'12 months of Ang' projects help parents overcome hurdles of hurt
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Angela Roderick absolutely loved the game of softball. When her dad Tony Roderick looks out at the empty fast pitch field at Meridian High School in Bellingham, he still sees his daughter's smile and hears her rooting on team mates.
Angela died in a head-on crash eight months ago. A driver passing a semi-truck slammed into the 18-year-old's car.
Every month since that Oct. 22 tragedy, Angela's parents have memorialized their daughter with a charitable project. They call it the 12 months of Ang.
"It's hard enough not having her here, so I'm trying to make something good out of something bad," said her mother Char Roderick.
They donated 22 gowns to a prom dress drive, money to fast pitch teams that played against their daughter's team, and for a pregnancy clinic fundraiser the Roderick's filled a baby bottle with dollars and pennies for every day and hour and minute since their daughter's death.
"This is just another way of me showing her that I love her," said Char who has her daughter's name tattooed on her arm.
The biggest donation of all is at the Bellingham school's ballfield where Tony witnessed his daughter's first home run her senior year. Angela had wanted to build batting cages for her senior project but the first base player ran into issues with time and money.
"About three days after her accident, first thing wife and I say is we're gonna do batting cages, we're gonna building batting cages for the school," Tony said.
Using $13,000 from insurance after Angela's accident, the Rodericks are installing a huge batting cage for the Meridian High Trojans. It's a way to help the parents overcome hurdles of hurt and keep their daughter's legacy of giving alive.
"She'll live on," said Meridian assistant principal Kurt Harvill. "This is a physical symbol that everybody gets to enjoy. But if you knew Angela you will never forget her."
Angela's nickname as a middle schooler was Beast because of her behavior. Her dad says there will likely be a painting of a beast on one of the batting cage poles when it's finished.