Bob and Kristi Austin

Since arriving in Anderson in 1985, the Austins have led various community initiatives, such as the Civic Center playground and bus shelter installations. They founded a pioneering free dental clinic at the Anderson Free Clinic in 1991. Their volunteer work includes events like the Anderson County Arts Center auction, and they have served on numerous charities and boards. Dr. Bob Austin emphasized their philosophy: “You make a living by what you take out of the community, but you make a life by what you put back into it.” Kristi Austin adds, “Helping others has just been a way of life for us.”

Dr. Bob and Kristi Austin recognized the need for dental services in underserved areas of Anderson County when they opened their dental practice in 1985. They strategically located their practice and partnered with the Anderson Free Clinic to establish the community’s first free dental clinic. Since retiring from their practice after 37 1/2 years, the Austins continue their commitment to service. Bob serves on the Free Clinic’s Board of Directors, and they recently co-chaired the 2024 Camellia Ball for the AnMed Foundation, raising funds for community health initiatives.

Kristi, a Williamston native, and Bob, a veteran of the United States Air Force with a Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the Medical College of South Carolina, have three children and six grandchildren. Their dedication to service has made an indelible mark on the community, and their legacy is poised to positively impact future generations to come.

The Rainey Award is presented to a philanthropist in the Anderson, Oconee and Pickens County area who has made significant contributions to the betterment of the community by raising awareness for charitable causes, selflessly contributing personal resources, advocating for needs in the community and inspiring others to have the same benevolent spirit.