FARMINGTON – The legacy of a life-long Farmington resident will live on through a new youth fund at the Farmington Recreation Department, the David Robbins Youth Sports Fund.
During the Farmington Select Board meeting Tuesday night, the board met with several members of David’s family, who wished to donate $1,750 to create the fund. Joyce King, David’s sister, spoke briefly with the board regarding the donation.
Board Chair Matt Smith said, “David was a unique and great guy. Anybody who had him for a friend was better off.” He added that he was sure the donation would be put to good use.
A letter, written by Alison King on behalf of David’s family and shared by Joyce, shares touching memories and details about David’s life and why the family wished to create this fund.
David, who lived in Farmington, died suddenly in July.
“Trying to find a way to honor the life of a man who had such a big presence in our lives, and the lives of many others, is not easy,” Alison wrote.
“As long as I can remember people have been telling me what a naturally gifted athlete my uncle Dave was. Family members, neighbors, classmates of mine who were on teams he coached, and even people I met casually, made it a point to comment on his abilities. When I attended Mt. Blue High School, I saw his pictures on the walls and heard about his records.”
Alison saw his love and enthusiasm for local and national sports and athletic events alike. He delivered play-by-play commentary on WKTJ radio broadcasts and cheered on the sidelines of Alison’s JV field hockey games.
“Although his love of athletics was obvious in so many ways, Dave never mentioned his own triumphs to me,” Alison wrote. “When I asked him about his life as a star high school athlete, he told me sports provided him with an escape from a less than ideal home life. He said his teammates, coaches and “fans” provided a network of support that was otherwise lacking. Coming from a home of extreme poverty, participating in sports was something Dave could do just like the other kids.”
Through conversations with Matt Foster, Director of Farmington Parks and Recreation Department, Alison and her family learned that the Farmington taxpayers support all children who want to participate in the rec department programs, regardless of their ability to pay.
“Even though I never shared a shred of my uncle’s athletic ability, I understand the joy of youth sports. The closeness of a team, the influence of a coach, and the sense of belonging are all benefits of organized athletics regardless of the outcome of a game. Every child should have the opportunity to participate without fear of being unable to pay.”
Alison noted that Farmington should be commended for providing those opportunities for the younger members of the community. “Meeting other kids on an even playing field, so to speak, is a gift we can give to children in economic circumstances similar to those my uncle experienced as a child. That is how we want to honor and remember David.”
In concluding, Alison wrote, “We have enclosed a check in the amount of $1,750.00 to be designated as the David Robbins Youth Sports Fund. We ask that this money be used completely at the discretion of the Recreation Department Director and his staff to help children purchase sneakers, equipment, clothing, or anything else they may need to participate fully in a program. That being said, please know that “sports” is to be interpreted loosely. Uncle Dave supported our music and dance adventures just as enthusiastically as any sporting event.”
The letter was signed by Alison on behalf of Joyce King and Clayton King, Betsy Robbins, Tirzah Lanoie, Hannah Robbins, Carlah Robbins, and Hal Robbins.
For more information on the Farmington Recreation Department and the available programs, visit www.farmington-maine.org/parks-recreation