Jan 15 2011

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Shining Stars

It seems like yesterday when Longview Regional Medical Center started recognizing local women who add to the quality of life in this community. It is eleven years since the first fateful event dubbed Stars over Longview took place. Since then, the event has attracted more attendees and in a way kicks off the New Year for local citizens.
The Stars over Longview annual awards ceremony have taken its rightful place becoming the first important event every January in Longview.
The annual event is no child’s play. Each year during the months of August and September, the Longview Regional Medical Center Women’s Advisory Council receives an abundant number of nominations for Star over Longview selection. The Advisory Council which is made up of 16 local business women, volunteers and activists have the onerous task of selecting the women to be honored from the host of praiseworthy candidates, explained Kim Brown, director of marketing LRMC. The key note speakers have also been exceptional.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson keynoted the event last year. This year the Dale Smith Thomas of Winners by Choice, a well sought after inspirational optimist, dream maker, wife, mother and motivational speaker was the guest speaker. She made clear the attitude of the Stars which everyone needs to emulate. The Stars chose to have a positive attitude about life hence they can look beyond themselves and think of others. “A positive attitude is a choice,” Thomas said. “You can choose to be happy.”
And the 2011 Stars are:
January Star is Melinda Whitehurst whose great smile brightens visitors and co-workers every day at Longview Regional Medical Center Senior Circle. She is a member of Mobberly Baptist Church where she serves on several committees. This Star, in addition makes time to serve on several boards in the city.
Helen Bobo, the February Star among other things, is a den cub scout Mom, Holiday Nursing Home volunteer, coordinator for Meals on Wheels, supporter of the Little League baseball, volunteer for the reading program at Bramlette Elementary School and has been a member of First Baptist Church for 58 years. She has been married to her sweetheart G.A. for 65 years.
March Star Cathy Case said she was born and raised in Longview. She is very honored to be chosen as one of the Stars. She identifies community needs and helps to bring it to fruition. “When she discovered there were few sources of fresh locally grown produce available to the public, she joined with preservation Longview and helped establish the Historic Longview Farmers market downtown.”
Florence Claxton is April’s Star who cares for the sick and elderly. She feeds the poor and works with the homeless. And still finds the time to write a two-page letter to each player on the Lobo team encouraging them in all their endeavors. The storm victims, Policemen Wives Club, Federation of Women’s Club, and Goodwill Industries to mention a few all benefit from her love and compassion.
May Star Nancy Duke is devoted to breast cancer survivors. She was Woman of the Year in 2009, an honor that Longview Federation Clubs bestowed for her extensive community service to the community.
Ruth Maness June’s Star “is hardworking, creative, organized, fun and always exhibits a positive attitude.” She has been involved in so many community projects including, Junior League, Neal’s McCoy’s Angel Network, Zonta, Longview Federated Clubs, the Jaycettes and many others.
July Star is Emily Myers. She has been involved in multiple organizations that benefited many people. Born and raise in Longview, Myers has devoted her life to serving others. She has at one time or the other served on the following boards, Junior League of Longview, Texas Shakespeare Festival Foundation and several others.
August Star is Judy Owens the musician. Her music has gladdened many souls at different times. She has been part of the Longview Symphony for 20 years. However her best accomplishment is taking worshippers at the First Baptist Church to the place where their souls are lifted up and they online without can join the angels in praising the Almighty God who is worthy of our praise.
Lucy Peacock is September Star. Her love for children is demonstrated as she directs the Crisman School. She helped to start and maintain the Asbury House, a daycare for underprivileged children. In addition, she had been an advocate for the poor and needy especially the homeless.
October Stars are Sonia Henson and Helen Johnson. Henson has given hope to the women and children who were heartbroken, homeless, unemployed, abused, abandoned and addicted to . Helen Johnson or “Sister Helen” is the founder of the House of Hope where over two thousand women have benefited from her services. According to Sister Helen, her greatest joy “is to see women’s lives changed because of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Julie Rachels the November Star is grateful to God for her husband who is “a steady rock.” Her involvement in the Lord’s work via her church First Baptist are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say that in the business world, she started companies and also helped other women with their start-ups. This star is a perennial volunteer.
December Star is a Team Leader for Women in Crisis at Mobberly Baptist Church. Having gone through great losses of her own, she comforts others with the comfort she received from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Her ministries include the prisons, and women leaving the prison system. According to a friend, this Star is never too busy for anyone.
Again, congratulations!

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