In the spring I introduced you to the Wal-Mart Mom of the Year Contest which aimed to recognize the contributions mothers make, both big and small, every day across Canada. I am proud to say that over 16,000 amazing mothers were nominated for this award, you can find all of their stories here. Out of this outstanding group, 8 finalists were selected – each will receive $10,000 for themselves and $10,000 for a charity of their choice. It is exciting to imagine the positive changes that will be made with these prizes both within the charitable organization, and also maybe making thing a little easier for these special moms.
The stories of each of the finalist and their selected charities are truly touching (warning: if you are a hormonal pregnant woman, have tissues nearby and DON’T read the nominations while on your lunch break at work). The selection committee had a tough job narrowing the field down to 8 finalist, and the impossible job of selecting one grand prize winner who will have a $100,000 donation made to the charity of their choice.
I would like to give you a brief introduction to the 8 finalist and their charities – as each one’s story is inspiring and touching in its own way
- Helen MacDonnell – Canadian Mental Health Association (Moncton) – after mental illness touched her family Helen started “Women and Wellness” to help raise awareness and promote open dialogue around a subject many people shy away from
- Wendy White – Epilepsy Canada – As a hard working role model with a positive attitude Wendy takes on every challenge that life has thrown at her with grace and dedication
- Olivine Bernatchez – Association des handicapés de la Gaspésie – Even at the age of 84 Olivine is still giving back to her community though volunteering! I can only hope to be as active at that age!
- Eileen Thiessen – Special Olympics Manitoba – As a foster mom for over 40 years and a Special Olympics Coach for 15 years Eileen has been putting others first every step of the way.
- Karen Whitford – Kidney Foundation of Canada – Family comes first for Karen, from caring for her special needs children to donating one of her kidneys to her sister she goes above and beyond for everyone.
- Tammy MacKinnon – IWK Health Centre Foundation – As foster mom, adoption advocate, and volunteer for various organizations Tammy is always on the move, helping others in need
- Katie Schulz – Cystic Fibrosis Canada – Katie is living what many parents fear most, having a child with an incurable illness. Katie has taken on the challenge of raising a child with cystic fibrosis and along with that dedicated herself to raising awareness and funds for research into this genetic disorder.
- Carol Westberg – Southern Alberta Myeloma Patient Society – Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2004 Carol serves as a great inspiration on how to press on even when living with an incurable disease
Take a moment to stop by and read their stories, you can also offer your congratulations or personal encouragement to them. Being a mom is hard work, but these women have gone above and beyond the typical mom challenges and truly deserve a little “Me Time”. I hope they have a wonderful time being pampered at the Mom of the Year Gala and I can’t wait to hear the announcement of the grand prize winner.
Disclosure: I’m part of the Walmart program by Mom Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own. Mom of the Year Award: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY Internet access and valid email account required. Nominations open May 10, 2012 to July 8, 2012 for legal residents of Canada over the age of majority. Entrants cannot nominate themselves. One (1) grand prize available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $100,000 donation by Wal-mart Canada Corp. to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000). Seven (7) runner-up prizes available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $10,000 donation to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000). Charity/cause subject to verification and final approval by Wal-mart Canada Corp., at its sole discretion. Odds of winning depend on how the judging panel evaluates each entry according to the criteria. For Official Contest Rules and to nominate an entrant, visit [www.momoftheyear.ca].