever they could.
It was in their DNA, and now it’s in the makeup of Mike and Greg Rodman and Martie Stulken.
“Particularly my mother,” Mike of Rapid City said. “She was always one to anonymously give donations when there was somebody in need, somebody ill or if somebody got hurt, or a family where some kind of a tragedy happened.”
Frank Rodman, best known by his middle name, Blair, died 15 years ago. Verna passed away in May.
Mike, Martie of Aurora, and Greg of Draper, Utah, are donating the proceeds from an online auction of their folks’ 1992 and 1997 Lincoln Town Cars to the Huron Community Foundation.
The well-cared for cars are on display in the Advance Auto Parts parking lot on Dakota Avenue South in Huron.
Huron auctioneer Ben Meyer is donating his services and Prostrollo Motors is detailing the cars at no cost.
Foundation board members are elated with the gift.
“As far as we know, it’s the first of this type of donation we’ve had,” said board member Carolyn Stahl. “That’s really special and will maybe encourage other people to think of the foundation with those types of donations.”
The Huron Community Foundation is one of 70 community savings accounts in South Dakota. Donated funds are invested by the South Dakota Community Foundation, with 4.5 percent of the average value available to give back to nonprofits annually.
Auctioneer Ben Meyer will be conducting the online auction on Facebook.
Mike Rodman said his parents taught their children that there are always people who are worse off.
“We wanted to give something back to the community where our parents lived their whole married lives,” he said.
Blair and Verna Rodman are also remembering their own childhood roots. Some of the proceeds from the sale of their Huron house will go to set up a scholarship fund for the Hitchcock-Tulare School District.
Each graduated from Hitchcock High School, and the Blair and Verna Scholarship Fund will provide two $1,500 a year scholarships for deserving students.
Verna talked about setting up some kind of a scholarship fund before she passed away last spring. Before Blair died, they agreed to donate his organs to benefit others.
“Their philosophy was to help out where they could,” their daughter, Martie, said. “Mom, especially in recent years, said she would like to help somebody else.”
It came in many forms, including her anonymous donations when she read in the newspaper about someone having a hard time, she said.
“Giving those vehicles is something we can do to kind of celebrate their life and that sense of giving back they instilled in us even as small kids,” Mike Rodman said.
PHOTO BY ROGER LARSEN/PLAINSMAN
Steve Gohn, left, the chairman of the Huron Community Foundation board of directors, accepts two Lincoln Towncars from Mike Rodman, which will be auctioned with the proceeds going to the Foundation. The cars belonged to longtime Huron residents Frank and Verna Rodman.