JACKSON, MISS– Former Mississippi First Lady Elise Varner Winter is this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence.
Winter served as the first lady while her husband, William Winter, served as the governor of Mississippi 1980-1984. Mrs. Winter used her position in the governor’s mansion to bring about changes in public education and race relations. But leaving the mansion in 1984 did not stop Mrs. Winter from serving the public.
30 years ago, Mrs. Winter worked to bring Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area to life. Since then, Mrs. Winter served on the board, volunteered, rallied the troops, conducted fundraising and anything she could to further the organization.
“She (Winter) just helped them finish their 600th house,” says Krista Estess with Volunteer Mississippi.
But Estess says that Winter, at 91, is not slowing in her involvement with the organization.
“She still paints,” says Estess, “and rallies the troops and, she’s just not slowing down after all these years.”
Yes, Winter still does manual labor on the homes. At 91 years old.
Winter, along with eleven other individuals and organizations, were recognized at the GIVE awards Monday in Jackson.