Working to give back to the community was perhaps not always convenient, but Nancy Rabb, co-owner and vice president of the Wag-A-Bag convenience stores, has spent many years doing so.
“We’re really, really lucky to have Nancy Rabb in our community,” said Rick Atkins, Round Rock Parks and Recreation director. “[People] respect who she is, and what she stands for. When she speaks, people listen.”
Nancy and her husband, Virg, opened their first Wag-A-Bag convenience store in 1964.
“It was in the middle of the block, [because] that’s all we could afford,” she said.
Fifty-two years, 175 employees and 17 more stores later, the family business has become a Central Texas staple. Since the early days, Rabb has managed the publicity and community involvement for the company, working alongside Virg until his death in 1998.
“I just believe the Scripture [from the Gospel of Luke] that, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ We try to give back to so many different asks and requests. It’s a full-time job now,” said Nancy, who spends every Monday sifting through requests with her donations committee. “[The community] knows that anything they’ve got going, with the youth especially, we’re going to try to help with.”
Nancy’s interest in supporting youth causes dates back to her early days in Round Rock when she was part of a United Way committee that recognized the area’s need for youth programming and activities. She was also instrumental in bringing the YMCA to the area.
“The YMCA of Williamson County is one of my deepest passions because I was on the starting end of that back in the early ‘70s,” she said.
In 1970, the Rabbs bought a parcel of land along Brushy Creek and built their family home there. After the youngest of their three children graduated from high school, they donated the property to the city in 1989.
“[Virg] always said someone could do something wonderful with this land,” she said.
Today, the 15-acre site, which is located at 151 N. A.W. Grimes Blvd., is home to the Rabb House, a new construction reminiscent of the
family’s original home that serves as a rental facility for weddings and special events as well as the Play for All Park, which opened in 2012.
The company holds a fundraising and awareness campaign twice a year for STARRY, whose programs include an emergency shelter for children, foster care and counseling for families.
STARRY Executive Director Richard Singleton said select Wag-A-Bag stores are also certified through the Safe Place network, a role often taken on by public entities such as fire stations.
“If a runaway or a homeless child is in their store and they need help, [store] staff are trained to contact our professionals and to get help to the scene as soon as possible,” he said. “It goes so far beyond fundraising. [Wag-A-Bag] truly is impacting the community with a culture of care.”
The Rabb House is a venue in Round Rock that is built on land donated by the Rabb family. Those interested in renting the facility should book early as most weekend dates are typically filled about one year in advance. It features the following:
- 3,900-square-foot facility with an event room, balcony, patios and pavilion
- Full audio and video capabilities
- Prep kitchen with refrigerator
- Open-air pavilion on the banks of Brushy Creek with double staircase entry
- Amphitheater with seating for 150 guests
151 N. A.W. Grimes Blvd., Round Rock
Tours available: Wed.-7 p.m., Thu. 10 a.m.-noon. No appointment necessary.