They Were Not Deterred: Three Powerful Women for the French Broad

This year, our annual campaign celebrates the lives of three extraordinary women whose imagination and leadership were instrumental in the restoration of the French Broad River – work that RiverLink is honored to continue. Sadly, we bid a final farewell to two of our foundational leaders this year:

  • Karen Cragnolin May 19, 1949 – January 22, 2022
  • Jean Williamson Webb March 13, 1932 – March 29, 2022
  • Wilma Dykeman May 20, 1920 – December 22, 2006

Yet the lives of these women stand as a call to action and renewal. They helped us to see that we could change course and reverse a trend the industrial era brought to the French Broad. “Too thick to drink and too thin to plow” – that’s how historian Wilma Dykeman described the river in its worst days.

Karen and Jean joined forces with Wilma and led our community to change our relationship with the French Broad – birthing a revitalized river corridor. The river is now an environmental and economic asset, a transformation RiverLink has spent more than thirty years championing.

As a financial supporter, you have also been part of that transformation. Thank you for investing in our mission! Of course, the river is still in transition; but with your help, these women have left an indelible legacy from which there is no turning back.

Your gift makes a significant difference. If you have already given in 2022, we thank you for your generosity! If not, we hope you will consider renewing your support this spring.

In gratitude,

Lisa Raleigh,