TROY — The Paul G. Duke Foundation’s Board of Trustees are pleased to celebrate Patricia Duke Robinson, who has received the Leadership in Philanthropy Award from Community Foundations, Inc., in recognition of her decades of involvement in philanthropy and leadership roles as a volunteer in Miami County and in central Ohio.
In honor of Robinson — the Foundation’s President Emeritus — and the award, Community Foundations, Inc. will be making a grant to The Future Begins Today, one of the organizations Robinson has been closely associated with.
Robinson drew inspiration for her philanthropic and volunteer activities from the example of her father, Paul G. Duke. “It was simply a way of life — very natural and automatic. Kindness was his reaction first and foremost,” Robinson has said of Mr. Duke’s philosophy on giving back to the community.
Robinson has been tireless in her support of Miami County, particularly the Troy community. In addition to leading the Duke Foundation, started by her father, since 1984, she has given her time, with years of service with organizations such as Clear Creek Farm. She also has inspired the community to start new and innovative programs such as The Future Begins Today, which provides opportunities for local youth to attend college.
She has taken the unusual step of working to develop ‘home-grown’ nonprofit leaders for Miami County and to strengthen area nonprofits. She was instrumental in the creation of the Robinson Graduate Academy for Community Leadership at Edison Community College, which offers a variety of educational opportunities, including an annual conference, for the staff and board members of regional nonprofits.
The Duke Foundation, which has granted over $22 million to nonprofit organizations primarily in the Miami County area, has become another expression of Robinson’s generosity. In 2015, she and the Duke Foundation announced that after leading the foundation for three decades, Robinson would be graciously turning over the governance to trustees selected from the Miami County community and appointed by The Columbus Foundation and the Duke Foundation board. In this way, she has entrusted her family’s legacy to the broader community, believing that the future trustees’ commitment to the region will ensure that the Duke Foundation continues to improve the lives of children, young people and families as it has since 1983.
“With this transition from a family foundation to more of a community foundation,” Robinson said, “I am pleased that the Duke Foundation will be well-positioned into the future for continued support of the wonderful nonprofit organizations in Miami County and the surrounding area. I know that my father, Paul Duke, who started this foundation, would feel the same way.”
Community Foundations, Inc., an affiliate of The Columbus Foundation, was established in 1987 to enable donors to support nonprofit organizations primarily in the state of Ohio and beyond the central Ohio region. The Community Foundations, Inc. Leadership in Philanthropy Award was created in 2011 to periodically recognize outstanding philanthropic contributions to communities beyond central Ohio. Robinson is the fourth recipient of the award.
The Paul G. Duke Foundation, a Supporting Foundation of The Columbus Foundation, was established in 1983. It has a long history of philanthropic support for nonprofit organizations. Paul Duke, Miami County businessman and philanthropist, evolved his local Duke Garden Centers into a national lawn and garden service, Chem-Lawn. The proceeds from the sale of that business enabled Mr. Duke to generously support many community projects and charitable programs, all of which continues to be done through the Duke Foundation.
The Duke Foundation’s Board of Trustees includes Patricia Duke Robinson, President Emeritus; Linda A. Daniel, President; Paul A. Hanke, Esq.; B. Mark Hess, M.D.; William J. McGraw, III, Esq.; and Ronald B. Scott.