Volunteer spirit drives Rudolph as Oxford Citizen of the Years

Mike Rudolph

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Mike Rudolph

The saying goes, “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.”

That is certainly the case with Mike Rudolph. He is always busy and he is always getting something done.

In a nomination letter for his consideration as Citizen of the Years, his wife Pate acknowledged that and wrote a big part of that busy life is spent with family, too, making her proud of his commitment to his family and the Oxford community, closing with, “We are all lucky to have such a passionate supporter.”

“I know many of you know Michael and are familiar with his record of volunteering in the Oxford Community. While the list of organizations and causes he has supported with his personal time and sweat equity is a long one, I would like to share how his volunteer spirit has impacted our family.

“From the time I met him 28 years ago this month, he has been sharing his time and talents with the Oxford community. He was always involved with committees and projects at the United Methodist Church and supported the initiatives put in place to grow the youth activities in the church in the early 1990s. He led many stewardship campaigns and chaired committees to support the efforts of the church to make life better for the church and in Oxford as a whole.

“That was just my first glimpse of how he viewed his commitment to Oxford. His volunteer spirit has remained strong and consistent for the past 28 years - and I am sure it was there even before that. While there were times that our family felt like he was too busy, we got to see a great role model for giving back and taking care of your community. He truly believed that you should be active in your community at any level that you are able - and he still lives that today,” Pate Rudolph wrote.

She went on to outline her husband’s community involvements in the Talawanda Schools, the Talawanda Bands program, civic committees and the Kiwanis Club. the list is extensive.

Those Talawanda district efforts included founding the Kramer Elementary K-Kids club in 2006, sponsoring the Builders Club, Cub Pack 961 and Boy Scout Troop 930. He has often paid school fees for Kramer students so they could receive their report cards and secured grant money through New York Life Insurance company for Grief Sensitive Schools to help children and caregivers deal with the death of a loved one. He assisted in the Reach Out and Read program with Oxford Pediatrics and spoke in personal finance and career and college readiness classes as well as helping organize career resource programs for high school students to meet with people in various businesses to discuss career paths and opportunities.

The nomination letter also noted he helped gather funds through Kiwanis and local businesses to support such things as the eighth-grade trip to Washington DC and the band’s trip to Indianapolis.

He has supported the Talawanda Bands program as a band parent, Band Booster volunteer and president, helping to make the band’s wreath sale their biggest fundraiser and helping secure money for instruments, uniforms, travel and band jackets.

Rudolph has served on the boards of the Oxford Chamber of Commerce, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital, Oxford Parks and Recreation, the Oxford Community Foundation as well as serving as chair and vice chair of the Chamber board, Chamber Champion and Chamber MBA president. He has served on town/gown-related committees such as the alcohol task force and city Student Community Relations Commission.

His service to the Kiwanis Club includes past club president, four-time Lt. Governor, various Ohio District positions, Hixsin recipient, Salvation Army bell ringing, the Kiwanis food drive, Pancake Day and the Citizen of the Year program.

“It is a running joke in the family - what committee/project will Michael say ‘no’ to in the upcoming year? As you can see from the very limited list above, his schedule is packed with work and family and service to his community, and each one of those is a full-time job for Michael. With those kinds of hours, that is why we often ask the question about which thing will he give up in the upcoming year. The answer has been the same every year - nothing. If he leaves a board or committee, he joins another one. If he sees a need and thinks he can help, he will. Let me tell you that that can make for a fabulous and frustrating journey, for our entire family. Really the only frustrating part was watching Michael feel like he should always do more. The fabulous part is that we could not be more proud of Michael and his commitment to our family and to the Oxford Community. We are all lucky to have such a passionate supporter,” the nomination concluded.

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