Judy Robinson

Judy RobinsonJudy Robinson
Adena Brook Community
Shaklee Independent Distributor

When I told Judy she had been recognized for making Columbus great, she replied, “I am surprised and honored to have been suggested.”  As far as picking a meeting place, she selected Crimson Cup saying, “I love to support local, especially local who give back so much to our community.”

From her nomination to this first interaction, she struck me as a kind soul.  Having met her, I can confirm she’s an uplifting burst of compassion and generosity.

Judy grew up in Clintonville skipping rocks and hiking in the ravines.  In sixth grade, attending Glenmont Elementary School, she met her future husband Bob.  They relocated north near the ravines by the Josephinum where they lived for nearly thirty years.  Finally, in 2001, they bought her mother’s home and returned to Clintonville.  “The house is full of fond memories.”  She smiles, “Now my grandchildren trek along the same paths I canvassed as a child.”

The beloved property did require some attention.  “We had several large ash trees that needed removed.  It was heartbreaking; I couldn’t be there that day they.  Afterwards, we created a privacy wall out of plants native to the area and planted a wonderful garden.  My mom loved to garden, too. I must get it from her.”

Her passion for plants made her a great candidate when her neighbor Susan Barrett rallied a group interested in maintaining the beauty of the ravines.  Together, the group formed the Adena Brook Community in 2002.  “We started cleaning the ravine behind Glenmont School.  There was so much abuse and neglect – wooden pallets, wheel barrows.  We ended up with a huge pile of trash and then had to pay to get it picked up and properly disposed.  We were astonished and thought, what does the rest of the ravine look like?”

The group hosts a monthly clean-up where volunteers gather and help clearing invasive species and trash out the of ravines.  “We’ve cleared out a lot of honeysuckle.  We were so excited when the blue bells were able to return.”  She adds, “And the clean-ups are a really great way to meet your neighbors.”

They also focus on educating the community.  “People see birds eating red berries on the honeysuckle and recognize it as a food source.  However, those berries provide very little nutrition for the bird.  If they don’t get the right nutrition, and enough of it, they may not be able to survive through winter.”

All this must be overwhelming, I think.  She points out, “If everyone took responsibility for a small section that they maintained when it was convenient for them, it would make such a difference and wouldn’t overwhelm any one person.”  She points to “Carter Corner” on Indianola and Cooke.  The Carter family regularly keeps the corner clear of debris.  “They do a fantastic job.”

I ask Judy what would be her top recommendation for people wanting to take a greater role in protecting our ecosystem.  She advises, “Removing toxins from the home is a great start.”

Her personal pursuit of doing just that lead her to become a Shaklee Independent Distributor.  Shaklee creates natural nutrition supplements, weight-management products, beauty products, and household products.  It should be of no surprise Shaklee has a climate neutral certification and completely offsets its CO2 emissions.  It’s also on a mission to plant one million trees.  Sounds like just the right fit for Judy.

Like gardening and a love for plants, Judy’s passion for the Clintonville Woman’s Club also began with her mom.  “In her days, there was a waitlist to get in.  Some people assume with just eat lunch and play cards, but, oh, it’s so much more.”

“We have so many philanthropic projects for the community and beyond.  The Club was formed to promote wholesome community life and welfare work in Clintonville.   We support organizations such as the Community Resource Center, Operation Buckeye, Veteran’s Hospitals, and we’ve formed another group – Women Helping Women – focused on helping homeless women.”

Judy describes the drawstring bags that are hand-made and filled with toiletries.  “We will fill over two hundred bags and take to different facilities.  For many homeless, this bag may be the only permanence they have.  It’s a reminder to them that people care.”

“The Club is amazing because these women become close friends.  We support each other through all phases of life and span such a broad age range.  When my dad passed, the Club was like a second home for my mom.  There were women who had been through the same experience.  Women supporting women is incredibly powerful.  The Clintonville Woman’s Club provides that.”

I ask Judy who she thinks makes Columbus great.  She’s left a bit overwhelmed, “There are so many wonderful people I could name!  Could I think about this?”

Of course.

She picks:

Julie Smiley

“Julie is relentless, constantly working behind the scenes overseeing the health of all of Clintonville’s ravines, protecting them from new invasive construction to cutting of invasive plants to re-planting native trees.  She is a mother of young children for whom she is also an advocate.”

Scott Smith, Weir Arend Funeral Home

“Scott initiated revival and growth of our Fourth of July Festivities from the breakfast (served over 2,000 this year), the whole day events, to the fireworks, safety, clean up and funding.  Now, all the restaurant and food vendors in Clintonville are also marvelous to give of time and gifts, but Scott has brought energy back into the entire day attracting so many young families who have moved into our area and even other from surrounding communities that do not have such.”

Cliff Wiltshire, Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center

“Cliff is a huge advocate and active in the community to support nominations for “The Booster Volunteer of the Year.”  He’s an advocate for our working poor and our senior population needing assistance, who are a very important part of our community and culture.  He does all this very humbly and sincerely.”

Thanks, Judy, for making Columbus great!
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