It was a secret that was really hard to keep. Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce awarded Marsha Roby the distinguished Community Member of the Year award at the annual End of the Year Mixer at the Greenville Town Hall.
Roby, a music teacher who taught for PUSD in Chester schools for years, retired seven years ago. She has been anything, but retired in the Indian Valley community where she and her husband, Ken Roby, have made their home for the last 38 years.
Roby’s volunteerism never seems to waiver and, though “retired,” she has a full dance card of activities in the community.
For the past four years, she’s been volunteering by teaching music at Indian Valley Elementary School in first- through fourth-grade classes.
Through the Indian Valley YOUth Summit, she’s brought afterschool activities classes and mentorships to students throughout Indian Valley — everything from babysitting classes to hair braiding. She finds children in the valley the mentors they need, and gives the mentors the opportunity to interact with children they otherwise may not have known.
She may love retirement and the space to be able to do things her way and have time for her walks and yoga, but she did miss working with kids. Her volunteerism feeds that yearning to be in the classroom.
She also works extensively with the youth group at the Methodist Church and can be seen taking youth to the Bay Area to volunteer there.
Perhaps her greatest gift to the community is getting people together for choirs. She has a group that sings at functions and activities that is intergenerational. For Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce, the choir was the perfect way to make sure she was at the End of the Year Mixer. They asked the choir to sing.
Everyone in the choir knew she was getting the award except her. They all wanted to be there in support.
“Lots of people came out to be there for me. It made me feel really good. And I was so surprised!” said Roby. Though people had been talking of her receiving the reward for weeks, no one spilled the beans.
“In a small town, you really feel the community. When we moved here, I took to it immediately. Knowing all the neighbors — being a part of it and helping out and sharing talents and gifts are really an important part to small town life and community,” Roby added.
She’s very happy with her award. The Community Member of the Year honor is voted on by anyone in the community who wishes to cast a vote (and give explanation as to their choice). The voting takes place in November each year with ballots placed at businesses throughout the community.