Martha H. Collis grew up in Amarillo. Her career path of 45 years began as a “soda jerk” in a drug store and upgraded into credit collections for a major jewelry corporation. Martha joined the American Legion Auxiliary in Amarillo in 1966. When she moved to Plainview in 1971, she became very active in the Auxiliary. She has served as Unit President, Department Field Service Director, and Department Finance Chairman. She is the past Department Historian and currently serves on the Department Finance Committee. Girls State became a part of her life in 1991 when Martha served in the store, office and bank. She developed a great love for the Girls State Program while serving in the American Legion Auxiliary and has created many friendships throughout the years.

Myra Hester is a Girls State institution.  Myra was born and educated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She was a World War II bride who became a widow in 1977.  Myra joined the ALA in 1953 (Unit 77 in Houston). She served as President of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Texas, in 1968-1969 and the National Southern Division Vice-President in 1981-1982. Through her 60 years of continuous service to the Auxiliary, she has served in many capacities.  She first served on the Girls State Staff in 1966 and has never missed a year, which makes this her 50th.  She has three daughters, five granddaughters, one grandson and twelve great-grandchildren.  Myra says her greatest job and joy at Girls State was carrying the Auxiliary banner in the Flag Ceremony at the School for the Blind in 1967.

Virginia Donnelly: Virginia has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 29 years. She is also the President and Girls State Chairman for Unit 129 from Alvin. She was a citizen in 1972 and has been on staff since 2006. She is the third generation to be on the Girls State Staff. Her grandmother Nedra Ogle was the Girls State Bank Chairman which started a family tradition. Her mother, Cecilia Jones, a citizen in 1951 and her daughter, Jenna Donnelly, a citizen in 2004, have also been on staff.  Virginia has another daughter, Blair Donnelly, who was a citizen in 2004. Throughout the year, Virginia volunteers for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as a Committee Member of Special Children and the Lupus Foundation.

Dixie Jones: This is Dixie’s fourth year on the Girls State Staff working in the Girls State Gift Shop. Dixie has two daughters and one son. Her daughters, Natalie and Michele were Girls State citizens in 2004 and 2001. Dixie lives in Alvin where she works in Education as a reading specialist.  She also graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors degree in Horticulture.  She returns to Girls State to work with high quality young women from all over the state of Texas. The passion and energy of the citizens and staff are inspiring to her.

Myra Hester, Dixie Jones, Martha Collis, Virginia Donnelly
Myra Hester, Dixie Jones, Martha Collis, Virginia Donnelly