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To honor women and what they’ve accomplished, Waltonwood Cary Parkway, a premier senior living community, hosted its annual Ladies of Legacy Achievement Awards luncheon to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. North Carolina Assisted Living Association President and CEO Frances Messer was the keynote speaker.

“We were honored to host our second Ladies of Legacy Award luncheon and let the residents know they are valued, not just during Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, but all the time,” said Richard Mabe, executive director. “We have many residents with fascinating stories who have accomplished a lot in their lives both here in Raleigh and across the country. It’s important to let them know they paved the way for other women to achieve their dreams. Our luncheon last year and this year was such a success, we decided to make it annual event. I couldn’t think of a better way to honor these fine women.”

During the event, residents were recognized with three main awards: the Humanitarian Award, which identifies the contributions of someone who has improved the lives and living conditions of others; the Entrepreneurship Award, which recognizes the achievements of entrepreneurship by someone who started one or more business; and the Kindred Heart Award, which honors someone who has demonstrated outstanding courage, passion and generosity. Women were nominated by family and friends for the awards, and the winners will be announced the day of the luncheon. A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to one special resident. Louise Yarborough, 90, who spent more than 40 years as a missionary in Alaska won the award last year.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award was a complete surprise to me. I thought there were only three awards, and then I noticed my family walk through the door along with representatives from the Baptist convention, so I knew something was going on,” said Yarborough. “It was a moving experience and one I am eternally grateful for. It was a treasured day for me. I am so appreciative that I was recognized, and it is something I will also remember.”

Yarborough says being a missionary was her calling. After graduating from Meredith College, while working as an associational missionary in North Carolina, she heard about an opportunity in Alaska. She left North Carolina and held several positions in the 49th state including: summer missionary where she taught vacation bible school, a volunteer at the state Baptist paper, the executive secretary of the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU), trainer and teacher  for English as a second language (ESL) classes for students from 88 countries and an international bible class teacher for 40 years. She continues her ministry work at Waltonwood Cary Parkway where she leads three devotional groups. Yarborough still teaches international bible classes at her church. Her dedication to mission work earned her the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I know the women who were presented with the awards on International Women’s Day had the same feeling as me: pure joy,” said Yarborough. “A lot of us don’t expect recognition for our efforts because this is just ordinary life, but it’s nice to know our family and friends are the reason we are honored. I enjoyed attending this year’s luncheon and hearing the stories of the other women who received awards. It was a memorable day for all.”

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