January 13, 2023
David Hodgkins has been a member of the Charlotte Dilworth South End Rotary Club since 1974. If you didn’t know he was from Massachusetts, you might be able to discern that fact from his accent which he hasn’t lost in spite of being in Charlotte for more than 50 years. While in Massachusetts, David obtained his BBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his MBA from the University of Massachusetts.
David has served in many capacities while in the Dilworth Rotary Club, including being club President twice, a member of the Dilworth Board of Directors for multiple years, and a member of our non-profit Board, Dilworth Charities. David also served as an Assistant Governor for the District for several years.
When you think of the word “service”, you can’t help but think of David Hodgkins. He has been a consistently reliable service-oriented Rotarian throughout his tenure as a member of the Dilworth Rotary Club. He’s been a volunteer bellringer for almost 50 years with the Salvation Army, a steady volunteer for the USO for many years, organizer of our East Boulevard quarterly street-cleaning crew for over twenty years, and a consistent international volunteer through his many trips to Peru since 2001.
David and his wife, Donna, have lived in the Dilworth area for 15 years. They have three children and five grandchildren. Family is a huge centering aspect of David and so when he and Donna lost their daughter, Jessica in 2008, to cancer at the age of 30, it was incredibly heartbreaking. It was that loss that caused Donna and David to start the Purple Promise Foundation to End Melanoma in her memory and honor. Purple Promise is a 501(c3) Foundation with a two-fold mission of increasing awareness of melanoma through sun safety education and funding focused research grants at Levine Cancer Institute with the goal of ultimately finding a cure for melanoma. David also serves on the Melanoma Advisory Board at Levine Cancer Institute as well as the Advisory Board for the annual Save-Your-Skin Golf Tournament that supports Levine. You’ll find him at many community events, involving walking, biking, or running, passing out sunscreen to prevent the recurrence of this.
David put it best when he said this: “Losing a child is perhaps the hardest thing in life to deal with - you never get over it or through it; you just learn to move forward by doing everything you can to remember your child and in our case, our daughter, and to honor her life with positive things that will hopefully benefit others in her memory.”
Losing a loved one is never simple, as David says. We hope you can join us and learn how he and Donna continue to navigate a journey none of us ever wishes to take.