Women’s History Month: When it comes to making a difference, age is just a number. In Florida, many older women are continuing to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond. From philanthropy to politics to environmental advocacy, these women are proving that it’s never too late to make a difference. In honor of Women’s History Month, FirstLantic highlights a few examples of older women who never let age get in their way.

  1. Betty Castor: Betty Castor, now 80 years old, has had a long and distinguished career in public service. She served as a Florida state senator and as Florida’s Commissioner of Education. Castor also served as the President of the University of South Florida and was the first woman to hold that position. She continues to be involved in education advocacy and serves on the board of the Florida Humanities Council.
  2. Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Although Douglas passed away in 1998 at 108, her legacy lives on in her work to protect Florida’s environment. She was a journalist and author who fought tirelessly to preserve the Everglades and was instrumental in the creation of Everglades National Park. Her book, “The Everglades: River of Grass,” is still considered a seminal work on the subject.
  3. Sandy Skelaney: Skelaney is a retired teacher who, at 79, decided to run for the Palm Beach County School Board. She won her race in 2020 and is now serving her first term on the board. Skelaney has said she was inspired to run for office because of her lifelong commitment to education and her belief that older adults have much to contribute to their communities.
  4. Bobbie Lindsay: Lindsay is a town councilwoman in Palm Beach, Florida, now 73. She has been involved in local politics for over a decade and strongly advocates for environmental issues, including beach preservation and sea turtle protection. She has also been a strong supporter of women’s rights and has worked to increase the number of women in leadership positions in her community.
  5. Ruth Shack: Ruth Shack, who passed away in 2019 at 94, was a trailblazer for women’s rights and a champion for social justice. She was the first woman to serve as President of the Dade County Bar Association and the first woman to serve as President of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. She was also a founding member of the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade and a board member of the Miami Foundation.

In conclusion, these women show that age is just a number when it comes to making a difference. They dedicated their lives to public service, advocacy, and philanthropy, and their contributions have made Florida a better place to live as a result. Their examples should inspire all of us, regardless of our age, to get involved and positively impact our communities.

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