CLUB MEMBER JET COX unveils the memorial plaque as, l-r, Brian Robinson, Tyler Robinson and Embree Robinson look on.
After more than seven decades of service to Whigham and Grady County, the Whigham Community Club has a new home, and on Saturday the new clubhouse was officially dedicated and opened to the public for inspection.
The new clubhouse is a reality thanks to the generosity of the Embree Robinson family, who donated $200,000 toward the building project.
Embree Robinson is a successful businessman whose roots are in Whigham, where he maintains a part-time residence. One of the original founders of TRC Staffing Services, Robinson currently serves as the chairman of the board of the Atlanta-based company.
Robinson made the lead gift toward the new clubhouse in memory of his parents, Martha and Rufus Robinson.
According to Robinson, his family migrated to Whigham a century ago from Alabama seeking cheap, fertile land on which to farm. He says his family and about 50 others made the move.
During Saturday’s dedication, Whigham Community Club member Kelly Newberry admitted that he had broached the subject of Robinson donating to the clubhouse project while playing cards with him during one of his visits to Whigham. “I can’t tell you what I said when he said he wanted to donate $200,000 to the club,” Newberry said.
According to Newberry, Robinson’s only stipulations were that it would be a building his parents would have been proud of and that the gift be made in their honor.
“I think we have abided by his wishes,” Newberry said.
Whigham Mayor George Trulock said that the Whigham Community Club had been like a “Whigham chamber of commerce” since its founding and he highlighted many of the projects the club has taken on over the years that continue to benefit the city of Whigham.
Whigham Community Club member Cuy Harrell shared a brief history of the club and noted that it is not just an organization or a new building, but the group of people who make it up are what make it truly great.
Jet Cox, a veteran member of the club, acknowledged all of those who had a hand in planning the dedication and open house prior to unveiling the dedication marker, which is located left of the front door of the new clubhouse.
Joining Embree Robinson for the dedication and unveiling of the memorial plaque were his wife, Karen, their son, Brian, and their grandson, Tyler. The Robinsons are also the parents of a daughter, Christi.
Brian Robinson is following in his father’s footsteps and is currently the President and CEO of TRC Staffing Services.
To learn more about the Robinson family, read the Whigham News & Notes column by Susan Anderson that is published on Page B4 of this issue of The Messenger.
The dedication service opened with a welcome and remarks by Whigham Community Club President Marcus Brinkley and closed with a prayer offered by the Rev. David Hibberts.
Immediately following the dedication, an open house reception was held and the crowd in attendance enjoyed touring the new facility and partaking of refreshments.
Capital City Bank was recognized for the donation of an original painting of the Whigham Depot by Whigham artist Bobby Harden. The painting, which formerly hung in the Whigham bank branch, will now hang on the walls of the new clubhouse.
According to Jet Cox, the Whigham Community Club was organized in the years right after World War II ended and has remained a force in the community ever since. Club members were instrumental in organizing the annual Rattlesnake Roundup and the construction of the nursing home now known as Pinewood Nursing Center. The club is a major sponsor of the Whigham scouting program and Whigham School. The club originally met in the old canning plant north of Whigham Baptist Church before moving in 1960 to the clubhouse on Highway 179 South that was recently sold to Auntie Ann’s Daycare.
The new clubhouse is located on the Rattlesnake Roundup grounds at 267 East Broad Ave./U.S. Hwy. 84, next door to the Boy Scout House, which is where the club had held its first and third Monday night meetings since the sale of the old clubhouse.