Annual luncheon honors East Texas women with a passion to serve

Six women were honored including a cancer survivor who continues to volunteer

Annual luncheon honors East Texas women with a passion to serve

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -In honor of Women’s History Month, an East Texas organization honored 6 women with a passion to serve.

A large, and enthusiastic crowd filled the Tyler Rose Garden Center for the annual luncheon. Among the honorees was a woman who beat cancer twice but continues to be an active volunteer.

Held to honor Women with Passion.
Held to honor Women with Passion.

“We are honoring women from different places in life,” says event co-chair Elva Estrada “We’re all coming together to recognize the passion they have and everything they brought to East Texas.”

Honorees included Darlene Lewis, an educator who established summer feeding sites for children and LaShonda Marley-Horne, the co-founder of a local group that inspires healthy living through daily walks and self-care. Each of those honored share a passion to make a difference, including Lela Eaves.

Only the second educational diagnostician to work in the state of Texas, Eaves also spent most of her life volunteering with the Salvation Army and the Bethesda Health Clinic.

“I have been helped a lot in my life,” says Eaves. “So I think it’s my turn to give other people a chance at life.”

Eaves ,87, recently lost both of her legs due to cancer, but her volunteer efforts continue.

"I feel like that gives me a chance for other people to see what I have been through and that you can keep going and have a productive life,” says Eaves.

At 87, Eaves continues to volunteer in the East Texas community.
At 87, Eaves continues to volunteer in the East Texas community.

Eaves has been honored in the past by state and national representatives including the Late President and Barbara Bush. However, she describes this local honor as overwhelming.

“I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude,” says Eaves.

A sentiment those who she has helped, are likely to share.

Also honored at the event, was Wendi Rees, the founder of the Magdalene Home, Dalila Reynoso, the director of Justice for our Neighbors, and Molly Wyatt a passionate volunteer with the Christian Women’s Job Corps.

Those recognized today were nominated by Tyler residents and then the “Women in Tyler” board chose the final recipients.

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