The Girl Scouts of Central Texas will honor five as Women of Distinction at a luncheon Thursday, Sept. 19, at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.
The five women are Kevelle Bailey, Sue Tullar Byrd, Betty Beyer Critchfield, Debbie Eoff and Alice Salazar.
Additionally, Dazzling Diva’s Boutique will be honored as the Workplace of Distinction.
At the signature fundraising event for the Girl Scouts, the organization brings together and honors local women leaders “whose dynamic leadership, professional accomplishments, and community contributions inspire us all to make the world a better place,” the event’s Facebook page states.
The proceeds from the annual event support the Girl Scouts leadership program.
The Bulletin will feature articles about the honorees beginning with Friday’s print edition and www.brownwoodtx.com.
Alice Salazar was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Barbara Wisecup and William Rush.
Salazar grew up in Enon, Ohio. Her father served in the Air Force and started a construction business after retiring. Her mother was a stay-at-home mom while her children were young and then a civil servant as a procurement specialist on military bases.
Salazar has two sisters, Brenda Hoolapa and Cindy Larson.
Salazar graduated from Greenon High School in Springfield, Ohio and attended Howard Payne University, where she studied sociology.
Salazar worked at Brownwood Regional Medical Center for 16 years, then at Lighthouse Hospice and currently is employed at Texas Workforce Solutions as a consumer case coordinator, helping people with disabilities find jobs.
Salazar credits her mom as being a special influence and teaching unconditional love. Both of her parents were very involved in their community and the lives of the children as they grew up.
Salazar remembers how active her parents were. Her mom was her Girl Scout leader and she and her dad put out a community newsletter for the Lion/Lioness Clubs.
She remembers hearing them running a mimeograph machine in the kitchen.
They had great family summer vacations from Ohio to Colorado and Texas. Her family kept the bond with family members during these vacations, since this
was before Facebook.
Salazar has one daughter, Shannon Salazar, and was blessed to raise her granddaughter, Destiny Salazar.
Salazar coached softball, basketball and soccer. She was involved in PTA, Just Say No, RIF and loved watching the kids grow from year to year. She became a member of the Downtown Brownwood Lions Club and became the first female president in the club’s 81-year history.
Salazar is a cancer survivor and committee member of Brownwood Relay for Life, which she co-chaired for three years and raised the highest amount at that time — $120,000.
Salazar has had special mentors throughout her life. One set of mentors was Paul and Sharon Willis, founders of A World for Children, where she has been a foster parent for nearly 11 years.
Salazar has had 41 children in her home and currently has five. She pays it forward by mentoring new foster parents and biological parents whose children are in her home.
Other mentors were Grammy Pyle, Nanda Wilbourn, Lainey Hall and her sister Brenda Hoolapa.
Salazar believes one of her major accomplishments in life is making a difference in the lives of children who come from hard places. She loves seeing the smile, building a bond and knowing some of them have security for the first time in their lives.
Salazar was a Brownie, Junior and a Cadet in Girl Scouts and loved earning badges and being a part of the group. Girl Scout Camp was one of her favorite activities.
The Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law along with church teachings became part of her way of life as a youth and have carried over into her adult life.
Salazar’s advice to young girls is: “give of yourself to others and it will always come back to you tenfold.”