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Top 50 Over 50: Verna Gates

Verna Gates is an award-winning journalist, author, community leader, ethnobotanist, storyteller/humorist and promoter of Alabama. She is the founder and executive director of Fresh Air Family Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to outdoor education. Its award-winning Gross Out Camp has served thousands of children. Verna received a lifetime achievement award from the National Federation of Press Women. She’s interviewed luminaries such as President Obama, the Dalai Lama and Dolly Parton. As a board member for Global Ties Alabama, she has entertained visiting dignitaries from around the world. Verna was among the original 50 employees of CNN and has worked for Reuters International, TIME Magazine, The Guardian, and many more high-profile outlets. She was named Alabama Conservationist of the Year, an Alabama Treasure, One of Alabama’s Unforgettable Faces and received an Eagle Award from Alabama State Parks. Verna is the author of “100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die.”

Top 50 Over 50 is a program of Positive Maturity celebrates members of our community who know how to dream, laugh, contribute and achieve on many levels… all the key elements of staying young while growing up.

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