Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation

Tribute to NSD Emeritus Marilyn Welle-Villella


Total Number of Gifts: 1
Total Value of Gifts: $25.00

Recent Donors

Sheila Hansen, Mary Kay INC

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The mission of the TMKF is two-fold:

* We are committed to eliminating cancers affecting women by supporting top medical scientists who are searching for a cure for breast, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers.  

* We are committed to ending the epidemic of domestic violence by providing grants to women's shelters and supporting community outreach programs.

Since the Foundation began in 1996, it has granted $50 million dollars to organizations fighting cancer and violence against women.

The Mary Kay Foundation has lost a true friend. Marilyn stepped into eternity’s light on March 8, 2013. What a remarkable woman she was and a champion for the Mary Kay opportunity.

Marilyn was a nurse for 14 years when in 1972 a friend, Arlene Lenarz, another nurse who in the past had worked with her, called and invited her to a Mary Kay skin care class. That class changed Marilyn’s life. She caught the dream and immediately signed her agreement, even though she was terrified of sales. Eventually her friend Arlene rose to become the number one National, and Marilyn following her example inspired her unit to reach for the stars. Marilyn was soon driving a pink Cadillac, and her unit rose to number five in the nation. The key for her success was consistency. She held four to five skin care classes a week and instructed her unit members to do the same.

At that time the Independent Sales Directors in Minnesota were the Mary Kay stars, and Marilyn, inspired by the success of Arlene and others, stepped into her own limelight as a National Sales Director in 1980. “It was the most exciting day of my career … what a privilege for me to join them at the top of the Mary Kay ladder!”

Realizing how far she had come, she readily took the stage to inspire others to grasp this great opportunity, to step out and take a chance. “If a shy woman like me with no self-confidence can do this, so can you.” She was grateful that Mary Kay gave her time to be with her children, and she made lifelong friends that shared her vision. Marilyn was totally loyal to our dear founder Mary Kay and supported Company policies and promotions, such as the 20/20 (20 classes in 20 working days).

Marilyn worked hard, but she was also practical, approachable, friendly and one who stood firm in her faith. She set a sterling example for others to follow. She said, “I know and believe that God does not close a door without opening a window, but I have also learned that I must look within myself and open the blinds to see the light through that window and follow it.”


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