By TONY EIERDAM
Each year the Index chooses its “Woman of the Year” and “Man of the Year” – awards given to a woman and man in the Mineral Wells community who have through their work or charity efforts, or both, exemplifies a leader in the community – and after the winners have been chosen they are presented with a handsome plaque to recognize the achievement.
The Index posthumously named its 2013 winner, Robin Allen, the late Mineral Wells Fire Department Chief who passed away unexpectedly in September, as its”Woman of the Year” and receiving the award on her behave was her husband, Garry Allen.
Garry Allen is also public servant as a Texas State Trooper based in Palo Pinto County.
Garry Allen said he woke up on the morning of Dec. 29 – the day the Index ran on its front page the winners of the annual award – but somehow did not see the paper at his house.
It wasn’t until he went to see his mother, Mineral Wells resident Ellen Keesling, that he discovered his wife, who went to school at Mineral Wells High School and had worked in fire/EMS service here for 30 years, had won the 2013 “Woman of the Year” award.
“The day the paper came out with Robin’s award I didn’t see the paper until I got to my mother’s house,” Allen explained. “She showed it to me.
“She asked me if I had seen what was in (that Sunday’s) paper, and I said I had not seen the paper, yet. The first thing I noticed was Robin’s picture, and I was really surprised.
“My children (Bryson, Bethany, Braxton) were also surprised and very proud to see their mother as the Woman of the Year winner.
“My first thought was that Robin deserved (being named Woman of the Year), and her award is graciously accepted by us, her family, for her. We really appreciate the Index for honoring her.”
Garry Allen said his children also appreciated their mom being recognized. Robin Allen was a fixture at the local high school gym and ball fields watching her children Braxton, Bethany and Bryson play their respective sports.
“The kids were excited,” Garry Allen said.”I took the paper away from my Mom and took it home and showed the kids. “My mom reads everything in the Index, and she loves cutting out articles and pictures of the kids.
“If the kids did see the newspaper before I idid that Sunday they didn’t tell me,” Allen continued. “Bethany was excited – she took a picture of the cover of the paper with her cell phone – and she was very excited that her mother was honored.
“We got a lot of congratulatory calls that day and into the next week. Again, we accept the honor on Robin’s behalf, and we appreciate everyone who had a hand in giving her that award.”