Houston Treasure for 2015
Photo by: Gittings
For more than 25 years Merele Yarborough’s passion has been her community service involvement. The needs of others were always a family priority, so charitable works began at an early age. Her Personal Proverb—“The strength of one’s commitment gives birth to the realization of another’s dream”—has been her catalyst throughout the years.
Merele is a native Texan and a “small town girl at heart.” Merele holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Education from Tuskegee University. Community outreach is important, but she says God, family and friends are her true treasures. She spends time with her son, Leland, and daughter in-law, Amy, and their two beautiful children, Leam and Lily. Merele was truly blessed to have her Mother, Florence, live with her until her passing in 2013 at the age of 104!
Merele’s volunteer efforts have helped raise millions of dollars for Houston charities. Among the events she has chaired are Kick Out Kidney Disease Luncheons (benefiting the National Kidney Foundation), United Negro College Fund Black Tie Gala (raising over $507,000), Power to End Stroke Soiree (American Heart Association), Ensemble Theatre’s Black Tie Galas ($925K over two years), and “A Knock Out Affair” gala benefiting The Prince Complex, an inner city facility serving the Fifth Ward ($100K).
Merele’s recent awards include ABC Channel 13/Crohn’s & Colitis Woman of Distinction, Houston Chronicle/ Neiman Marcus Best Dressed (including their Hall of Fame), Cancer Forward—Forward Mover recipient, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Ivy Educational & Charitable Foundation “Hall of Fame” Award for Distinguished Leadership and Civic Engagement, and was recognized by Sisters Network for her commitment to Breast Cancer and Philanthropy. She is a Texas Children’s Cancer Center Community Champion and a Diamonds and Pearls Mother of the Year Honoree.
As a board member or in other roles, Merele serves the Children’s Assessment Center, The Salvation Army and Women’s Auxiliary and the National Kidney Foundation Serving Texas.
Merele loves to dance and act and has appeared in Ensemble Theatre productions of “Harlem Nights”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “The Wiz”. This “sassy granny” can also do the Moon Walk!