Local group recognizes achievements made by women

The theme for International Women’s Day, March 8th is “Inspiring Change.”

A local women’s association is celebrating International Women’s Day by recognizing contributions and achievements of our local women.  The theme for International Women’s Day, March 8th is “Inspiring Change.”

The Canadian Federation of University Women Nelson & District Club has inspired change through the club’s purpose of advocating for Women’s rights, equality, and empowerment through supporting access to quality education and training.

For the past 43 years CFUW has offered a scholarship and a bursary to young women in our community.

The Club was formed in 1967. One of the founding members, Lois Arnesen, recalls in 1971 the Club raised $100 for a scholarship for a top female graduate at L.V. Rogers High School. The winner was Sandy Morin.

Lois and other club members have participated in raising funds for the scholarship for 47 years. We salute Lois Arnesen and other founding members who created the scholarship and have sustained it; that is a commitment to supporting access to quality education for young women in the community.

In 2000, this scholarship was renamed to honour Elizabeth Wallach, who was a remarkable Kootenay-born woman.

Elizabeth Wallach had a long inspiring career in education and was a socially environmentally conscious volunteer.  She was the second woman to be elected to Nelson City Council. She lived her life with thoughtful deeds and compassionate words.

Her life’s motto, “If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or a word to someone who needs you” resonates within the club’s purpose.   Many CFUW members remember Elizabeth as a trailblazer within the community and the Club.

It was fitting in 2013; the CFUW Nelson and District Club presented the Elizabeth Wallach Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to Sienna Drake, a graduate from L.V. Rogers secondary.  Drake is studying at the University of Calgary in an Arts & Science Honours Academy.  Drake, who is inspired through education and is interested in global views may be one of the young women to carry the torch towards further equality for women.

The club wishes her inspirational change during her university years.

In 2004, the CFUW Nelson and District Club awarded its first bursary to a Selkirk College student in her third year of post-secondary education in the amount of $250 to Emily Elias.  This year’s $350 bursary was awarded to Suzanne Fordyce who is in the Associate Arts Program at Selkirk.

As the local CFUW Club is approaching 50 years of service in the community, we celebrate, but also challenge others to reach out with kind deeds or kind words to someone who needs you, as it is often grass root actions that inspire change.

For anyone interested in contributing to the scholarship/bursary fund, please contact us at nelsoncfuw@gmail.com.

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