United Way of Erie County has announced that Bobbi Pollock is the 2023 Tocqueville Award recipient. The award will be presented to her during United Way’s Leadership Recognition Reception sponsored by Northwest Bank and the William M. and Frances Schuster Fund at The Erie Community Foundation on Wednesday, October 4 at the Erie Art Museum.
This prestigious award recognizes outstanding volunteer service to our community through personal leadership and long-time commitment. The award dinner brings together Tocqueville Society (donors of $10,000+ annually), Leadership Giving Society ($1,000+ annually) and Young Leaders Society ($500+ annually and under the age of 45) members, along with past award recipients and guests of the honoree to pay tribute to the recipient of United Way’s highest honor.
HISTORY OF THE AWARD: The national Tocqueville Award was created in 1972 to recognize people who have rendered outstanding volunteer service in their communities. United Way of Erie County began its Tocqueville Award program in 1983. Since 1983, United Way of Erie County has presented the Tocqueville Award to an individual or individuals committed to improving the lives of people in our community. For their personal leadership and commitment to service, the individuals listed to the left received the award. May their generous spirit be an example and catalyst to others.
Barbara ‘Bobbi’ Pollock was born and raised in Erie and has led a purpose driven life, quietly yet intentionally. After graduating from Academy High School, Bobbi went on to study Political Science and Secondary Education at Chatham College in Pittsburgh. She married the late Louis “Lou” Pollock and worked with him at their manufacturing company, Morris Coupling before becoming a mom, the best job ever!
Bobbi has two children, Jodi Shulimson (Mark), and Howard Pollock (Janice) and four grandchildren, Samuel (Heather Rubin Shulimson) and Alyse Shulimson and Sophie and Leo Pollock.
She attributes her parents, along with her family, as her greatest influences. It’s no surprise that Bobbi is an inspiration to many in her own right as she too leads by example. She has been involved with several organizations including The Neighborhood Art House, the Regional Cancer Center Foundation, Erie Cancer Wellness Center, Women United for Community Schools, WQLN, Temple Anshe Hesed and the National Council for Jewish Women to name a few. She was honored by the Mercy Center for Women as one of twelve Women Making History in 2017.
To honor her father’s legacy, Bobbi and her late husband Lou created the Chief Justice Samuel J. Roberts Scholarship Fund endowment with the Erie County Bar Association with the hope of assisting future leaders of the legal profession in accomplishing their goals.
Bobbi’s selflessness and thoughtfulness are apparent in everything she does. She often recounts a story from her childhood that reflects her personal belief on the importance of unconditional service to others. When she was a young girl, her maternal Grandmother said to her, she “wanted to give with a warm hand, not because she wanted to be thanked but because she wanted people to be happy.” Bobbi has “given with a warm hand” to so many people in our community with extraordinary enthusiasm and wisdom.