Shell Rotella donates $10,000 to OOIDA-Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund
Scholarship committee Chairman Bill Rode reported that the 2008 fundraising efforts totaled more than $48,000. Other committee members are Paula Chambers, Mark and Margo Elrod, Joan Rajkovacz, Betty Owen, Rita Wilkins, Martha Taylor, Jim Mathews and Lesa Godwin.

By Clarissa Kell-Holland
staff writer


For nearly 11 years now, the OOIDA Scholarship Committee has helped children and grandchildren of OOIDA members achieve their dreams of going on to college or trade school.

Now, they will be able to help even more young people wanting to further their educations. The committee has received the news that Shell Rotella is donating $10,000 to the scholarship fund named in honor of Mary Johnston, the late wife of OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston.

Land Line Magazine’s Advertising Director Alex Gates broke the news to scholarship committee members April 22 at the spring meeting of the OOIDA Board of Directors.

“The OOIDA-Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund is something that is near and dear to my heart, and I am so proud that Shell Rotella saw the importance of backing this program with their $10,000 donation,” Gates said at the meeting.

Gates’ announcement was followed by loud cheers and a few tears by those on the committee who have worked so hard to advance OOIDA’s scholarship program.

OOIDA Scholarship Committee Chairman Bill Rode of Eagle, ID, said this donation from Shell is a “blessing and will definitely be put to good use” to help even more young people.

Paula Chambers, wife of OOIDA General Vice President Woody Chambers of Eddyville, KY, said she volunteered to be on the first scholarship committee because she and several others in the Association saw the value of helping to educate young people.

“When we started this, there just weren’t scholarship programs out there for young people from trucking families. We saw young people who wanted to go to college or wanted to learn a trade, but might not get to attend without some assistance,” she said.

Those eligible for the scholarships include the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of dues-paying OOIDA members.

The members of the OOIDA Scholarship Committee are already in planning mode for how they can raise money for the next round of scholarship applicants.

For members wanting to support the committee’s efforts, cookbooks are available for $10 in the OOIDA “Cheap Freight” Store at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, MO. The recipes were supplied by OOIDA Board members and their spouses.

“We are just trying to help our young people get a little further down the road,” Rode said.

This year’s OOIDA scholarship winners will be announced in the July issue with a follow-up feature in the August/September issue. LL