Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

Chris Graw: A Pillar of Community Wellness in the Peace Region

Chris Graw: A Pillar of Community Wellness in the Peace Region

Chris Graw, born and raised in the Peace Region, grew up on a cattle and grain farm in Hotchkiss, Alberta. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2004 in Grande Prairie, she worked there until returning to Manning in 2010.

Chris’s parents were instrumental in fostering her community involvement. From an early age, she and her siblings were taught the importance of community. They volunteered with their parents for various Hotchkiss Club events, from selling pies and burgers at farm auctions to helping at ball tournaments, Mother’s Day breakfasts, and Fall Suppers. Most importantly, they were always ready to lend a hand to any neighbour in need.

Chris also draws inspiration from Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I love everything she did and stood for,” Chris says, highlighting Ruth’s achievements in law as a mother of two and her role as a trailblazer for gender equality. “RBG paved the way for gender equality in the US and no doubt influenced the way women were seen by law in Canada as well,” she adds, “She went on to be the second female Supreme Court Judge, and a badass role model for women everywhere.”

A pivotal moment in Chris’s journey was when she and other parents realized Manning lacked a splash park. “I just decided right there that there was no reason not to have one,” she explains. Motivated by the mantra, “Be the change you want to see,” Chris joined a committee of parents to bring the Manning Splash Park to life, involving herself in creating presentations and corporate sponsorship packages, and sourcing grants. Chris then helped facilitate a partnership with the Town of Manning to donate the land where it sits today and contributed in managing the construction project.

Chris’s commitment extends to numerous community groups and initiatives. She has been a director and member of the Battle River Ag Society for nearly 20 years, revitalizing the Rodeo Queen contest into a leadership opportunity for young girls. Now, as Rodeo Director, she helps bring the Annual Manning Rodeo to the community each year. Her volunteer efforts extend to rodeo events and fundraising initiatives throughout the year to bring the community event to fruition.

In addition, Chris has been actively involved as executive of her children’s school councils and fundraising organizations. She worked on the Farm to Cafeteria project, securing a grant for a greenhouse to promote healthy eating. Chris was previously the Food Coordinator for the Manning Elementary School’s Food for Thought Program, and still helps provide breakfasts for students, a much-needed service.

Chris has also partnered with the North Peace Applied Research Association (NPARA) and local schools to facilitate a Farm Safety Event for around 300 students. Currently, she and other parents are fundraising for Manning's new Composite School Yard to enhance outdoor amenities.

Her volunteer work spans various organizations, including the Manning Pottery Guild, 4-H Beef and Horse Clubs, Manning Minor Hockey, Peace Region Football, Gymnastics, Junior Rodeo and other sports groups over the years. 

Chris currently works as a casual Registered Nurse at the local hospital in Manning, where she continues to implement positive change. As the President of the Registered Nurse union, she dedicates considerable time and effort to addressing healthcare challenges in rural communities, such as the shortage of healthcare workers. Chris is also a member of the Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP), a committee committed to keeping healthcare accessible in rural areas. This group has been instrumental in bringing a permanent local doctor to Manning, a critical achievement for communities lacking quick access to larger healthcare centers.

Reflecting on her achievements, Chris acknowledges the challenges of living in the Peace Region and being located in the north, but emphasizes the importance of community partnerships and resourcefulness. “The generosity of our community is something that never ceases to amaze me!” she expresses.

Chris’s journey in community service has profoundly impacted her personal growth and sense of purpose. "Being an advocate for others and helping others comes naturally to me. It’s fulfilling and rewarding to see a project through to the end result," she says.

Chris underscores respect as a cornerstone for women who aspire to impact their communities. "Respect is so important to give and receive in your community. The partnerships you build for one initiative will spill over to the next," she says. Her advice to women eager to make a difference is straightforward: "Just do it! If you feel passionate about something, you will and you can make a difference."

Chris also highlights the necessity of women’s involvement in community-building. "We bring different strengths to the table. We are showing our daughters that they will be seen, heard, and respected when they are involved."

Chris hopes her actions inspire the next generation, particularly her children. “I hope that my kids see what I’m doing, and even if they don’t appreciate it now, I hope that the passion I have for community and helping others is instilled in them,” she shares.

As part of the 30 Women for 30 Years campaign, Chris Graw's message to future generations of women is clear: "Find what ignites your passion and brings you joy, and then share it with others! Continue to support and celebrate each other. ‘Fix another Queen's Crown without letting the world know it was crooked’" (Author Unknown). Her legacy is one of encouragement, community support, and quiet strength, inspiring women to uplift each other and pursue their passions.



Battle River Ag Society

Farm to Cafeteria: Food for Thought Program

North Peace Applied Research Association (NPARA)

Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP)