During Women’s History Month, AAUW recognizes a “Community Heroine.”
On June 7, 1996, Gwynne Gibson donned her official Olympic clothing and headed off to downtown Washington Court House. She would wait near the railroad tracks on Court Street, along with a group of Hospice of Fayette County volunteers and representatives, expecting the arrival of the Olympic Torch from the last torch bearer. With her torch lit and the crowds cheering, she ran, carrying the Olympic Torch through downtown, around the Court House up Market Street.
It’s a day she relived for the members of American Association of University Women, Washington Court House Branch (AAUW), who gathered for their monthly meeting. The members were in awe of Gwynne’s accomplishment as she showed the torch she carried (32 inches tall and weighing 3.5 lbs), talked about her practice runs carrying a five-pound weight, and displayed the numerous photos and mementos of that special occasion.
It was a great honor for Gwynne and for all women that she would be selected through the United Way “Community Heroes” search for people with outstanding contributions to their community. Gwynne was one of only 5,500 Community Heroes nationwide, and was chosen for her many years of volunteerism at Hospice of Fayette County. She was one of only 10,000 people to carry the torch in the relay from Los Angeles to Atlanta for the start of the 1996 Olympic games. Twenty-four years later, we are still inspired by her and her ability to “carry the torch” for community involvement and support.
Special thanks were given to Jean Ann Davis, Mary Jane Esselburne and Frances Moore for the wonderful refreshments, including cookies in torch shapes made by Country Cakes and Bakes of New Holland.
The AAUW Washington Court House Branch was organized in 1956 to advance the equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. If you have a college degree or are a current college student, you are eligible to join. Please contact us through www.aauwoh.org