Faces of Philanthropy: Erica Roberts

Making a Big Impact, One Month at a Time

Erica Roberts remembers that her father told her and her brother when they were growing up that it was important to surround themselves with positive influences.  William Preston Roberts, Jr. (known as Tipps to family and friends) was such a strong influence on Erica, brother Preston, and a community that loved him. William died from neuroendocrine cancer in 2016, after an eight -year struggle with the disease.  

Tipps retired from the Army after 21 years, worked for a Defense contractor in Huntsville and served as a mentor in a correctional facility.  Erica describes him as a “kind and gentle giant.”  Early on, he and wife Bertha instilled the value of giving in his children.  Erica, an attorney working at Ernst & Young and living in Alabama, started her charitable giving when she was just out of school.  Once Tipps was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer, Erica looked for an organization focused on her dad’s kind of tumor. She found NETRF and began to make a monthly gift, in hopes that research would help people be diagnosed more quickly. After Tipps passed away, Erica has continued to donate to NETRF on a monthly basis to honor his memory and fund NET research.

Erica says her monthly gift is part of her budget. “Sometimes with a busy job it’s hard to contribute tangibly like volunteering, but this way of donating works to feel like you’re contributing to something bigger than you.” Her family also holds an Annual Walk in honor of her dad each Thanksgiving.  “We raise money for NETRF and hope to continue to increase awareness, participation and giving over time.  The Walk was put together by my Aunt, Lenora Anthony. She has been great at keeping the spirit of the event alive for the past 4 years.”

“My Dad lived with, and seemed to triumph over, cancer for eight years. I began donating to NETRF as a way to honor him and join in his fight against cancer. Now, I donate to remember him and in hopes that a cure will be found so that another daughter doesn’t have to lose her dad in the same way I lost mine.”

“Anything that I have done, and any impact I have made, in support of NETRF is because of the lessons he taught me,” Erica says.  “I am evidence that my dad was here and that his life mattered.”

In recognition of Erica’s support of NETRF since 2011, we are pleased to recognize her as a member of our Champion Giving Society.