When the word volunteer is part of a conversation around Gainesville, chances are the name of Ruby Brawner will be brought up before the discussion is over.
Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people showed up at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville to honor Brawner as Gainesville's 2018 Woman of Distinction, an honor bestowed annually by the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.
The 85-year-old Banks County native, who has lived in Gainesville for 63 years, can run circles around most people half her age, according to friends and family members.
Brawner has volunteered for Meals on Wheels for 25 years, with Hall County's Prison Ministry for 25 years and with Northeast Georgia Medical Center for 35 years. Brawner, a devout Christian, has been the president of the Gainesville Prayer Band since 1983. The group meets once a month at various churches in the Gainesville community to pray for the needs of that specific church and its congregation.
According to information shared at the Tuesday event, Brawner earned her GED at the age of 75 after she had to drop out of school at an early age. For that achievement, she was named the County Winner for Exceptional Adult Education, Office of Adult Literacy in 1997.
The Girls Scouts of Historic Georgia began honoring area women for their community service with the Woman of Distinction honor in 1999, making Brawner the 20th honoree in Gainesville.