Being involved with Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center is a family affair for Stuart and Rebecca Rodie, and they’ve been avid supporters since day one.
Rebecca, herself a physician, suspected autism when her son, Willie failed to respond to their voices or make eye contact. His pediatrician wasn’t convinced, so the Rodies looked elsewhere for answers eventually connecting with SARRC co-founder Dr. Raun Melmed.
Coincidentally, their son was diagnosed in his office on the day papers were signed to found SARRC, the fledgling nonprofit that would grow into an internationally recognized organization.
The Rodie Family has been actively involved with SARRC since 1998 offering their support in a multitude of ways.
“We have attended all the Community Breakfast events but one,” says Stuart, a retired banker. “With a son with autism we had a direct connection, and soon the whole family was involved.”
Bill Rodie, Stuart’s father, has served on SARRC’s board and joined the Grandparents Support Group with his wife, Sondra. Additionally, his brother Don has become involved in the Annual Community Breakfast—SARRC’s signature fundraising event. And Stuart currently serves as a member on the Finance Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the fiscal and investment management of SARRC’s finances.
Stuart and Rebecca also have been long-time financial supporters, recently joining the Multiyear Visionary Partner (MVP) program, which recognizes donors who make an annual gift for five years or more.
“I am always overwhelmed by the (Community) Breakfast and the amazing support of the community and the dedication of Denise (Resnik) and other leaders who are committed to growing SARRC,” says Rebecca. “It is amazing to see what can happen when you get a small group of very committed community members moving.”
Rebecca remembers having to do everything for Willie in the early days of his diagnosis with few community resources. “Now families have SARRC.”
As they look to the future, the Rodies see their gifts supporting critical research to identify reasons behind the escalation of autism and to improve the lives of children and adults on the autism spectrum.
“The school systems still struggle to serve children with autism. We would love to see SARRC Community Schools throughout Arizona and beyond so all children who need us can be served,” says Stuart.
Are you interested in making a difference by becoming a SARRC Multiyear Visionary Partner? Learn more here.