ISSUE: Robbinses donate more than $3 million

OUR VIEW: Generations will benefit from kindness

It’s hard to argue that Dr. Robert and Rita Robbins lead by example.

In less than six months, the couple has donated more than $3 million to local organizations to deepen their philanthropic footprint.

In the couple’s most recent gift, celebrated during a reception at the Brown-Pusey House in Elizabethtown, the Robbinses’ unrestricted gift to the Hardin Memorial Health Foundation includes recent cash donations of more than $1.25 million and prior donations of art, property and cash, totaling $2.5 million, with the hope of contributing more in the future to total $5 million.

In the doctor’s words, it was the couple’s way of thanking the community for the “opportunity to practice here.”

“We think it is only right that we pay back to the hospital and this community a little of what they have given us,” he said.

HMH Foundation chairman Joe Prather called the gift “beyond extraordinary.”

We have to agree.

Also extraordinary was the couple’s $1 million gift in Janu­ary to Elizabethtown Com­munity and Technical College. It was the largest private donation the school had ever received.

The donation is earmarked to help pay for a planned university center at the college. The new addition will be geared toward providing four-year degree options for ECTC students.

Both gifts, while very generous, are a testament to and for the Robbinses.

In making the gifts, the couple challenged others to donate whatever amount deemed appropriate to the foundation and college, thus leading by example that giving, regardless of the amount, is important.

Also in making the contribution to the foundation, Robert Robbins gave the couple’s endorsement of Hardin Memorial Health’s recent sale to Baptist Health.

“Rita and I want to help ensure the continued growth of HMH by making this gift and we hope it will demonstrate to other citizens of this area our belief that the recent sale of HMH to the Baptist hospital system was in the best interest for us all.”

Saying he believed the local health group to be the “strongest, best-administered, most financially sound hospital in the Baptist Hospital Group,” Robbins gave the sale a huge stamp of approval.

The ECTC gift also was an endorsement of the college’s leadership and mission.

With the contributions, the Robbinses secured their place in local philanthropic history and the community should be most grateful for their generosity.

The area surely will benefit from their kindness for generations to come.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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