(Sacramento) Today, Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) recognized Honor Flight Kern County founder, Lili Marsh, as the 16th State Senate District’s Woman of the Year.
The Woman of the Year event was founded in 1987 in celebration of Women’s History Month and to honor the contributions by some of the remarkable women throughout California. Each year one woman from each State Assembly and State Senate District is invited to be recognized at the State Capitol for their significant contributions to their district.
“Lili Marsh is the embodiment of the American spirit and Bakersfield pride,” said Senator Fuller. “She provides our veterans with the opportunity to witness first-hand the monuments that were built in their honor and for their sacrifices. And, she provides comfort to our military families while their spouses, parents and children are deployed protecting our freedoms.”
Lili founded Honor Flight Kern County, an organization aimed at ensuring that all local WWII veterans are able to see the memorials in Washington DC, that were built in their honor. In May of 2012, 21 WWII veterans and volunteer guardians made the inaugural flight. Today, there have been 31 flights with over 1,300 veterans who have had the opportunity to take that unforgettable trip.
“Senator Fuller and our local community have long been supporters of our veterans, Honor Flight Kern County, and our efforts to bring our veterans to THEIR monuments in Washington D.C.,” said Lili Marsh. “I am honored to accept this award from her on behalf of an organization that serves our veterans.”
Lili’s latest project, Portrait of a Warrior Gallery, will feature portraits of service members that lost their lives in combat following the September 11th attacks. The local gallery will open soon and will be located near 20th and Eye Streets in Bakersfield.
Lili’s long list of contributions to the veteran community also includes the “Bakersfield Unites for the Stars and Stripes” event, which she organized following the September 11th attacks. The event raised $75,000 in one day, but also brought together 20,000 Kern County residents to share their grief and provide support for each other. The “Stars and Stripes” event continued for three consecutive years, raising funds for families of service members deployed in the Middle East.
Lili assisted victims of Hurricane Katrina, when she recruited volunteers from the Bakersfield Fire Department and organized an effort to fill two semi-trucks with supplies for the evacuees impacted by the storm. Even more recently, she organized three semi-trucks full of supplies that were delivered to some of the smaller towns in Texas affected by the flooding after Hurricane Harvey.
“Lili Marsh is a humble and compassionate Patriot who inspires us to do more to honor, remember and be thankful for the sacrifices of our veterans,” concluded Fuller.