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Throughout the three decades Marilyn Horton has lived in Coppell with her husband and two sons, she has lived by a consistent mantra: To leave the world around her a little better than she found it.
"I have found purpose and direction for my life through my various volunteer positions," Horton said. "I like sharing information that will help other people and I like advancing a cause I am passionate about."
As it happens, passion manifests itself in Horton through an avid dedication towards community volunteering and service - specifically, shopping local and recycling.
In 2008 and 2009, she served as chair of the Coppell Farmers Market committee, and has been an active member of the group since.
"The citizens committee that helps run the Farmers' Market takes seriously the commitment to run a successful market," Horton said. "We all have worn many hats through the years which helps when it comes time to make important decisions."
Horton's role in the Coppell Farmers' Market committee originated in marketing, the newsletter, the website and social media. Now, with a paid market manager established to handle the larger part of marketing, Horton helps out more with decision-making and market promotion.
"Being a wife, mother and grandmother keeps me centered, but I also enjoy a broader sense of community," Horton said. "The sense of community is central to the Coppell Farmers Market, which may be part of why I love it so much."
Horton also treasures the closeness that develops between volunteers, vendors and customers.
"I value the friendships I've made," she commented, and looks forward to Saturdays at the Farmers' Market where she and her big lab/great Dane mix can be found grocery shopping and visiting.
Horton urges others to join her in shopping local. Dollars spent with a local farmer or artisan stay in the North Texas community as they, in turn, buy clothes, food, and equipment from other North Texas suppliers. Local produce is really fresh, tastes better and contains all the vitamins that nature intended it to have, when ripened on the vine, she explained.
From caregiver support groups to picking up day old bread to give to food pantries, Horton has established a consistent presence in various volunteer organizations across North Texas. Once she had children, about 15 years of her time was spent volunteering at their schools and she began to restrict her service to around Coppell for purposes of convenience.
In no time, Horton found herself serving on the Coppell Recycling Task Force and co-leading the Caregiving Heroes group at First United Methodist Church. By 2008, she had stepped up to serve as chair of the Coppell Farmers' Market committee.
"My husband, Randy, and I have lived in Coppell 33 years and raised both our boys here," Horton said, noting that Coppell only had a population of about 7,500 when they moved here.
Now, years later, Horton has made a deeply-rooted home in her volunteer work in Coppell, and has witnessed the growth of a city she is determined to leave a better place.