MARBLE FALLS — Jean Eades works the phone every day at the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, trying to get groups, people and businesses to come to the Highland Lakes.
As she thumbs through her calendar and yearly planner, she points out the events and groups coming to Marble Falls from triathlons to Singles in Agriculture. Most of which are coming because of Eades and staff members’ work.
While she’s a chamber employee, Eades often continues working for the many events Marble Falls hosts well past her job description. Take for instance the Texas Challenge bicycle ride associated with the Race Across America that came to town March 9. Sure, Eades helped coordinate hotel rooms and meals for the 100 or so cyclists while on the clock, but she was up at 4 a.m. the day of the ride volunteering to ensure all went well.
Before the ride even started, Eades met with emergency service crews, ride organizers and other volunteers — on her own time — to coordinate the event during which some cyclists headed out on 400-mile jaunts.
“Marble Falls is important to me,” Eades said when asked why she volunteers and goes above and beyond her visitors center coordinator duties. “Marble Falls is part of my legacy. And I want it to remain vibrant and strong.”
Her dedication to the community along with the countless extra hours she puts into Marble Falls caught the attention of The Picayune readers who named her “Locals Love Us” Best Volunteer for the Marble Falls area.
“I started crying when I heard about it,” Eades said. “Volunteering is extremely important to me because it allows me to share my love for Marble Falls with others, especially with visitors. A lot of the people who come in for these events, it may be the first time they’ve ever been to Marble Falls. I want them to have a wonderful experience so they’ll not only come back, but maybe they’ll tell somebody else.”
Those contacts often become leads for new people or organizations looking for a place to hold an event. So Eades gets back to working the phones.
And you can bet when an event such as the upcoming HITS Triathlon (April 27) or Classic Buggy Blast (May 24-27) arrives in Marble Falls, Eades will be greeting visitors and volunteering to make sure they have a great time and the event is a success.
Eades shrugged off the thought of the extra work her volunteering adds to her plate.
“It’s just what I do,” she said. “I do want to thank everybody who voted for me. I was totally shocked.”