There is a reason that the Darol Rodrock Foundation fund-raising event on Jan. 17 is a casual blue-jeans-and-boots affair. Long-time Johnson County developer Darol Rodrock has a love of horses and wanted the event to reflect that interest.
Rodrock established the Foundation to benefit foster children, a group with which he identifies and understands, since he had a troubled childhood growing up in Kansas orphanages and foster homes.
Although the deadline to purchase tickets to the event has passed, a few tickets remain and may be purchased for $100 on the Foundation’s website DarolRodrockFoundation.org or by sending a check to the Rodrock Foundation, P.O. Box 25390, Overland Park, KS 66225. Contact Brenda Sanders at email@example.com or call 913-238-6370 to determine ticket availability.
This event, which also is Rodrock’s 70th birthday celebration, is shaping up to be a major highlight of the new year. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Overland Park Convention Center.
Rodrock is well known and respected in the real estate community because of his 35-year history as a prolific developer in Johnson County, where more than 30,000 people reside in the 80 communities he has developed.
But he also has been breeding, raising and riding horses for more than 35 years, winning many titles and buckles as an amateur rider. Rodrock also is passionate about making the horse industry better through his involvement in various associations and their governance.
In 2006 he won the Select Amateur Western Pleasure at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and placed fourth in the Amateur NCHA World Championship Cutting Futurity. He also has been the Senior Champion at the NCHA Super Stakes twice.
He is a past president of the National Snaffle Bit Association, has served on the American Quarter Horse Association’s board of directors and has been awarded the Jack Benson Award in the pleasure horse industry.
Rodrock passionately works to improve whatever he believes in and his newly established Darol Rodrock Foundation is just one more example of his dedication. He wants to do whatever he can to better the lives of foster children so that they can reach their potential just as the care and concern of his foster parents allowed him to do.
Rodrock said his life changed forever when his teacher, Lavone Robinson, and her husband, Ray, took him into their home.
“They provided unwavering guidance and a college education,” said the KU graduate who later went on to pay his own way earning his master’s degree in education.
It was during his 11-year career as a Shawnee Mission West High School history teacher and championship-winning wrestling coach that he began earning extra money for his growing family by painting houses, and eventually becoming a home builder before beginning a career as a residential developer.
The Jan. 17 event is the official launch of the charity and seeks to raise public awareness regarding the issue and raise money for this worthy cause.
Providing the evening’s entertainment will be the Blue Sky Riders, a band comprised of singer, songwriter and guitarist Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr.
Adding to the festivities will be a live auction by the Nigro Brothers. George Nigro is a member of the Foundation’s board and long-time friend of Rodrock.
“The Nigro Brothers and I are happy to support Darol Rodrock’s foundation because it will help a lot of children who have been left behind,” Nigro said. “I know that Darol’s dedication will pave the way to give children the confidence and support they need to reach their potential.”
Among the outstanding auction items are tickets to the April 2014 Masters Golf Tournament; trips to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Palm Desert, Calif.; and a deep-sea fishing expedition with Rodrock in Marco Island, Fla.
In addition to live entertainment, a variety of food stations will be offered and child advocate organizations will have informational displays.
Major sponsors include area Realtors, bankers, civic leaders and construction companies. Those who have worked with Rodrock throughout the years are confident that the Foundation will be successful.
Rodrock Development homeowners throughout Johnson County are getting on the bandwagon, too, with some communities making plans to transport attendees via rented party buses.
“Our neighborhoods are coming together to support a common good,” Sanders said. “They know how fortunate they are to live in these beautiful communities and they are ready to open their hearts and support Darol in this cause. Our Moms Council volunteers are rallying the troops for a very exciting evening.”
According to Rodrock, the first order of business is to ensure that all Foundation funds, whether his own endowment or tax-deductible donations from caring individuals, directly benefit the children the Foundation serves. Also of importance to Rodrock “is that this work continues forever.”
For information about the Darol Rodrock Foundation and the upcoming Jan. 17 fund-raising celebration, watch this section of The Kansas City Star, visit the Foundation’s website at DarolRodrockFoundation.org, contact Brenda Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 913-238-6370.