|Anyone who knows Ann Cipriano Rees knows of her commitment to serving those members of our community who are in need. Ann encourages others to get involved, stay involved and make a difference. Married to Bill Rees for 47 years, her husband and three sons support her never ending itinerary of community service initiatives and awareness activities.
Always armed with the power of persuasion, she is limitless in her capacity to develop and implement new ideas, which ultimately improve the lives of others. As a resident of Charles County for more than 40 years, she keeps her hands on the pulse of this community. Her visionary leadership as a career philanthropist- aficionado and relentless giving are her claim to fame. She is always understated about her accomplishments and will quickly change the topic of conversation to “how you can get involved and help with community needs.”
Her pioneer spirit led her to meet with Governor William Donald Schaefer and Senator Thomas M. "Mac" Middleton in the late 1980’s to begin implementation planning for the construction of a shelter for battered and abused women, the first for Charles County. Ann consistently challenges her network of friends and local business and community leaders to respond to her calls for action. She has worked to champion her causes of community atonement for women and children.
As a member of the Zonta Club of Charles County, she has designed and led countless service projects and fundraising events. It has taken nearly 20 years to realize her dream of “Gayle’s House,” a safe house for abused women and their children. Gayle A. Cooke, a mother of six, community advocate and personal friend was killed in 2000, while trying to protect her daughter from an estranged boyfriend. As a result of her leadership, the Zonta Club of Charles County and LifeStyles of Maryland continue to collaborate to fund the operation of Gayle’s House.
Ann also worked with the Cooke family and the College of Southern Maryland to establish a scholarship fund in memory of Gayle A. Cooke, awarded to female students who are recovering from abuse.
In addition to her work in support of women and children, she indulges in a labor of love, “100 Women of Carmel,” which she established in historic Port Tobacco, Maryland in 2007. Ann has creatively raised more than $200,000, in support of projects to benefit her beloved nuns.
There are those who know Ann Rees as “Charles County’s Most Beautiful Person,” Southern Maryland Community Foundation’s “Philanthropist of the Year” or the Zonta Club of Charles County’s “Woman of Achievement” (supporting their mission to “Advance the Status of Women”).
You may know her for her memorable achievements and ground breaking efforts on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, Hospice of Charles County, College of Southern Maryland, Children’s Aid Society and LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc. Ann Rees is always committed to the needs of others. Her enthusiasm and optimism are instantly infectious.
Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 2014.
© Copyright Maryland State Archives, 2014