March Participant of the Month, Mayor Anne Cavalier of Smithers

Mayor Anne Cavalier Participates in Community Captain Programs.

Mayor Anne Cavalier has been working hard to make her community of Smithers, WV, healthier. She spearheaded the effort to train volunteers in her area as Community Captains, and consequently Smithers began offering free physical activity programs in December 2021. Anne takes a team approach to do everything possible to make Smithers a healthy place to live, work, and play.

Mayor Anne has a passion for Smithers and describes herself as a local.  “My ancestors, the John Paddy Huddleston family settled here in the Upper Kanawha Valley on a land grant from the Governor of Virginia in the 1700s.” She moved around some as a child, attending nine schools in three states, but graduated from Montgomery High school with classmates she attended school with since the first grade.  

Anne shares a passion for activity, despite the fact that she describes herself as not being athletic. “I’m not powerfully built, graceful, or coordinated.  I like to say that the only thing I can do physically without hurting myself or others is walk.” And, walk she did.  In 2001, Anne walked on mainland China during a faculty exchange program, even walking portions of the Great Wall. When she returned home, she and a friend walked daily on what is now the Smithers Urban Trail.  She also discovered Zumba, and the interactions with the class and instructor made the class fun despite her feeling as though she “looked like a baby giraffe trying to dance.”

Anne began attending Active SWV Community Captain led programs so that she could experience getting fit and socializing after Covid. She also wanted to be sure that same opportunity was offered to others in her community. Anne has been working with Active SWV to remove the common barriers of cost and experience for people in Smithers by providing space and volunteers to have programs offered weekly.  

Mayor Anne stays active because of her personal and city responsibilities.  Caring for a large flower garden and greenhouse during her spare time, coupled with the busy life of a city leader, she has to keep herself fit.  Long hours filled with many activities mean that she cannot put off getting and staying healthy.  Living a long healthy life for herself and others, ending by “an overdose of chocolate on my 120th birthday” is her goal.  

Mayor Anne would love to encourage her community to come out and enjoy the free programs she has been working so hard to make available in Smithers. She states that life is more interesting when you are fit and feeling well.  “I believe there is an activity for everyone, we each just need to find the one we enjoy.”

See what Smithers has to offer by checking our website calendar. 

To find out more about how to remove barriers to physical activity in your own community, email [email protected]