Virgie Phillips’ impact in the town of Lake View is impossible to ignore.
The community has benefited immensely from the multifaceted contributions of Phillips.
“It’s important to be involved in community service,” she said. “Certain things which take place should make you want to get involved and make improvements to your community.”
Phillips – a golden member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. – is part of the Lake View Ladies Fire Auxiliary, Alumni Association of Lake View, and serves as president of the Nancy Profitt Federated Women’s Club. A member of Pettis Memorial Church, Phillips is chair of the Lake View Clinic Board of Directors, and established the annual county-wide Health Awareness Program.
She also spearheaded a successful effort to convince state lawmakers to allow the buildings from the now defunct Lake View School District, to be officially placed in the control of Lake View residents.
Phillips was recently at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock as part of a select group of Arkansans who were honored during the 2017 Community Service Awards. The CSA was sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Communications and Community Engagement (OCCE) and KARK Channel 4, in cooperation with McLarty Automotive Group, the Office of the Governor, and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism.
“Phillips’ remarkable leadership and love for her townspeople are clearly evident,” said Kimberly Simpson, OCCE Volunteer Program Coordinator. “She’s dedicated to helping her fellow residents of Lake View have access to a life of happiness and comfort.”
Unfortunately, Phillips experienced a tragedy when her son, Dr. Fredrick Phillips unexpectedly died due to Sleep Apnea at the age of 34. To her credit, she uses the heartbreaking development to enlighten the general public about the dangers of Sleep Apnea.
“My husband and I decided to do an annual event in honor of our son,” she said. “We have people from Mississippi and throughout the Arkansas delta who attend the event. We truly want to make people aware of Sleep Apnea and educate everyone about respiratory issues.”
A retired educator, who spent 45 years in the classroom, being inactive is not in Phillips’ DNA.
“I was always taught, live for something,” she says. “My son advised me to retire to something, instead of retiring from something. That’s always stuck with me.”
In regard to the youth, though she’s no longer a teacher, Phillips’ vigor for teaching and influencing the leaders of tomorrow has not waned.
“I’ve always encouraged the students to seek opportunities to help someone,” she said. “I always want the young people to know there’s hope. I want them to continue to make strides in the right direction.”