June 11, 2015

June 11, 19_ _  – A young and enthusiastic Robyn Thompson graduates from Robinson Secondary School eager to make her way in the world.

Many more June 11s.  None of them memorable.

June 11, 2014 – A shitty day in the now much older, wrinkle-y-er, tired-er Robyn Tremaine’s life.

June 11, 2015 – A much happier day.

The kids and I got up, donned our finest orange and went to Hayfield.


We had the opportunity to give away six scholarships.  The winners were determined based on their embodiment of Dave’s ideals to 1) make a difference and/or 2) remain positive even in the face of adversity.  Selecting winners was SO difficult.  I loved each one of the applicants for different reasons.  I am so glad that I had a group of people willing to read applications and help with the decision making.

I have talked about how it is difficult to be at Hayfield, but I always LOVE seeing the people there.  I appreciate the hugs and the smiles and the “How are you guys doing?”  When we got there the kids and I slipped into our seats and talked about last minute logistics.  The new associate principal kicked off the morning.  He made a comment about not wearing his orange shoes for this more formal occasion.  I couldn’t help but smile to myself.  Formality certainly never stood between Dave and his giant orange sneakers!

When it was our turn, I went up to the podium and introduced myself.  I was taken aback and moved by the reception that I received.  In that applause and again in the same reaction when I introduced the kids, I felt the love for Dave in that room.  It was with some effort that I managed not to cry.  I appreciated more than words can describe that the school has moved forward and yet not forgotten him.


My kids were amazing.  They were more than willing to take a turn announcing winners and tell a little bit about each student.  I loved that the four of us tackled this challenge together.  We also gave the recipients copies of Dave’s favorite book The Power of One tied in orange ribbon, of course.


Every single student that came up seemed so genuinely honored and grateful to have been selected.  Again, that showed me just how loved Dave was because it meant so much to them.  I appreciated having a moment to congratulate each of them and give them a big hug.

We were also able to recognize one more student who did so much fundraising for our scholarship fund.  She is truly an inspiring and incredible kid with the brightest of futures ahead of her.

Today we had the honor of celebrating Dave.  I think that he would have been so pleased with the students we chose because they best represent what he held dear.  He would have been so proud of his own three kids.  Without hesitation they wanted to be there for their dad.  Today was a very good day.




15 thoughts on “June 11, 2015

  1. A lovely touch to present Dave’s favorite book to each recipient. The photo of the children is beautiful. Dave’s best work! (and yours too!)

  2. Wish I could have been there! The love for Dave continues…we see the affect he had on our teenagers every day; in the way they act, carry themselves, and treat others. Thank you for continuing to let us be a part of his continuing legacy!

  3. Dave will always be a part of Hayfield…his legacy is strong…I’d write more, but I have to go find a tissue…xoxoxo

  4. Thanks for describing the day – what a perfect way to honor and remember Dave and carry on his legacy. As someone who needed a lot of financial help to go to college, I know how grateful those graduates are.

    • thanks, robin. i think that they were so appreciative of the scholarships and also so grateful that they were recognized and selected. i wish i could share why we picked each student but their stories are so personal. i’ll just say they are all incredible, resilient, kind people.

  5. I could not be more proud of you and the kids… and the picture of them “getting their orange on” and the one of the painted rocks… well, it touched my heart… as did the event. It truly was a wonderful way to honor Dave’s spirit and all the positive principles that he held dear. I have no doubts that Dave would have been so proud of his family. Just awesome!! Agreed, he definitely would have worn his orange sneakers! 🙂 Love you sis!

    • thanks, matt. it was an amazing way to honor dave and these incredible kids who embody his spirit. i was amazed to see the rocks painted that way a year later. and he DEFINITELY would have worn his orange sneakers!! xoxo

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