Tom Hodgson is Giving Back to What He Loves
Growing up in the Columbus area and dreaming of one day playing football for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Tom Hodgson never thought he would be as big a part of The Ohio State University as he is now becoming. As a very humble, down-to-earth entrepreneur, Hodgson believes in giving back to the community in any way possible. For the young business owner, the best way to give is to help a young student-athlete, which is why he has made a gift to the department of athletics that will help create a new endowed football scholarship.
“For me, if you are going to give an amount of money, why not help a student-athlete through school,” Hodgson said. “I am a huge Buckeye football fan and would have loved to play football here, so I think supporting a scholarship is one of the best ways to donate money.”
Hodgson’s affiliation with Ohio State began early. He was born at The Ohio State University hospital. He grew up in German Village, a small community on the south side of Columbus. As a child, he loved playing football with his friends not far from campus. In fact, they would ride their bikes to campus just so they could play football for 30 minutes while being surrounded by the history and tradition of what they all loved so much, Ohio State football. They would do what they could to play inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, only to be asked to leave.
“We actually got kicked out of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center quite frequently,” Hodgson said. “But that was a dream and goal of mine, to play football here, so I did what I could to make those dreams come true.”
The owner of Color World Housepainting, Inc., is now making dreams come true for future Buckeyes by establishing an endowed football scholarship. It is his way of giving back to something that has given him so much as a fan.
Going to high school at Bishop Ready, Hodgson always was looking for something to do. Just as a part-time job for extra money, he began working as a painter, just doing small side jobs in the area.
“While I was in high school, I played football and needed something else to do in the offseason, so I started painting,” Hodgson said. “You know, in a little place like German Village, there is always something that needs to be painted.”
After graduating from high school in 1993, Tom began working for a college painting company in the Columbus area. After a short while, Hodgson was basically running the local market for his employer. During the next few years, Hodgson gained enough experience and expertise to start his own painting company.
“I enjoyed what I did,” Hodgson said. “I was really good at the business side of the industry, as far as knowing my clients and building good relationships with the folks in the area.”
Starting his own company was an excellent route to take. As a result of this decision, Color World Housepainting was born in 1996. The company was incorporated in the spring of 1997 and has a very bright future in the industry. The original office was located in Columbus, Ohio, but Color World Housepainting has since expanded to the Cincinnati, Dayton and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., markets.
Not only does Color World Housepainting excel in exterior house painting, they also specialize in interiors as well. Hodgson and his company believe in doing the most they can to help others. This strong belief in philanthropy and the power of giving is what inspired him to support the university in the many ways that he has, and will in the future.
“We want to create a long-term relationship with Ohio State and we look to donate to the university and the surrounding community and also to support many more scholarships in the future,” Hodgson said.
Tom Hof, Ohio State’s associate athletics director for development, indicates the beauty of the endowed scholarship program is that both the supporter and the student-athlete benefit.
“The student-athlete benefits through the financial support of the donor, and the donor benefits through making a difference in someone’s life – but the best part are the relationships that are established between both parties.”
Hodgson has a daughter, Madeline (9), and a son, Drew (6), who look up to their father in many of the ways he looks up to his father. Hodgson grew up coming to Ohio State football games as a child and loves being part of it any way he can. His father graduated from Ohio State in 1964 and later received his master’s degree in 1971. Many of Hodgson’s family members are alumni of the university, which is another reason he loves Ohio State so much.
“It seems like every member of my family has graduated from Ohio State, which is an excellent example of how the university and surrounding area have been so great to me and my family,” Hodgson said. “Giving back to the community where I came from is very important to me.”
Not only does the football enthusiast give back to the community in the form of labor, he is also becoming a factor in the lives of young student-athletes. Helping young men and women through school is something that Hodgson feels is very important.
“My first love was Ohio State football and just having an opportunity to help kids go through school is a great honor for me and my family,” Hodgson said. “I know I would have loved to play here and if this is a way of helping someone else, then I will do what I can to make that happen.”
There are many young men and women in this world who dream of attending college, receiving a college education and participating in college athletics. Unfortunately, not all of them will get that chance. With community leaders, such as Hodgson, more and more of those future student-athletes will get that chance.