Always with a smile and a twinkle in her eye, you have to wonder how Schaunon Gilman can always maintain her upbeat attitude. She's figured out the trick: "I work very hard at just being," she said. "I try to remain flexible." That approach to life has served her well.
Born and raised in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Schaunon worked out of high school. She owned a secretarial/answering service and managed a temporary personnel business.
Her husband, Mark and she had dated in high school, but they went their separate ways. Eight years later they reconnected and were married six months later. Her son, Christopher, was five at the time.
They moved to Colorado and were living in a rental house. “We knew we needed equity, so we built our home.” After some “odd jobs here and there,” and the arrival of their daughters, Schyler and Sierra, she made her next flexible move. “Mark had purchased some property, so I got my real estate license.” Schaunon had been in real estate for a year, “when people approached me to ‘just put me on the Multiple Listing Book.’ So, I figured out how to do that, and Broker Direct was born. While she continues to aid the hearty souls that want to do it themselves, she also continues to do full-service realtor work through Fathom Realty.
While people’s coming and going in our community was taking most of her time, Schaunon was introduced to National Charity League; a mother/daughter volunteer organization that supports multiple non-profits in the community through volunteering and fundraising efforts. She and her daughters were members since 2011, and one of those years she served as president. “That was the most fun I think I’ve had in – forever!” she said with a smile. “It was wonderful – to do things you’re not used to doing – that was wonderful.” As for her daughters’ reaction to being in NCL, Schaunon said, “They got a lot out of it. They ‘know’ volunteering and what it does for them. You get to meet with others doing the same thing; you learn new skills, news tasks and techniques.” Now that both of her daughters have graduate Schaunon looks forward to continuing with NCL through their Sustainers’ program of ‘graduated’ mothers and daughters.
It was through NCL that Schaunon became aware of Operation Homefront that serves military families in need. She and other NCL members created “Evergreen’s Got Talent” held each year at the Muddy Buck. “It’s a fun event! Individuals and groups volunteer to sing and play [instruments]; it’s a great night of music. Supporters put donations into buckets designated for each performance as ‘votes’ for the best of show. All the money is donated to Operation Homefront.” But Shaunon didn’t stop there, she grabbed the reigns of this particular non-profit and organized food drives and school supply drives, and then volunteered to load everything into her car and deliver it to Colorado Springs. “I really believe in what they do.”
Schaunon’s other love in volunteering is the Fourth of July Music Festival, of which she has been a part for four years. The Evergreen tradition of featuring numerous musical groups on Independence Day each year has stolen her heart. “This year we’ll move the festival from the Lake House to Buchanan Park. It will allow better parking and make it more accessible to everyone.”
Perhaps her hardest job is finding volunteers – especially on years such as this one when July 4th lands on a Saturday. “A lot of people head out of town for the long weekend. We still need a large number of people to make this wonderful tradition a success.” (Call 303-526-9674 to volunteer.) She emphasized that once someone steps up to volunteer they readily return year after year. “It’s such a fun way to celebrate the 4th!”
Schaunon has also been involved in Mt. Evans Hospice and Home Care, in addition to the many non-profits she was exposed to through National Charity League. “It’s such a joy to meet so many people in our community. I love seeing all these non-profits succeed.”