Robert M. Rainey Philanthropy Award

The Robert M. Rainey Philanthropy Award is presented to a philanthropist in the Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson 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.

The award is named after longtime president of the Foothills Community Foundation, Robert M. Rainey, who took the helm as President of the Foundation in March of 2001. During his tenure Robert helped to grow the Foundation’s total assets to just over $12 million from $5.5 million, while at the same time distributing over $14 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. Robert is passionate about the community and has been instrumental in local initiatives including the TBA 100 beautification projects, the Brighter Christmas Fund, The Spirit of the American Doughboy and others.

2017 Foundation Board Chairman Lujack Orr pointed out that “Robert is known as someone who quietly gets things done for the community.” This award is presented to an individual who similarly labors on behalf of worthy causes, advocates for those less fortunate, and inspires others to work toward a better community.

The inaugural recipient of the Robert M. Rainey Philanthropy Award will be announced on March 11, 2018.

Criteria for Selection:

Philanthropic Leadership and Impact

Providing leadership and fostering philanthropy in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties.

Community Engagement

Investing personal and professional time and resources to foster positive community improvement.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Nominees must be current residents of Anderson, Oconee or Pickens County
  • Nominees must be in good standing ethically, possess a strong sense of integrity and good character.
  • Nominees will demonstrate philanthropic leadership, whether through direct service, personal benevolence or drawing attention to a community need.


Danielle K. Roberts

The Robert M. Rainey Philanthropy Award recipient for 2018 is Danielle K. Roberts, the driving force behind Sol Flowers. This annual fundraiser transforms a parcel of rural acreage off of Highway 81 into a field of sunflowers, attracting a steady stream of families, photographers and nature lovers who purchase bundles of the giant blooms.

The idea of Sol Flowers began with the Roberts family’s desire to serve the community. “There are so many worthy organizations in our area,” said Danielle. “We wanted to come up with a way to support as many as possible.” Daughters Catherine and Caroline had sold sunflowers at farmers markets during the summer, so they knew of their widespread appeal. With that experience, Danielle’s family transformed from backyard gardeners into sunflower farmers and Sol Flowers was created. Grants from Sol Flowers have assisted Safe Harbor, Calvary Home for Children, the Haven of Rest, AIM, Foothills Alliance and other area charitable organizations.

Danielle is a native of Birmingham, Alabama but grew up in the Anderson/Pendleton area. She graduated from Pendleton High School and Lander College with a BS in Business Administration. Danielle’s family includes husband Jeff and children 2nd Lt. Al Roberts of Ft. Bragg, NC, Catherine Roberts of Charlotte, NC, and Caroline Roberts of Anderson.

Danielle has been involved in many boards and committees including the Literacy Board of Anderson, many committees and volunteer activities with St. John’s UMC and the Camp Providence Board. Danielle has also served as President of the Senior Assembly of Anderson.

Marshall L. Meadors, III, MD

At a luncheon in his honor on March 11, 2018, Dr. Marshall L. Meadors, III was presented the Foundation’s Robert M. Rainey Philanthropy Award. The first recipient of the award, Dr. Meadors has served the Anderson community in countless ways, including his support of the Anderson Arts Center, tba 100, Eat Smart Move More and Upstate Forever. As Project Chair of tba #4, Dr. Meadors spearheaded the drive to build the first dog park in Anderson, which was dedicated in July, 2017. Marshall has been instrumental in the tba 100 initiative since Cordes Seabrook launched this community improvement effort in 2006.

Dr. Meadors is a graduate of T. L. Hanna High School and a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and then returned to Anderson to do his residency in family medicine. Dr. Meadors is a founding partner of Primary Care Associates, P. C. and medical director of NHC Anderson. Board certified in family medicine and a certified medical director, Dr. Meadors has served as president of the South Carolina Medical Association, the South Carolina Medical Directors Association, the Anderson County Medical Society and the AnMed Health Medical Staff. Foundation board member Bo Crader, in presenting the award to Dr. Meadors, pointed out that Marshall is known throughout the community for his generosity, kindness and compassion.