Hometown Hero: Billy Phillips

Hometown Hero: Billy Phillips

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - For Billy Phillips, giving his time is not something he chooses to do. It's something he says he's compelled to do because of his love for people.

Checking in players at his scholarship golf tournament, it was deskwork Billy Phillips was doing, because he is always doing something, and it's usually for someone else.

"I've lived in Savannah all my life. I know so many people. I wouldn't go anywhere else. I've got so many friends here and so many people I know. You've got to give it back," he said.

Phillips has done that in so many ways for so many years, most recently through the Chuck Phillips Memorial Golf Tournament, which honors his late son and funds an annual scholarship at Benedictine.

"We give a full scholarship to a rising senior who represents Chuck the best we can," Phillips said.

Timothy Spilliards received the first of those scholarships in 1991 and went on to attend the Citadel and become a dentist - and a lifelong friend to Phillips.

"I'm always appreciative of the scholarship. It was such a crucial time for me and that point in my life, but the friendship and how close I am with his family 26 years later speaks volumes for the family."

So do the many ways Phillips manages to help people.

A former Potentate with the Alee Shrine, he heads up the annual chicken dinner donation to Hunter and Fort Stewart.

"The last three or four years, we give 1,000 dinners to soldiers,"

He shows up often at gatherings like this past weekend's Buddy Walk in Savannah with his homemade train pulled by a golf cart, giving rides to children.

"Everybody asks me, and I say, 'if they're having as much fun as me, we're in for a good day.' I love doing it," Phillips said.

Billy Phillips - a WTOC Hometown Hero - loves doing what he can for others.

"I have been one of the blessed people in the world. I've got a family you can't buy, I've got a wife of 59 years. How she puts up with it is a different story for a different day. I just love people. I love people."

Several past winners of the Chuck Phillips Memorial Scholarship make a point to come back for the golf tournament every year, and this year, they were joined by 2017 recipient, Nick Lanone.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.