‘It was time to honor Thom and Pat’

Thom Robinson (standing) and Pat Robinson (seated with microphone) address those attending the unveiling of sculptures of the Troy philanthropists at the Miami County YMCA Robinson Branch on Nov. 5. CONTRIBUTED
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Thom Robinson (standing) and Pat Robinson (seated with microphone) address those attending the unveiling of sculptures of the Troy philanthropists at the Miami County YMCA Robinson Branch on Nov. 5. CONTRIBUTED

The Robinsons feel the love for their philanthropy.

TROY — Pat and Thom Robinson have long had a goal of making life better for the children and adults of Miami County.

For decades, the Troy philanthropists have pursued that goal in an array of ways providing millions of dollars for projects in education, recreation, social services and other areas. Among the most recent projects supported was the educational wing that opened this year at Troy’s Lincoln Community Center.

In recent weeks, the Robinson have been thanked in big ways by the community including with the unveiling this month of sculptures of the couple that stand outside the entrance to the Miami County YMCA Robinson Branch. The facility opened more than 20 years ago along County Road 25A between Troy and Tipp City.

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“You forever will be intertwined with the history of the Miami County YMCA. All of us vow to be good stewards of your generosity,” said Jim McMaken, the Y’s executive director. “What you have done not just for the YMCA but for many not for profits and community organizations is immeasurable.”

The YMCA, he said, was honored to have the sculptures recognizing the couple placed outside its doors.

Ted Mercer, a Miami County commissioner and director of the Robinson Fund, was on the committee that raised funding for the bronze sculptures created by Mike Major of Urbana.

“We told people it was time to honor Thom and Pat. You all answered the call,” Mercer said.

He pointed to contributions by the Robinsons to education including Edison State Community College, the Future Begins Today program in Troy, Brukner Nature Center, the Lincoln Community Center education wing, the WACO Learning Center and the Ohio State University Library, among others.

Social service agencies have been touched, agencies such as Health Partners Free Clinic, Partners in Hope, St. Patrick Soup Kitchen, Miami County Recovery Council and others. Recreation facilities include Troy’s Paul G. Duke Park and Troy Memorial Stadium projects, while health care organizations such as Dayton Children’s Hospital, the Pink Ribbon Girls and Hospice of Miami County also have benefitted, Mercer said.

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The couple started the Robinson Fund in 1984 with the Ruth Lyons Children’s Christmas Fund as a beneficiary.

Since then, the Robinsons have awarded countless gifts for projects.

Patricia Duke Robinson is the daughter of the late Paul G. Duke, the founder of ChemLawn.

She said at the unveiling that the family moved to Troy from New Orleans in 1945 when she was in grade school.

“I love it here,” she said. “It is home, cheerful, friendly, everything you would want a small town to be. This is a real thrill, something I never dreamed could happen to us.”

Thom Robinson thanked all who attended the unveiling and said the couple turned its attention to giving after their children left home in the early 1980s.

“It is the right thing to do … to give back,” Pat Robinson said.

The couple also was recognized in late September during a Day of Gratitude at the Troy Rec. That afternoon, a video was shown with representatives of several organizations talking about the impact of the Robinsons’ generosity on their organizations and those they serve. The video was shared again during the statues unveiling luncheon.

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