GREENVILLE — When Sally Marshall saw three members of the Women’s Action Network (WAN) walking through the halls of her office with balloons and a bouquet, she knew something was up.
Marshall knew they were about to hand someone the annual Woman of the Year award and she figured it would be one of her many deserving coworkers at the Greenville Area Community Foundation.
“In fact, I thought it was coming for Alison (Barberi),” Marshall said. A few other names even popped into her head as good candidates, but when the WAN trio took the turn into her office, she was taken aback.
“I was totally surprised,” the modest Marshall said. “I guess I don’t feel like I do as much as people think I do.”
While she tried to downplay her community actions — which range from running Marshall Funeral Home with her husband, Jeff, her part-time job with the community foundation, organizing fundraisers and volunteering at the community center — those who nominated Marshall raved about her character.
“Her time is never more important than helping someone else,” said Barberi, who was one of about a dozen people to nominate Marshall. “When the nomination letter came out this year, she was the first person that came to mind. She is a true unsung hero in our community.”
Marshall is unsung no more.
She becomes the 31st woman selected as Woman of the Year, an annual award given to a nominee who best gives of herself to family, friends and the community.
“For 30 years, we have been honoring women who work tirelessly to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said WAN President Pam Jorae. “Sally is an excellent example of the inspirational leadership of women throughout the Greenville area.”
An event honoring Marshall will take place at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology Learning Center, located at 1325 Yellow Jacket Drive in Greenville. The public is welcome to attend the “roasting and toasting” of Marshall.
Anyone wishing to attend can contact Jorae at (616) 754-6369 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.