GAR invests in Greater Akron to promote quality of life, education, and economic opportunities for its people, in a culturally vibrant community.
Established in 1967, GAR Foundation was born of the philanthropic desire of the Roush family to support the needs of those in the local community. GAR is an acronym for our founders, Galen and Ruth Roush and is pronounced je-a-ar.
Galen Roush co-founded Roadway Express during the Great Depression in 1930 with his brother, Carroll. Their first shipment was a load of B.F. Goodrich tires which left Akron, OH headed for St. Louis, MO. By 1939, Roadway was the largest long-haul trucking company in the United States.
Through careful stewardship and superior service, Roadway Express grew into a global transportation company servicing over 100 countries by the 1990’s. Galen believed superior service was much more than delivering freight on-time, it was about the experience. Because of his servant minded leadership and the innovation of Roadway’s employees, the company excelled in providing extraordinary experiences for their customers for over 80 years.
Galen and his wife Ruth loved their home area of Akron and Summit County, and never stopped investing in their community. GAR Foundation was established by Galen and Ruth Roush to be a way in which their legacy of serving others could continue on long after they were gone.
GAR has awarded over $230 million in grants since its inception to nonprofit organizations who advance our strategies in the areas of education, basic needs and independence, arts and culture, and civic enhancement. Today, GAR’s distribution committee meets quarterly to make grantmaking decisions on behalf of the Foundation.
We are proud of our heritage. Every GAR employee is committed to serving others and continuing the legacy of what was started nearly 50 years ago.