Richmond bridge named for beloved mentor: ‘This is Mr. Bob’s community’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Folks gathered on Richmond's Southside Saturday for a ceremony to mark the renaming of a bridge in honor of Robert S. Argabright, II, known affectionately to many as "Mr. Bob."

Argabright has spent the last 15 years helping mentor children at the Bellmeade Community Center near Oak Grove-Bellmeade Elementary School.

"A third of a mile from this bridge, there are 250 children that live in Hillside Court," Argabright explained.  "So that the kids from Hillside could come and safely get across this stream to get to the community center and the school."

Robert S. Argabright, II

Robert S. Argabright, II

Iidajah James said thinking about "Mr. Bob's" impact on the community makes her emotional.

"It's so nice, he's such a good person," James said. "This is Mr. Bob's community..."

In fact, Ayashia Shaw said she likely would not be attending Maggie Walker Governor’s School without his help.

"He seen the issue happening with children not being able to walk to school on their own," Shaw said.

Argabright said when began volunteering in 2004, he was tutoring just two students.

"The role was I was a tutor helping second graders improve their reading skills," Argabright said.

But that number has grown to hundreds of students over the years.

"It's been 15 years of, 'What can I do to bring resources to this community' and 'What can I do expose the children to all types of enrichment opportunities?'" Argabright said.

"He kind of laid a foundation that I could build on top of myself," James said.

That is a lasting foundation that has touched in the community from all walks of life.

Click here for more information about the Bellmeade Community Center or if you would like to become a volunteer. Do you know a good news story happening in your community? Click here to email WTVR.com and the CBS 6 News team.

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