The Bexley Community Foundation recognized the philanthropy and community service of Rodney and Donna Wasserstrom with the group's 2012 Cornerstone Award on Sept. 27.
"Rodney and Donna epitomize the ideals of giving and community service," said Gary Giller, development director for the Bexley Community Foundation in a release from the organization. "A long and diverse list of organizations has benefited from the generosity and leadership of Rodney and Donna, the Wasserstrom family and the Wasserstrom Companies, including the National Kidney Foundation, Special Wish Foundation, COSI, United Way, the Columbus Jewish Foundation, Jewish Family Services, Columbus Jewish Community Center, Congregation Tifereth Israel, the Schottenstein Chabad House, Columbus Jewish Historical Society, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Columbus Zoo, Faith Mission, LifeCare Alliance, the Ohio State University, Nationwide Children's Hospital, YWCA Women's Family Shelter, Christmas for Children, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America. Rodney and Donna have also been sponsors of our 2011 and 2012 Building Our Foundation events."
Mr. Wasserstrom was introduced to helping others early in life. As a child, his father, Sidney, took him to the plant to pick out odds and ends of wood from mounds of sawdust for distribution to needy families for use as kindling. That early lesson shaped a personal, family and business philosophy.
When his uncle, Albert, died in 1979, Rodney Wasserstrom, at age 37, became president of the Wasserstrom Co. Together with other family members and associates, he played a key role in creating a business culture of community service while growing the business to 29 locations in 16 cities employing more than 1,000 people. Community service is such a key Wasserstrom family and business value that it is a component of the yearly bonus for the companies' managers.
Reflecting the values honored by the Cornerstone Award, Mr. Wasserstrom summed up the Wasserstrom giving philosophy saying, "No matter how much you give, you are always the greatest beneficiary."
"By personal example, Rodney and Donna have instilled in their family, business associates and others the importance of giving back to the community," Giller said in the BCF release.