Even though Robert Blalock, 78, prefers to stay out of the limelight, his lifetime of good works and service to many charitable organizations has not gone unnoticed.
Recently, the Southwest Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America named him the 2017 Distinguished Citizen “Good Scout” of the Year in a ceremony at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.
The award follows by just a few months his selection as 2017 Manatee County Distinguished Citizen at the kickoff of the Manatee County Fair.
The awards are well earned, Circuit Court Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. said.
“There is so much he’s done that you really don’t know about. He is the voice of reason, and he’s been a leader from an early age,” said Smith, who is a board member of Southwest Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
He is a steady person not swayed from his principals.
Circuit Judge Gilbert Smith Jr.
“He is a steady person not swayed from his principles,” said Smith, who as a Boy Scout knew Blalock when he was a young attorney still in his 20s. “He is almost like family because of how long I have known him. I have sort of been in awe of what he has done in the community.”
The scout award recognizes persons who have provided outstanding service to the community, state or nation.
Blalock, principal of Blalock Walters, P.A., graduated from Princeton University in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in politics. He earned his law degree from the University of Florida in 1963.
A decade ago, Blalock played a behind-the-scenes role in helping save Camp Flying Eagle on Upper Manatee River Road from being sold to developers.
“My dad before he died cautioned me about it. It’s probably the most beautiful piece of property in Manatee County,” Blalock said.
Blalock’s father and several other business leaders spearheaded the purchase of the property for the Boys Development Association with the intent that it be preserved for youth recreational uses.
“We had a wonderful troop here, and some of my best friends for life came out of scouting,” Blalock said of his boyhood. “Our goal was not to get the most merit badges, but to enjoy the out-of-doors.
“Oscar Brewer, a poet, a World War I veteran who had been gassed, and who was editor of the Palmetto Press, was a wonderful human being and our scout leader,” Blalock said. “He made us toe the line.”
Greg Graham, district scout executive, cited Blalock’s lifetime of integrity, character and civic-mindedness.
“He is an exceptional role model for today’s scouts and an outstanding example of the good works, values and service that the Good Scout Award is designed to honor,” Graham said.
Good Scout award recipients
2016 Clifford L. Walters
2015 Bradenton Kiwanis Club
2014 Patrick K. Neal
2013 Jerry L. Neff
2012 Joseph F. Kinnan
2011 Dan S. Blalock Jr.