Celebrating Remarkable Women

In March we celebrate National Women’s History Month and in celebration, we would like to honor some of the visionary women in our community. The success of the Community Foundation and the betterment of Gaston County is largely owed to the individuals who call it home. This community is filled with people who have a passion for bettering the place they live, and we feel fortunate to have crossed paths with many of these exceptional community leaders.

Each year, we have the opportunity to honor the philanthropists in our community through the Allen H. Sims Award. This award is given to an individual or individuals who have lived a life of generosity with their time, influence, and finances to make Gaston County a better place. Beginning in 1990, the Sims award was given in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Allen H. Sims who were best known for their generosity. This award is given to someone who embodies the spirit of these two people through the selfless act of seeing a need and finding a solution, or caring for a community and making a difference. Since 1990, we have been able to honor eleven different women whose tenacity and passion created positive change in our community. While these women all share different areas of expertise, the thing they all have in common is an unwavering dedication to bettering Gaston County. Each of these women spent their life fighting for the things they were most passionate about and were instrumental in the creation of these things we enjoy today. In fact, many of these women were instrumental in the formation and sustainability of not only the Community Foundation, but many other nonprofits and development throughout our area.

So as we celebrate National Women’s History month this March, we want to take a moment to honor these women once again. We want to take a moment to commend them for their efforts and visions for Gaston County. We also want to take a moment to learn from their example. While each of these women had their own personalities, and their individual methods for inspiring change, they all serve as a fantastic representation of what a community member should be. They all remind us that commitment to community and passion for serving others yield lasting results. They remind us that there is no limit to what a woman can accomplish, and they inspire us to see a need, find a solution and care for our community to make a difference.


Mrs. Judith Miller

Mrs. Lucy Rawlings Penegar

Mrs. Lena Sue Beam

Mrs. Eunice Cherry

Mrs. Rebecca Carter

Mrs. Tuga Adams

Mrs. Dougie Henry

Mrs. Catherine Carstarphen

Mrs. Johan Newcombe

Mrs. Jeanne Rauch

Mrs. Mildred Sadler


*Listed Above are all the female Sims Award recipients since 1990*

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 123 Gastonia, NC 28053

Street Address:
1201 E. Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054




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