Bob and Amanda Rogers like to be involved, but they’re not the type of people who want to stand in the spotlight.
Which is why Bob was not thrilled when the pastor of Impact Church asked him to make an announcement to the congregation about this year’s Love Week activities. Sure, Bob was organizing the event, but why couldn’t the pastor simply announce the dates himself?
“My best friend comes over and says, you’re going to want to record this,” Amanda recalls of that day.
After Bob finished his update, Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Baker stepped onto the stage. She was there with an important announcement of her own. Not only was Bob Rogers named a 2021 Lowell Person of the Year, but his wife Amanda would join him in sharing the honors.
It was certainly a surprise to them both. “I like to be the one making things happen, but from behind the curtain,” Bob says. The Rogers agree being selected as People of the Year is humbling and looking at the distinguished list of past honorees, Amanda opines, “We got it 20 years too early.”
Those who know the couple would likely disagree. With countless hours of volunteer work under their belts and a reputation for giving generously in any way possible, Bob and Amanda Rogers exemplify all the traits the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for when selecting their annual Person of the Year.
Organized and Efficient = Time to Help
Bob and Amanda Rogers have a full schedule with their regular jobs, volunteer work and parenting their two daughters: Katie and Daphne. However, Amanda says the two are naturally organized and make efficient use of their days which means they never feel as though they are sacrificing family time for other pursuits.
Plus, they have prioritized their activities to focus on those that make the most impact. “We don’t have boats or quads or a cottage,” Bob says. That means less time needs to be spent maintaining what they own and more time can be spent doing what they love.
By day, Bob is a program manager with a government agency. By night, you might find him sitting in board meetings for Flat River Outreach Ministries or the Community Center Committee. He also helps coordinate the annual Love Week event which has volunteers from area churches pitching in to complete projects all over town, from painting buildings to picking up trash.
Pre-pandemic, Bob was a mentor with Kids Hope for many years and worked with CLAY, which stands for Construct Lowell Area Youth. He also spearheaded projects to install new playground equipment at Bushnell Elementary School and Stoney Lakeside Park.
While all his volunteer work is rewarding, Bob points to his roles at FROM and with Love Week as having the most impact. “I joke that it’s [called] Love Week, but for me, it’s Love Year,” he says, noting the level of coordination needed to make the event a success.
Meanwhile, Amanda is the owner of Rogers Neighborhood Realty. She is also the leader of two Girl Scout troops, serves as treasurer for the Lowell Girl Scout Unit, has been the Lowell Township representative for the Lowell Area Recreation Authority and is on the board for Alpha Family Center and the Lowell Rotary Club. Like Bob, she has previously served as a mentor through Kids Hope.
Of these, Amanda says Girls Scouts is probably her favorite volunteer activity. “It provides so many opportunities for leadership growth for the girls,” she says.
Her appreciation for the organization led her to step up to be the Service Unit Director at a time when the Lowell unit was slated for elimination because of a lack of volunteers. Serving as the director was “terrifying,” according to Amanda, but it was worth stepping out of her comfort zone to ensure local troops continued to be overseen by a local unit.
That willingness to do whatever is necessary is a hallmark of Rogers’ commitment to service. While both would rather work behind the scenes, they step up to help out in whatever way is needed.
Up Next: Making Volunteer Connections
Bob and Amanda are passionate about public service and volunteerism, and their next project is one they hope will make it easier for others to get involved as well. The two are planning to create a database that will allow them to match people’s interests and skills to non-profit and community needs.
“I want to make it easy for people to [volunteer],” Bob says. He notes that people may not know how to get involved, or they may worry that if they do volunteer, they will end up being expected to put in regular hours for an organization. He hopes to take some of the uncertainty and guesswork out of the process of volunteering.
To start, Bob plans to connect with people via Facebook, but eventually, he’d like to have a website where people can browse volunteer opportunities or offer their talents.
“It’s a feeling of satisfaction knowing you’ve been part of making your community a better place,” Amanda says. While she and Bob have never worked to gain accolades for themselves, they are humbled and appreciative of being selected the 2021 Lowell People of the Year. Their hope is that the honor may inspire others.
Maybe, through their help and encouragement, a future Person of the Year will start on the path of volunteerism today.