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Special event for Woman of the Year set for March 3

Gail Brown, 2014 Woman of the Year - Submitted
Gail Brown, 2014 Woman of the Year
— image credit: Submitted

The Cranbrook Chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women has named Gail Brown Cranbrook's Woman of the Year for 2014.

Daphne Kelgard, who headed the nomination for Gail Brown for this year's Woman of the Year, wrote: "It would be difficult to find a candidate for Woman of the Year who better exemplifies the principles of the CFUW than Gail Brown, whose entire adult life has been dedicated to improving the outcomes of children, especially but not particularly, in the East Kootenay."

Brown's resume of public service includes helping get the Kootenay Child Development Centre off the ground, operating the Kootenay Children's Festival, and helping found East Kootenay Friends of Children. She is currently a Trustee with the board of School District 5.

Brown said each of her projects has a concrete goal. When an idea came to her in her various paid and volunteer careers in Cranbrook, she designed a plan, surrounded herself with like-minded people, and through many little steps, lots of effort and time, the ultimate goal was achieved. A prime example of this is the Kootenay Child Development Centre.

"None of these are 'my' projects, but rather achievements made with an idea that grew with the help of citizens of this community," she said. "I am proud to be part of this membership of men and women; a team of like-minded people to share goals in making everything a little bit better."

MLA Bill Bennett wrote: "Gail is blessed with unusually keen insight and an ability to move challenging policy ideas forward in the complicated world of politics and diminished government resources."

Joy Graham wrote in her letter of support for the nomination of Gail that she "recognized how isolated people could feel in their individual communities and programs and did her utmost to bring people and information together."

Brown said that Cranbrook is the perfect-sized community for anyone to go from a concept to a finished project. There are enough willing volunteers, resources and space that a larger city would swallow one's idea up in or, in a smaller setting, get lost due to restrictions a small town has.

"I have been able to have ideas, share these and see a project to the end."

This is the fuel Gail enjoys and uses for her next idea!

Brown was born in Vancouver and spent most of her life in the Lower Mainland until she and her husband, Wayne Staudt, came to Cranbrook in 1979 "to try out a new community. We love Cranbrook and all it has to offer," she said.

Others who wrote in supprt of Brown were Pat Chisholm, Daphne Kelgard, Denise Salanski and Gwen Noble.

The CFUW Cranbrook Club encourages all former Woman of the Year recipients to this 30th Anniversary celebration and to celebrate Gail Brown's award as Woman of the Year 2014.

The ceremony will take place Monday, March 3, at the Manual Training School next to the Cranbrook Public Library. Although the celebration will start at 4 p.m., those wishing to have a chair should come early.

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