By Sarah Slayman
B.J. Roach, 87, has been presented with the Service Above Self award by The Grove City Rotary Club for his dedication to service, love for his community, and commitment to family.
The Rotary Club of Grove City is an organization that aims to provide humanitarian service in both their own town and spaces in need around the world. Their club consists of 39 members over 27 years who have raised and donated over $650,000 to support various projects and extend their initiatives worldwide. Each year they select a member of the community who displays their treasured characteristic of service and honor them with an award. On July 28 at the George Edge Music Park during the city’s Homecoming Celebration, Roach was selected as the 2023 recipient.
Jan Roasa, president of The Grove City Rotary Club, kicked off the ceremony by describing Roach primarily as, “Someone who has changed their community through years of service.”
They recognized him as a lifelong resident, civic minded man, and philanthropist who has willingly given without seeking recognition. Roach is determined to leave the world better than he found it.
He was the president of Grove City Lions Club, six-year member of the city’s planning commission, president of the Southwest Realtor Association, Town Center Renovation Committee, sponsor of the YMCA, member of the Chamber of Commerce and much more.
Roach gave land for a park, resources to the local food pantry, scholarships to collegiate students, and provided consistent support to the Grove City Methodist Church.
Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage commends Roach in saying, “B.J. has continued to give generously to our city.”
Though he has a list of commendable accomplishments, his proudest lies in the family that he and his wife, Jody, of 65 years have nurtured, all residing in Grove City. Roach is a father of two, grandfather of three, and a growing great grandfather of six. All were able to contribute to the ceremony by speaking of the wonderful man that many got to experience in meetings, but that they knew across the dinner table.
One of his grandchildren, Nick Roach, recognizes his grandfather’s strengths in saying, “My grandpa – his whole life, he has been a hard worker. Even at 87, he gets out everyday and accomplishes something.”
His granddaughter, Kacie Waugh, added, “Our grandparents have always been so supportive of us and invested in our futures.”
Roach is an example of how powerful one dedicated life can be to a local community.
Healthy towns are a product of men and women who work year after year behind the scenes, and generations will continue to reap the benefits of his labor.
His son, Chris Roach, recognizes this by saying, “We know that the legacy of BJ Roach will live on in this community after we are all gone.”
Upon receiving the award, Roach was very quick to note that, “If it wasn’t for Jody, my wife, I’m sure I wouldn’t have done what I’ve done.”
He hopes to inspire his community in saying, “Everybody should offer what they can. Get out there and help people.”