Gary Phillips

Join us in recognizing our Pit Boss Hero of the Month, Gary Phillips! He’s known for his passion for serving others through his work in law enforcement and woodworking. Gary is a retired police officer who dedicated 36 years to both the city of Toronto and York Region Police in Ontario. If you ask Gary, one of his biggest challenges to help those in need was during his time spent at Ground Zero in New York City following the attacks on the World Trade Center. As a member of the Critical Incident Stress Management Team, Gary and several members on the team spent time with first responders offering peer support. For Gary, woodworking became an escape from the stress of the job. Now retired, Gary has purchased 50 acres on the North Shore of Nova Scotia where he has started a retreat for Police, Fire, EMS & Military members diagnosed with PTSD. As a survivor of PTSD himself, Gary shares his passion of woodworking with others to help create a happy, positive learning environment where they can be creative. Those who participate in the Rough Cuts program start by falling a tree and processing the lumber, then they design a project and use their lumber to bring it to life. At the end of a day spent working at Rough Cuts, Gary enjoys sharing a meal with those he loves. His favorite meal to make with his Pit Boss is breakfast for his family, friends, or visiting first responders, officers, or military members. Gary says, “The more food I can get on the grill, the better the taste, the more satisfied the hungry bellies. And that’s what it’s all about.” Thank you for your service, Gary!