|The jack-of-all-trades when itís time to help
Cotatiís Dave Wasson feels that even though it may look like work, donating time is a true pleasure
Dave Wasson doesn’t head up a charitable foundation, nor is he at the forefront championing a particular cause.
He’s one of those guys who you’ll see at certain events doing what he can to help out. Wasson is charitable with his time, and when necessary his money.
“With charity, it’s easy to flip a dollar at somebody,” he said. “I think charity is giving of your time, yourself, your efforts. It’s helping others, and it comes from the heart.”
By the time many are reading this story, Wasson, 58, will be at La Plaza Park in Cotati helping set up for the annual Cotati Accordion Festival. Last week, he told one of the event’s producers that he’ll be there to do whatever they need.
Jack of all trades
Wasson is a self-described jack-of-all-trades when it comes to helping out at events.
“I’m the guy that will take the jobs nobody else wants,” Wasson said. “At the 50th anniversary of Rohnert Park (in 2012), there were two, maybe three of us who were responsible for gathering the garbage…a nasty job.”
That was only part of his involvement that day. He said he later met up with people from the Education Foundation of Cotati and Rohnert Park before the start of the parade and …
“I ended up being in the parade in the rabbit costume getting sweaty and stinky,” Wasson said. “I actually had to run home, shower and change clothes before I came back to play in the garbage. It’s that kind of stuff…there’s always jobs no one wants to do. It’s a great way to fill in.”
Rotary and his church
Two groups that give him the outlet to be charitable are his involvement in Rotary and his membership at New Hope Church in Cotati. He is particularly involved with the church’s student ministries.
“With the ministries, it’s mostly support in the way of money,” he said. “Where I really got involved is when the kids were going to camp. I was lucky enough to go to camp with my church as a kid, so I wanted to make sure some possibly underprivileged kid got to go even if they didn’t have enough money. Luckily, the outcome was that, not through just my efforts but everyone in the church, none of the kids had to pay for their own camp.”
He likes being involved in Rotary because he says that club has its hands in several other charitable organizations.
Instilling charity in kids
Wasson grew up in Novato but spent all of his summers on his family’s farm in Oklahoma. Being that his parents are both from Oklahoma, he says he got the southern upbringing. He has two children, Laura, 24, of Santa Rosa, and John, 22, of Rohnert Park. He said he instilled being charitable into his children at a young age.
“They’re both so driven,” he said. “When they were kids and we’d see the person in front of Costco or sitting on a bench at Oliver’s with a sign saying help, instead of me giving that person a $5 or a $10 bill, I’d make them give it to them.
“They’d ask why. I’d say if you’ve got something to give, share it. I’ve been described as being generous to a fault.”
Digs small-town vibe
He is the owner of Wasson Investment Services in Rohnert Park, which provides financial and insurance advice. The Cotati resident has lived in Sonoma County since 1992. Before moving to this area, he worked in Sausalito, Petaluma, Novato and even Kansas. Though he never graduated from college, he did attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the College of Marin and Indian Valley College.
The small-town vibe is something Wasson relishes.
The people, the community, the small town atmosphere…it’s so nice to be connected to the people here,” Wasson said. “People stick up for each other. It’s friendly and it’s nice to know we aren’t walking with our faces down when we see somebody.”