MEDINA — Romona Robinson told the Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund on Thursday that the call to service can reach even the smallest of places.
“I am one of the most unlikely people that you would ever think would be called to serve,” Robinson said. “I have to take you back to when I was growing up in the backwoods of rural Missouri in a poverty-stricken area population 212 people. Twelve of those people were my family.”
The eight-time Emmy Award-winning news anchor, speaker and author was guest speaker for the fund’s annual Seasons of Giving event at the Blue Heron Brewery and Event Center.
“I wanted to do something positive, to do something good about great kids despite horrible reasons,” Robinson said. “I would crisscross those reasons into talking about my life and why I became a philanthropist. Hopefully my message has resonated with people.”
Robinson is the first African-American woman to co- and solo- anchor an evening newscast in Cleveland. Her Romona’s Kids spotlights kids’ efforts in the community.
Robinson signed copies her book “A Dirt Road to Somewhere” in the lobby after her speech; 10 percent of the proceeds went to the endowment fund.
On Thursday, the fund donated a total of $23,325 to nine local nonprofit organizations who work every day to help women and children in the county. In total, the organization has given out more than $190,000 in grants to help fulfill its cause.
“The grant applications come to us as a board … and we read through applications and try to keep in mind things like it’s obviously our mission to support women and children,” said Ellen Hunter, grants chair for the organization. “It’s the most (money) we’ve given out in one year.”
Brunswick Educational Foundation received one of two impact grants to support the Brunswick Educational Access Television (BEAT) Video Program.
“I’m speechless,” said John Wasylko, BEAT adviser. “It’s an honor, especially coming from an organization that we respect so much. This is a phenomenal organization and I really embrace its mission of supporting women and children.”
The grant recipients are:
- Brunswick Educational Foundation (BEAT); $5,000*
- Child Guidance and Family Solutions; $1,500
- Feeding Medina County; $5,000*
- Main Street Medina, Inc; $1,750
- Marian’s Closet; $2,500
- OutSupport Inc.; $2,075
- Rape Crisis Center; $2,500
- Recovery Center of Medina County; $2,000
- Stewart’s Caring Place; $1,000
*Recipient of impact grant.