Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

City People

Award honors Franci Golman Rudolph's commitment to helping others

Franci Golman Rudolph has been helping others since she was 14. Now 58, she is being honored for her charitable efforts. “I’m just a person willing to do the work,” she says.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Franci Golman Rudolph has been helping others since she was 14. Now 58, she is being honored for her charitable efforts. “I’m just a person willing to do the work,” she says.

BEACH PARK ISLES

“How many hours do you have?" asked Franci Golman Rudolph. She is sitting at her kitchen table, clearly preferring the limelight to be on her philanthropic works rather than herself. She tells a story of a stuttering child who gained the confidence to speak through a scholarship to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Her passion is evident.

• • •

Then there's the stroke team at St. Joseph's Hospital, working with new technology that can bust a clot and reverse stroke damage.

Rudolph, 58, plays her part in these efforts and many more, serving on boards at local hospitals, museums, art programs and schools.

"We say so much more by what we do than by what we say," Rudolph said.

She likes quotes. She recites one by Robert Frost.

The world is filled with willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.

Rudolph is the type to roll up her sleeves and do the work.

"Who in this community and beyond has she not touched?" asked her sister, Gail Golman Holtzman.

Rudolph grew up in Chicago and first became a philanthropist when she was 14. She joined an organization that worked with developmentally challenged children. Many of the children were bigger than her. She was undaunted.

Then, while a student at Syracuse University with a triple major in special education, elementary education and psychology, she helped found a halfway house. After graduating, she taught special needs children, until having her own children.

When her children were in school, she immersed herself in Tampa organizations.

"If there was a need, she just spearheaded it and took charge of the fundraising efforts," said her sister.

So, this past spring when a group from the American Jewish Committee asked her to lunch, she figured they wanted her help.

They told her about the Human Relations Award, given nationally and locally, that they wanted to present. This, they told her, was the first year it would be given in Tampa. They showed her a long list of past national recipients including Jimmy Carter, Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood.

Rudolph had several people in mind to suggest, but the group told her they had already made their decision: her.

The committee had investigated people in the Tampa area and chose Rudolph based on the lives she has touched through her work. "There was no question in our minds," said Brian Lipton, director of West Coast Florida Chapter. "She is a true humanitarian."

They organized a dinner to honor Rudolph that was scheduled to take place Thursday at the A La Carte Event Pavilion, after City Times went to press.

Rudolph was shocked and humbled by the honor, she said. She decided to accept the award only after considering how it might further promote her adopted causes.

>>fast facts

Franci Golman Rudolph

Recipient of: Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee

Her day: Sept. 25, as declared by Mayor Pam Iorio in an official proclamation for the city of Tampa.

Age: 58

Home: Beach Park Isles

Family: Husband, Richard; son, Benjamin; daughter, Lesley

Unwinds: with needlepoint and calligraphy

Word she can't say: "No." She has many buttons and pins from friends encouraging her to say no. "I'm about helping others."

Served on boards : Florida Orchestra, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Tampa Museum of Art, Florida Holocaust Museum, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Berkeley Preparatory School, Junior League of Tampa and many more.

Award honors Franci Golman Rudolph's commitment to helping others 09/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. And the most-searched NFL player in Florida is ...

    Bucs

    The Bucs just faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason, and open their 2017 season at the Miami Dolphins. So with the state's NFL competition ahead of and just behind the Bucs, who do you think is the NFL player most searched on Google by Floridians?

    Fans react with excitement moments after the Bucs announce their first-round pick at the team's 2016 NFL draft party. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Video captures shark attack on seal at crowded beach

    Nation

    ORLEANS, Mass. — A shark attack on a seal at a Cape Cod beach sent beachgoers scrambling, and surfers a few yards away had to frantically swim to shore.

    Thayer Wade captured video of  a shark attacking a seal off a Cape Cod beach. His uncle Pat O'Brien shared the video on Twitter.
  3. Florida firefighter spears giant 409-pound grouper in St. Pete Beach competition

    Wildlife

    ST. PETERSBURG — It took six sets of hands to drag a 409-pound Warsaw Grouper to the stage.

    James Taylor, a Bradenton firefighter, speared a 409-pound grouper near St. Pete Beach during a competition over the weekend. (Courtesy of Michelle Taylor)
  4. Don't know what to do with those eclipse glasses? Donate them.

    Human Interest

    Those who were able to snag a pair of coveted solar eclipse glasses for Monday's event witnessed a moment in history. But now that the eclipse is over, many are left wondering: What do I do with my …

    Workers pass out eclipse viewing glasses during a solar eclipse party on August 21, 2017 at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Tampa, Fla. Tampa experienced a partial eclipse. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
  5. Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts high fashion

    National

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

    Steven Mnuchin and his then- financee Louise Linton watch as President Donald Trump speaks during Mnuchin's swearing-in ceremony as  treasury secretary in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 13. [Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images]