The Union Recorder

November 21, 2013

GMC family joins community in honoring deputy

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputy Will Robinson is honored each year by friends, family and law enforcement. 

Robinson was killed in the line of duty Dec. 17, 1995.

The Will Robinson Memorial Run Saturday, Nov. 23. marks the 18th edition of the 1-Mile Fun and the 5K Road Race beginning at the North Baldwin Fire Department. Close to 400 people usually support the cause.

Co-coordinator Suzanne Ratliff said the event is important to the Robinson family, whose members attend every year.

“It’s important for the community as a whole to remember those that we’ve lost because they serve to protect us,” Ratliff said. “It means a lot to his family. You think time heals, but it doesn’t. When the community comes out, it lets them know he didn’t die in vain.”

Along with the sheriff’s office, GMC’s Alumni Association sponsors the memorial run. Robinson, a 1987 graduate of Georgia Military College Prep School, holds a special place at his alma mater. 

Proceeds go to the Baldwin County C.H.A.M.P.S. program, the 1879 Circle of Friends Scholarship Fund and the GMC Will Robinson Scholarship Fund.

Capt. Michael Lumpkin of the BCSO said the run helps fund Sheriff’s office junior deputy camp as well.

The Georgia Military College family comprises a major part of the race each fall. The School Spirit Award has remained with the military school the last 10 years or so.

“I’ve had a team there every year. I think this is the 12th year for GMC,” GMC Prep physical education teacher Stacie Stevenson said. “To have almost 200 kids out there getting exercise is huge.”

Stevenson organizes student participants by raising funds to buy all of the students and parents T-shirts to wear during the race. A $25 sponsorship gets a family name or business on the back of the GMC team shirt. 

Students receive 40 merits for participating.

“Mostly, it’s a fun gathering. It’s pretty neat to have that many kids from the school together out there with parents raising money,” Stevenson said. “We are 100 percent behind law enforcement.”

Families and nearby law enforcement agencies join in the cause.

Trophies will be presented to the overall male and female winners, the top high school runner and overall top public safety officer, which includes law enforcement officers, military, emergency services personnel, firefighters and emergency dispatchers. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be presented to the top three male and female runners of each age category.

The top overall male and female finisher from Baldwin County receive a prize as well. The school with the most participants wins the school spirit award.

All schools are encouraged to participate.

The fun run starts at 8:30 a.m. with the 5K following at 9 a.m.

As of Tuesday, Stevenson has 170 cadets signed up. There are 200 shirts ordered, so interested sponsors can call Stevenson at 478-456-5721.

Those interested can still sign up. Preregistrations at $20 are encouraged. 

Call Ratliff at 478-452-9453 or Lumpkin at 478-445-1929 or visit www.baldwinsheriff.com for an entry form.

“It’s important for the community to never forget the sacrifice he made doing a job that he truly enjoyed serving the people,” Lumpkin said. “It reminds you of the sacrifices made in law enforcement everyday. The memory of what (Robinson) stood for will never fade from this community.”

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