When I learned about the incredible, and possibly life-changing, program that Walmart has just started here in Canada, I knew that I had to get involved in not only sharing this program with my Canadian readers, but also ensuring that someone dear to me was nominated so I could share with others how amazing and beautiful I think she is.
About the Mom of the Year Award
This year Walmart is launching the Mom of the Year Award to help celebrate and recognize the huge contribution moms make as role models and integral members of the family and community. This award will become an annual program to celebrate all that Mom does and shine a light on what is important to her.
Nominations will be accepted Mother’s Day (May 13) through July 8, 2012 and can be submitted through www.momoftheyear.ca. They can come from daughters, sons, family members, friends, colleagues or community members.
Eight finalists will be selected and notified in mid-August and will be treated to an award celebration weekend in September. The Mom of the Year Award recipient will receive $10,000 for personal use and $100,000 to their cause or charity of choice. The remaining seven finalists will each receive $10,000 for personal use and $10,000 to their cause or charity of choice.
Isn’t that unbelievably awesome?! Here’s what I love about this program right from the start:
1) There’s more than one winner. With so many deserving Canadian moms out there, how do you narrow it down to just one? Mind you, narrowing it down to a total of 1 grand prize winner and 7 finalists will be extremely difficult too, I’m sure. This brings me to my second reason that I love the program;
2) All the moms will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will be responsible for choosing the 8 finalists. The 5 Mom Ambassadors in the selection committee will certainly have a huge task ahead of them. Unlike voting contests, I feel confident that the most deserving moms will win and that’s a huge thing for me. Kudos to Walmart for the layout of this program!
Now, on to who I nominated and why. When thinking about the moms I know and who would be a candidate for this award, my friend Cheryl was the one and only name that came to mind. While I have said in the past that I surround myself with successful, driven, women – none have the patience, dedication, and humor that my friend Cheryl posses.
Blogging at The Beautiful Side of Hectic, Cheryl has been open about the journey her family has been on since the premature birth of little miss Jillian in 2008.
Born at 30 weeks gestation (weighing 3lbs, 9oz) , it was clear that something was amiss at 6 months when Jillian started missing milestones.
Call it mommy intuition, but Cheryl says she just knew that Jillian needed more help than she was getting in the first year “let’s watch for those milestones and don’t stress too much if they’re missed” health care message (which, arguably is there to keep most of us from freaking out over small things.) Says Cheryl in this blog post, “She was a happy baby, but part of me KNEW we were dealing with something more than just a stubborn baby.”
Since learning of Jillian’s diagnosis (spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, secondary to periventricular-leuokmalasia – in non-medical jargon, Jillian has Cerebral Palsy that has affected her legs), Cheryl has been sharing the ups (news of new appointments, new tests), the downs (like her post here on learning it was ok to grieve) and the outright celebrations on her blog with friends and strangers alike.
Aside from being her daughter’s biggest cheerleader, Cheryl is a patient and family advocate at Holland Bloorview in Toronto. Cheryl volunteers on several committees there – the electronic health records steering committee, documentation change team, and social media sub-committee. She speaks to new staff on why patient and family centered care is crucial and spearheaded a support group for outpatient parents.
I have known Cheryl for a few years now online and last month I had the opportunity to meet her in person. Cheryl is just as genuine, funny, and open in person as she is online.
Oh, and you know that part about sharing the outright celebrations? Take a look at this video taken about a year ago now of Jillian walking all by herself. Listen for beautiful Jillian saying, “I’m doing it mom!!!” MY heard swelled for Cheryl at that moment (and every time I’ve watched this video since!
Jillian’s doing it Cheryl. But Cheryl, you are too.
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].