I had the pleasure of meeting Rod Simons 8 years ago when we returned home from India. Our good friend Beth Rozga was serving on the local Gift of Adoption board when she had to take a new job assignment which caused her to have to leave the board. She called me and basically said ...Tom, there is a board that needs your help, Rod is a great guy and is doing great work but he needs your help.
Two weeks later Rod and I met and became instant friends, his passion for adoption and to help create forever families was the bond we shared.
In the past 8 years we have worked along side a group of incredible and passionate people working towards creating forever families. Rod drove us to the brink of madness with his visions and then his changes and then what about this...he was constantly trying to make improvements and make a bigger impact.
This is the 10th year of Rod's dream and sadly he was not part of the day. In February we lost Rod to a sudden heart attack and we were all deeply saddened by his loss. It was his dream and passion that carried us forward during this difficult time and we as a group were able to rally around Rod's dream of creating forever families. Over the past 10 years Rod was instrumental in creating over 125 forever families here in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota.
The golf tournament is the tool for raising money for the incredible cause and this year was no different. The people came, battled the rain and other elements but they came and participated ... buying silent action items, live action items, outright donating both in person and online and one lucky bidder paid $900 for me to come into his home to create a 4 course meal, a very humbling and inspiring moment.
I cannot express into words some of the feelings I had during they day looking around for Rod's smile, to hear his call for help or his infectious laugh. I know I felt his spirit and his gentle guidance and know going forward that the Golf for the Gift will continue too carry out his legacy and dream of creative forever families.