Robinson enjoys helping others
By By LYDIA GRIMES Features Reporter
March has traditionally been designated "Red Cross Month" since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first proclamation in 1943.
March is winding down now but there is still time to honor those who give of their time and energy to make things happen in the local chapter of the Red Cross.
Gary Robinson is one of those who has devoted a lot of time to working with and for the East Escambia Chapter of the Red Cross. He has pushed blood drives in the area and worked very closely with Rogene Martin, director of the local chapter.
Not only does Robinson work with the Red Cross but he can be seen around at area schools with various projects promoted by his employer, Woodmen of the World Insurance.
Woodmen of the World not only provides insurance needs but the company is devoted to the promotion of community involvement. According to their official website, one of the ideas behind the company, which was founded more than a century ago, was the dedication of helping others. Each year, thousands of individuals and organizations receive assistance through matching fund projects conducted by local Woodmen lodges. These projects include donating equipment to police and fire departments, assisting senior citizens and volunteering for civic projects.
Members also work with Red Cross programs and participate in several volunteer programs throughout the year. Woodmen focuses on patriotism, education, community betterment, cultural diversity, health and wellness and the arts.
Robinson was born in Cottonwood, a small town in southeast Alabama. He grew up there and graduated from Cottonwood High School in 1962.
He got a job working at a grocery store and worked up from being a clerk to being a night and then day manager. He had also worked part time with B.C. Moore Department Store and when they called on him to work full time, he decided to take the job. That job would last from 1964 for the next 32 years. He worked in Evergreen, then Atmore, then back to Evergreen and finally to Brewton where he remained until 1996.
Robinson gets involved through several programs he presents to schools in the area. Children in the schools are very familiar with the Star-Lab project and the American History Awards.
He and his high school sweetheart, Elaine, were married in 1964. Elaine works at Southern Pine.
They have two children, Jeff and Jelaine, Jeff is in aviation and lives in Texas and Jelaine lives here in Brewton. Over the years, the Robinson family has had a rather unique way of earning extra money. About 20 years ago, they bought a house, fixed it up and then resold it. Then they bought another house and did the same thing. Since that time they have remodeled around 13 homes in Brewton and today live in another house they are working on.
Robinson says he loves writing poetry and fishing. He said that his wife tells him that if he hasn't been fishing in 15 years, he shouldn't tell people he likes it.
He and his family are very involved in their church activities. They are members of First Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon and teaches Sunday school.