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A gal on the go

By Staff | Jan 10, 2016

Lill Robinson, who will be honored as the Community Service Person of the year at the Annual Chamber Banquet on Jan. 15, stands in front of the new mural in downtown Blue Earth.

I was legitimately shocked when I?found out, but now that I have my bearings, I am not only honored, but extremely humbled.”

Lillian Robinson is a well-known name and face in Blue Earth. Most know her in her capacity as a former teacher at Blue Earth Area Middle School and a supporter of local fine arts.

She recently received the Sertoma Club’s Service to Mankind award just a few months ago. Now Lillian Robinson can add another award to her list of local accomplishments as she has been named the 2016 Community Service Person of the Year.

The Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce seeks nominations for the award from its citizens. The award, according to the chamber’s ballot, “recognizes outstanding service for the preceeding year or over an extended period of years for a single major contribution or many.”

Lill fits the bill.

Recently, Robinson helped write a grant for the Blue Earth Community Foundation to have a mural painted for downtown Blue Earth.

“It is very important to me to support not only our community, but our local artists,” says Robinson.

When Robinson first moved to Blue Earth in 1979, she immediately got involved in local theater groups. She still is an active member and volunteer for the Blue Earth Town & Country Players and was awarded as a life member of the group in 1991.

Robinson also remembers another group she was in not too long after her arrival to Blue Earth.

“I was a part of a sorority called Beta Sigma Phi which is an international women’s social, cultural and service organization,” she says. “I remember using the multipurpose room at the elementary school as a mini theater for elementary school-aged children. This was back before families had their own VCRs and such, and we would play Disney movies for the kids and pop popcorn and that would allow parents to go do their shopping or errands for an hour or two.”

Robinson recalls having fond memories of the events.

“I look back now and think ‘how on earth did we manage all of those kids’ thank goodness we were young,” Robinson remembers.

Though she was a teacher at BEA for 30 years, which took up the majority of her time, she still found time to volunteer her few spare hours to the community.

Robinson was a part of one of the first CAPP (Comprehensive Arts Planning Program) sites in Minnesota. Even though the organization has changed to the State Arts Board, Robinson says she is happy it is now even more available for Minnesotans.

After retiring, Robinson realized her schedule was freed up quite a bit, which kicked her into high volunteer gear.

“Once I retired, I was able to join the Mitchell Chautauqua Literary Circle. I was ever so looking forward to joining that reading circle,” she says. “They met on Tuesdays during school, but now I get to go and I love it.”

Not only that, but Robinson also has been singing for community choirs since 1980, has been the emcee for ‘Tunes at Noon in June’ for multiple years, has been involved at BEA as a Masterpiece Arts Program classroom volunteer, has been a Blue Earth Area Mentor and is now on the Tour of Tables planning committee, is a part of the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, volunteers at the Red Barn Visitor Center at Giant Park and those are just the highlights. The list goes on and on.

She is a woman on the go, and she says she would not have it any other way.

“It’s not about the resume building, or the awards or anything like that it’s the people I get to meet and talk to every time I get to volunteer,” says Robinson. “I love getting to know people and visiting with them and I am thankful enough to be in such a splendid community to volunteer my time in.”

Robinson will receive her award at the Annual Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Friday night, Jan. 15.