Century's Robinson honored with national award

Published 7:06 pm Monday, May 31, 2004

By By staff reports
Dr. Marilyn Robinson, founder of the Carver Community Center and a tireless advocate for the youth and elderly in Century, has been named as National Winner of the 2004 Spirit of Women Award for community service.
Carver was presented with the award at a ceremony Friday in Orlando. She is one of only three women in the country to be chosen for this award. The Spirit of Women Awards honor ordinary women who do extraordinary things.
Dr. Robinson was one of three local winners of Spirit of Women Awards awarded last October by Sacred Heart Women's Hospital. The three local winners were then nominated for the National Awards given by the Spirit of Women Foundation.
This year's local winners were Dr. Robinson in the Community category, Chelsea Pipkins of Cantonment in the Youth category, and Anita Sue Godwin of McDavid in the Healthcare category.
Dr. Robinson has made a huge difference with her tireless efforts to help the youth and the elderly in Century, a small community in north Escambia County that is struggling against poverty, unemployment and drug abuse.
As one admirer says: "Dr. Robinson stands alone in the community as glowing example of goodness, diligence and humility. With a heart of gold and a spirit of faith, she guides a troubled community toward a brighter future."
Raised in Century, she attended local schools and graduated from Florida State University with her PhD. She returned home to care for her dying father and took on the challenge of starting and maintaining a community center to serve the people of Century. When Escambia County was planning to tear down the old Carver Elementary School, she fought to save the building and get funding to turn it into a community center – a place for children to gather, a safe haven away from troubled neighborhoods.
Today, because of Robinson's efforts, the community center has a new playground, funded by a state drug prevention grant she secured. For six years, she has served as director of the Carver Community Center, which serves the Century community by sponsoring or providing 15 programs. At the community center, Robinson provides after-school tutoring for any child who wants to improve his or her grades, and she assists young people preparing to take the GED. She also takes underprivileged children on outings to provide them with experiences they otherwise would never have.
She also is active in her church and can be seen driving around on Sundays to pick up children and taken them to Sunday School and church. She also serves on the board of the Community Action Agency
"Her unselfish love and concern for others has definitely made this world a better place," one associate wrote. "She is always the one that anyone in Century (who is in any crisis situation) calls upon. She is always on the way out to take someone to the store or to the doctor, go pick up someone's medication, going to the hospital to visit the sick and aged, going to pick up the children for after school tutoring."
Dr. Robinson's national honor marks the third time that a woman from Northwest Florida has won a National Spirit of Women Award. Naval Air Station flight surgeon Cmdr. Ann White was recognized as a national healthcare winner in 2001, and Katie Tillman of Gulf Breeze received the national youth award in 2000.
Sacred Heart Hospital is accepting nominations for its next Spirit of Women Awards that will be announced Oct. 18, 2004 at the Saenger Theatre in Pensacola. To get a nomination form, call 416-6353. For more information on Spirit of Women, visit www.spiritofwomen.org.

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