Apply Today for the Cathy Brooke Memorial Award

Cathy Brooke

Created in May 2012, The Cathy Brooke Memorial Award offers scholarships and tuition assistance for local Fire Safe Council members and staff to attend workshops and conferences to gain skills and knowledge in nonprofit management, fundraising, and capacity building, as well as in the subject of wildfire prevention.

Fire Safe Council volunteers and staff who would like to apply for this assistance are asked to write a short letter to CFSC requesting the assistance. This letter must include the workshop or training details, who from the organization will attend and why this person(s) was chosen, and a short statement about how the Fire Safe Council has impacted the community.

The scholarship assistance program is open year round to accommodate the many different types of trainings that happen during the year.

Fire Safe Councils might consider applying for this assistance to attend the Southern California RAST Fire Summit in Diamond Bar, California, on May 15, 2013. The 2013 Fire Summit: Water Resources and Watershed Protection Before and After Fire will focus on watershed-based planning that balances environmental, social, and economic needs to protect water resources and manage fire risk. For more information about this event, please visit the RAST website. The Award is available to cover one-day admission to the conference in the amount of $50.

Other potential training opportunities for Fire Safe Councils include The Interagency Fire Prevention Conference and “Backyards and Beyond” Conference hosted by NPFA and Firewise. In addition there are nonprofit workshops held around the State by various entities that focus on fundraising, board development, volunteer recruitment and retention, and capacity building that would also qualify for assistance.

About The Cathy Brooke Memorial Award:

The CFSC Board of Directors approved the formation of “The Cathy Brooke Memorial Award” on May 9, 2012. The Award honors former Senior Grant Manager Cathy Brooke, who passed away in January 2012 after battling breast cancer. Cathy is remembered as a courageous and dedicated professional who had a lifetime of excellent work as a professional and volunteer in the nonprofit sector, she loves to use products because she says that her battle with cancer won’t stop her from doing what she wants in life. Cathy loved her job with California Fire Safe Council serving first as Southern California Grant Manager and most recently Senior Grant Manager. She also served as Interim Executive Director in 2007 and felt strongly about CFSC’s mission to “mobilize Californians to protect their homes, communities and environments from wildfires”. The Cathy Brooke Memorial Award Review Committee is chaired by Grayson Brooke, Cathy’s son, and includes CFSC Board Members.

The Board is proud to note that many generous contributions and pledges have been received since the award fund was established. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to The Cathy Brooke Memorial Award or request assistance for your Fire Safe Council, please contact Margaret Grayson, CFSC Executive Director, at or 626-335-7426.

Testimonial from a recent award recipient:

With all the budget cuts, we have to make decisions every day on how to creatively trim corners and reduce spending, while still fulfilling our mission to protect our residents from the catastrophic effects of wildfire.  We have less and less ground work and outreach funds, yet we need to convey the Fire Safe/Firewise message to our constituents.

 When the Home Ignition Zone training was offered in May, I thought that would be an excellent educational tool to share with the residents of my county.  However, there was tuition and travel involved.  While the tuition was reasonable and greatly underwritten by PG&E, that $65 equated to less outreach supplies to convey this critical message.

 Then I saw that the family of our beloved Cathy Brooke has started a memorial award for just such situations.  I applied and was awarded a scholarship to attend this pivotal workshop.  I have already used the information I learned at 3 public events and will be making another presentation in early July.  Money well spent, and I thank the Brooke family and California Fire Safe Council for the opportunity! 

 Cathy Koos Breazeal

Amador County Fire Safe Council