A few months ago I wrote about the launch of Walmart Canada’s first annual Mom of the Year award. This fabulous new program honours those moms that go above and beyond both for their children and for their community. After almost 17,000 nominations, the eight finalists have been chosen and soon one very special mom will receive $100,000 for her chosen charity and the honour of being the very first Mom of the Year!
I headed over to the Mom of the Year website to read through the finalists’ posts and I have to say, I do not envy the judges that have to choose just one of these amazing women to receive the title of Mom of the Year. From Katie Schulz, a dedicated mother and champion at raising awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis Canada to Olivine Bernatchez, a woman whose passion for volunteering earned her a medal from the Lieutenant Governor and who continues to give her time to others at 84 years of age, these women truly do embody selflessness, passion and dedication to the causes that are important to them.
I was especially touched by the story of Eileen Thiessen. I believe that foster mothers are the most inspirational women; they give their hearts to their children every day and face the pain of losing those children willingly just for the chance to better the child’s life in the time they have. But Eileen really takes that to a new level. Not only did she give needy children her heart and home for 46 years, she also adopted five of her eight children. All but two of her children are mentally handicapped.
When her children grew up, she continued to care for them by purchasing another house and leaving her children in the family home with full-time care staff so that they could enjoy independence in the home they loved. Eileen also coaches Special Olympics and is currently the head coach of Team Manitoba’s Track and Field team.
The way that Eileen has continued to give and give both to her children and to the community brings tears to my eyes and reading through the comments left for her by friends and family are just as touching. The messages of love from others make it clear just what a huge difference Eileen has made in the lives of the people she has met.
If you haven’t read about Eileen and the other seven incredible women chosen as finalists in the Mom of the Year awards, I highly recommend visiting the official Mom of the Year website and learning more about the finalists. Their stories will move you, inspire you and help make you aware of the many amazing mothers there are in Canada. If you had a mother in mind that you didn’t get a chance to nominate, remember that this is an annual program so keep an eye out for your chance to nominate a mom in 2013! And don’t forget to check back soon to see which worthy woman is chosen as the first official Mom of the Year!
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].