Robinson sculptures unveiled at Miami County YMCA


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The Robinson Sculptures Project, initiated by “Friends of Thom and Pat Robinson,” was unveiled during a ceremony on Friday at the Miami County YMCA Robinson Branch, debuting the bronze sculptures of Pat and Thom Robinson.

Ted Mercer, who is a Miami County commissioner and a member of the Friends of Thom and Pat Robinson, highlighted the number of organizations that have benefited from the Robinsons’ generosity.

“As you all know, the quality of life in Troy and Miami County is excellent. One big reason is because of Thom and Pat Robinson,” Mercer said. “The Robinson Fund was established in 1984. The fund’s initial beneficiary was the Ruth Lyons Children’s Fund. I know many of you here today remember Ruth Lyons. Thom and Pat’s focus has always been to support a wide range of community activities and projects over the last 37 years. Their goal has always been to make life better in a positive way for children and adults in Troy and Miami County.”

A number of educational institutions have benefited from the Robinson Fund, including Troy City Schools, the Future Begins Today, Edison State Community College, the Lincoln Community Center, and more. Mercer said the Robinsons also created an endowment at the Ohio State University to provide 10 scholarships for student athletes annually. Local healthcare institutions and non-profit organizations have also received significant financial support from the Robinsons.

“Our community has benefited from Pat and Thom Robinson’s selfless donations,” Mercer said. “These projects only scratch the surface.”

Mercer said when he presented the idea of raising funds to create life-size bronze sculptures of Pat and Thom Robinson, they were reluctant at first, but Mercer said he wanted every “man, woman, and child to always know who Thom and Pat are.”

To Pat and Thom Robinson, Mercer said, “Thank you for having the motto, ‘Giving is just the right thing to do.’ It truly has made a difference.”

The Miami County YMCA Robinson Branch was chosen as the location for sculptures as the branch was a “rainbow project” of the Robinsons, Mercer said.

Miami County YMCA Executive Director Jim McMaken said the YMCA felt privileged that the Robinson Branch was chosen as the location for the statues.

“It’s hard to imagine that we’re standing here 21 years and nine months after opening the Robinson Branch,” McMaken said. “Since that day, thousands of community members, both young and not so young, have parted these doors looking for something — something to belong to, a place to meet new friends, a place to learn to swim, maybe a new sport, a place to improve their health and wellness, and a place to feel something greater than themselves.” McMaken said the Robinson Branch, which is located at 3060 South County Road 25A in Troy, has had over 5.5 million member visits since it has opened.

“I just want to thank all of you for coming and participating,” Thom Robinson said.

“This is a real thrill and something I never dreamed could happen to us,” Pat Robinson said. “It’s a real privilege and a real honor.” Pat Robinson talked about moving from New Orleans to the Troy area in 1945 when she was in grade school, recalling how this area soon became home to her.

“It is a special place to be,” Pat Robinson said. She also took an opportunity to encourage use of the Miami County YMCA, saying, “Please come and enjoy the YMCA … Spread the word on what a nice place it is.”

The Troy Rec also showed a video titled “A Day of Gratitude” during Friday’s ceremony. The opening prayer during Friday’s ceremony was done by Miami County commissioner Greg Simmons. Committee members for the Robinson Sculptures Project included Mercer, Linda Daniel, and Wade Westfall. The sculptures were created by artist Mike Major. Level MB was the Robinson Plaza contractor, and PSC Crane and Rigging set the placing of the sculptures.

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