Edison Innovation Foundation (the “Edison Foundation”), based in Newark, New Jersey, has given the “Thomas Edison Humanitarian Award” to Richard Dodd (“Richie”) , a resident of Eatontown, New Jersey, for services rendered to the community during Hurricane Sandy. The Edison Foundation, created on behalf of Charles Edison, for his father Thomas Edison, promotes science and technology education and supports the legacy of Thomas Edison, from its offices in downtown Newark, New Jersey.
Richie Dodd, is the owner of the Rumson Exxon service station, in Rumson, New Jersey. During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when power was out for much of coastal New Jersey, including Rumson Exxon, Richie devised a clever method (Thomas Edison would be proud) to extract gasoline from his underground service station tanks in order to supply the community residents with gasoline to fill their 5 gallon gas tanks and keep their home generators, and electricity, working. With a makeshift, lengthy pipe assembly, mated to a 1940s era hand pump, Richie got the gas flowing (more than 30,000 gallons over 2 weeks) so residents could keep their generators going. He told a TV reporter “You have to do it for the people…..as long as the people need it, we’ll pump it”. Richie made sure there were no price increases, no gouging as honest as he is and committed to helping people.
Aside from a blizzard of thank you notes from those who visited his station and out-of-state congratulatory notes as well, his efforts did not go unnoticed by TV news and media outlets and his story was featured on CBS Evening News on November 5, 2012. For his selfless actions, the Edison Foundation, awarded Richie Dodd the 2014 Thomas A. Edison Humanitarian Award.
John Keegan, Chairman and President of the Edison Fund, said “I think this was an unbelievable sacrifice by Richie and his team at Rumson Exxon to pump by hand 30,000 gallons of gasoline to help those who needed to run their generators for heat and the basic necessities during the aftermath of Storm Sandy. Richie Dodd is every bit the humanitarian as Thomas Edison, the great inventor who developed so many wonderful products that took the drudgery out of our lives. Thank you Richie.”