Lufkin woman awarded prestigious 'Yellow Rose of Texas' award

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas woman who has dedicated her life to community service and volunteerism was honored with the prestigious Yellow Rose of Texas award on Sunday.

But what's even more humbling is Deniece Marshall declined the opportunity to accept her honor in the state capitol and instead receive it right in the heart of the community she serves.

With a yellow rose adorned to her jacket Deniece Marshall joined an elite group of Texas women who have demonstrated outstanding volunteerism and service to the community.

Marshall received the esteemed Yellow Rose of Texas award from Governor Rick Perry's office

"I'm really accepting in on behalf of everyone who does volunteerism, who is involved, who has a passion and maybe to spark the passion in other people," said Marshall.

Those who receive the honor are invited to the Texas capitol to receive it from the governor but Marshall decided there was a more special place for her to accept it, right here in Lufkin at her church, First United Methodist Church Lufkin.

"This is where the community is. This is the heart of the community so if I have to accept it in the heart of my community, the community gets bigger and bigger and bigger," said Marshall. "If I go to the state, it's the state. People are in the state for a lot of different business. Here, it's the heart of the community."

Fellow Yellow Rose inductee Rev. Bettie Kennedy presented Marshall with the document.

"This award recognized her for her contribution to Texas. She has been an active and charitable worker for over 25 years and I'm honored to even be in her presence," said Kennedy. "They are every day women who live in your community. Go to your church and continue to work quietly for the different success of children in that community."

But Marshall was not the only woman honored for her service, Benita Bennett an advocate for at-risk youth was also honored by Congressman Louie Gohmert and State Representative Trent Ashby with awards and a United States and a Texas flag that flew over the White House.

Marshall received four awards in all: a congressional award for volunteerism, the Yellow Rose of Texas, a community involvement award and an international prison ministry award from Kairos Prison Ministry International.

Bennett has several other honors she will be presented with in the coming weeks.

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