Photos by Anaika Miller
Though known by close friends and family for his generosity,
Robert “Bobby” Philips isn’t one to talk about the work he does for the local community.
In addition to the business his company, New River Recycling, brings to the area, Philips chops and delivers wood to needy families every winter. He also grew a pumpkin patch last year and invited underprivileged and special needs children to pick a pumpkin for free.
It was this community service and Philips’ “big heart” that Blacksburg Rotary Club member Tommy Loflin pointed out when recognizing Philips as the Club’s 2016 Citizen of the Year Thursday.
“There’s a lot of excellent people living the Rotarian life out there who are not Rotarians,” Loflin said. “It just comes natural to Bobby.”
Loflin said the Club selects a recipient for the award based on how well they exhibit the Rotary Four-Way Test: is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Recipients cannot already be Rotarians.
Philips acknowledged the many people who have helped him grow his business, including his wife, Tanya Philips.
“It takes a lot of people to help you get this far,” Bobby said.
Tanya said she was proud of her husband, and thankful to the Club for celebrating his work.
“He’s the type of person who likes to give back to the community so this is the kind of organization he likes to be recognized by,” Tanya said.
Bobby’s name will be added to the Club’s Citizen of the Year plaque.
“The 30 names that are on this plaque are the cream of the crop,” Loflin said.
The Club will also make a donation of $500 to Roanoke Children’s Hospital in Bobby’s name.
“I sure appreciate this honor, and I’ll cherish this,” Philips said as he accepted the award.