Pat Roberts is a woman of many talents but the one that invigorates her most is volunteering. Her experiences are diverse but her activism is fueled by a desire to help women improve their lives. Born in a small rural city, she married young, became a single mom, worked, volunteered at church, went back to school, found a great job in Syracuse, NY and moved her four daughters there for better opportunities. It was a struggle as she realized that corporate work was a man’s world; she learned to work harder and expect no favors. This is when she first helped start a non-profit, the Rape Crisis Center of Central New York, with her two grown daughters and friends; raising awareness and funds, finding volunteers and staffing a rape hotline.
About that time she met and married a great guy, Jim, who had a heart for helping others. On a winter trip, they discovered Florida and made a decision. She and Jim packed up and moved their family to Bradenton. After a few years of struggling to become established, they started volunteering again.
She discovered she thrived on helping fledgling non-profits form and grow. It felt natural to network, find volunteers and new board members, make speeches, gains community support, and create and work on fundraising events. Over the past 40 years, she has touched:
Women’s Network, ABWA – co-chaired first Business Women’s Strut, Manatee Religious Services – co-chaired first MRS Dinner fundraiser, Habitat for Humanity – Public relations chair, Day Break – day care for Alzheimer’s’ patients, Women’s Resource Center of Manatee – helped move the center to their current location at 1926 Manatee Avenue, Arts Center of Manatee – Board member, Feeding Empty Little Tummies (FELT) – Providing backpacks of weekend meals to homeless children in 18 elementary schools through Project Heart is now her passion.
Pat has been named a “Hometown Hero” by the Bradenton Herald and has also been honored by the AAUW with a Leadership Award for Business Entrepreneur of the Year; she has found that Manatee County is full of good-hearted and open-handed caring people!!!