Centraide pays tribute to Michael Robinson de Marion | Community

Stephanie Porter-Nichols | Smyth County News and Messenger

From leading to taking on additional volunteer work to promoting new education projects, Michael Robinson of Marion has fought for Southwest Virginia and its people. For more than a decade, he has given a significant amount of his community service time to the local United Way organization. Last month, Centraide paid tribute to its impact.

At its first in-person awards ceremony since 2019, on May 17, United Way of Southwest Virginia presented Dr. Michael Robinson with a trophy that read: “In recognition of your heart, mind, dedication and above all, your generosity in sharing them with those who need them.

Robinson first joined the regional organization in 2009. He helped lead United Way through major transformations.

Scott Robertson, Director of Marketing and Communications for United Way of SWVA, said, “Dr. Robinson was already involved with United Way before the mergers brought him into contact with United Way of Southwest Virginia.

Regardless of the name and scope of United Ways, Robertson said, “Over the years, Dr. Robinson has served with distinction, chairing committees, doing additional volunteer work and advocating for education initiatives throughout the south. -West Virginia. Most recently, he served as Chairman of the Board of United Way of Southwest Virginia.

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United Way of Southwest Virginia President and CEO Travis Staton acknowledged Robinson’s service.

Last week, Robinson explained his desire to serve with United Way. He said, “I feel like United Way is an organization that supports Smyth County and implements regional solutions that impact all of Southwest Virginia.”

Robinson, who is also president of the Smyth County Community Foundation, said of his service, “I feel blessed to be able to volunteer with United Way and other groups of dedicated community members who work to find ways to improve Smyth County and our region. »

Robinson, former superintendent of Smyth County Schools, is now principal of A. Linwood Holton Governors School.

The awards ceremony, held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, honored individuals and organizations serving their communities in the areas of Childhood Success, Youth Success, and community resilience. According to a United Way press release, more than 250 community leaders representing communities from Lee County to the New River Valley were in attendance.

Dr. Karen Shelton received the Woman of Distinction Award. Shelton led the health districts of Mount Rogers, Cumberland Plateau and Lenowisco during the COVID pandemic, the statement said, leading those districts to have the fastest deployments of COVID testing and vaccinations in Virginia.

American Electric Power was honored as Community Partner of the Year with Food City as Top Donor.

* Elite Partners: Food City, Ballad Health, Universal Fibers, Utility Trailer Atkins and Utility Trailer Glade Spring.

*Best Celebrity Bagging Fundraiser: Farris Funeral Service, Inc.

* Partner of the Year – Early Childhood Education: Kristi Snyder

* Partner of the Year – Resilience: Damascus Middle School

* Partner of the Year – Youth: County Wythe Public Schools

* Unsung Heroes: Dr. Tamarah Holmes, Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, Knox Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

“It was wonderful to be able to host this in-person event so we could express our gratitude face-to-face to the people who went above and beyond to make everything we do possible,” Staton said in the statement. “The circumstances of the past two years that have prevented us from hosting the Impact Awards as a live event in 2020 and 2021 have also made the work of these individuals and organizations much more important and impactful to the people of the South West. of Virginia.”

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