The Hardesty family lives by a mantra: “If you can dream, you can achieve.”
Begin with a vision, says Michelle Hardesty. “Work hard and don’t veer from the mission.”
Michelle’s parents, Roger and Donna Hardesty, grew up in the western Oklahoma town of Fort Cobb. The children of farmers and schoolteachers, each knew the meaning of hard work when they met at age 15.
Roger applied that ethic to a career of entrepreneurship in construction and aviation in Tulsa. Now, Michelle sees parallels between his professional journey and the long process of medical research.
“My father had some pretty big dreams. He had to stick to them and make them happen,” says Michelle. “It’s not much different in science. You set up a hypothesis and move forward and learn.”
Today, Roger and Donna’s legacy includes a growing family tree of two children and three grandchildren. Together, they make up the Hardesty Family Foundation, which has given more than $2 million to OMRF.
“OMRF impacts the whole state,” says Michelle, who serves as the foundation’s executive director. “We want to make our community safer, healthier and a better place to live. OMRF does that.”
Michelle instilled her parents’ resolve in son Connor at a young age. Now a pilot and board member for the Hardesty Family Foundation, Connor believes supporting medical research puts the state on “the right track.” “Giving to OMRF improves the health of Oklahoma.”
Maintaining that support, Connor says, is key to ensuring his grandparents’ dream of bettering people’s lives through philanthropy will continue to soar.
Read more from The Givers
Building The Foundation
Matter of Trust
Giving with Gratitude
The Next Generation
Partnering for Health
A Family Affair