It seems like yesterday when Longview Regional Medical Center started recognizing local woman who add to the quality of life in this community. This is the 12th year since the first fateful event dubbed “Stars over Longview.”
Since then, the event has grown with tremendous community support netting 900 tickets this year. The recent Stars over Longview awards luncheon again was first-rate. Royal colors of purple and gold with beautiful fresh lilies adorned the tables. Guests were treated to a delectable lunch from Lori’s Eats and Sweets of Gilmer. Chris Murray provided desserts, and attendees enjoyed valet parking.
Some Stars expressed surprise at the honor. “I am so surprised that I was chosen,’ said Donna Blalock, the December Star.  I felt that others have done more and deserve to be a Star.”
Ms Linda Buie, April Star is very honored and humbled because there are so many deserving women. Amy Allen August Star over Longview thanks God for His gifts that enables her to serve the community. “Longview has so many women who serve in various capacities,” she said. “Every year, I am amazed and astounded at what goes into this celebration.”
In addition, attendees look forward to the event every year. “I know this to be a great event for Longview,” said Debbie Leith with Longview ISD. “They honor women. I believe this is a good event to have in our town.”  LISD Assistant Superintendent Micah Lewis agrees. “I think it is a great celebration  – that women are recognized in the community,” he said. “Women contribute so much to society and this celebration recognizes that.”
Keynote speaker for this anniversary event was Abby Rike. She spent 13 years as a high school theater and debate teacher.  Her work in this field was a great inspiration for her students to be the best they could be. However, she had to pull herself out of a terrible personal tragedy in 2006 when her husband and two young children were killed in a car crash.  In May 2009 she embarked on her personal journey of healing both herself and others. She became a motivational speaker appearing on the NBC reality series The Biggest Loser.  It was a start.
She has since appeared on the Today Show, the Ellen Show, Jay Leno, and has addressed multitudes nationwide, honoring her faith and family.  She sees God’s healing touch in her life as a blessing to be shared with as many as possible.  She is a living, vibrant and thriving example of how even the worst disasters can be overcome by faith in the Holy Spirit.  The title of her topic was, What Defines You. Rike gave the audience a hard hitting, truthful and loving lesson about living and giving. Her favorite saying “Even in your darkest hour, there is hope,” says it best. She encouraged the audience to leave fears of failure or inadequacy behind and jump into helping others and make ‘ripples’ as she calls it.
For more information on Rike and her mission please visit