Assemblyman Benoit’s Woman of the Year Singled Out by First Lady for Feeding the Hungry

SACRAMENTO – At a ceremony held today at the State Capitol, Myra Smith was honored as the 64th Assembly District “Woman of the Year” by John J. Benoit (R-Riverside), and singled out for a special mention in a speech before the legislature by Maria Shriver, wife of Governor Schwarzenegger. (“History needs to record the name of Myra Smith…” and read information in next paragraph).

Following a 34-year career as a school teacher, Myra Smith and her husband, Robert, “retired” to the Coachella Valley where she soon began working to feed the poor. Self-funded, her food program grew from serving 12 families to over 400 (3,600 people!); she also founded “Shopping for the Blind, a nationwide shopping center of products designed to better the lives of blind persons. Last year, Myra was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiation, during which time she kept working so that none of her families would go unfed – happily, Myra’s treatment was successful.

“I am honored to name Myra Smith as “Woman of the Year in the 64th Assembly District,” said Benoit. “She is an exceptional woman and a wonderful example for all of us to care about each other and to humbly help those who are in need – without a lot of fanfare, and without waiting around for another government program to be created to do it. With Myra, charity really does begin at home.”

The California State Assembly’s “Woman of the Year” program honors eighty dynamic women who work to make their communities better places to live. They are chosen by the Assemblymembers by district.

Myra and her husband, Robert, are wonderful role models for their 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 2 great- grand children.