Friday, September 14, 2012

WalMart Mom of the Year Finalists Have Been Announced #MOTY

I wrote earlier this year to tell you all about Walmart Canada's campaign to find the Mom of the Year 2012. This is the first year in an ongoing program, with a new Mom of the Year Award to be made annually. What a great opportunity to recognise and share our wonderful moms, grandmas, and mommy friends with the rest of Canada. And what a great way to get inspired. 

In all, 16,909 amazing Canadian Moms were nominated in 2012. Wow.  And you can read all of their nominations at From this huge group, judges have narrowed the field to 8 finalists. Each of these women will receive $10,000 for personal use and $10,000 for their chosen charity. Plus, at the end of September a gala will be held to announce the one Mom of the Year, who will receive $100,000 for her charity! Can you imagine how much good can be done with that kind of donation?

I have to admit I was kind of in awe of the impact of these moms. How selfless and giving and energetic they all are. And not just the 8 finalists. Everyone here has given so much of themselves.  Looking at the eight finalists, the one to stands out to me, on a personal level, is Helen MacDonnell. She took a personal tragedy, the suicide of her brother, and moved from that experience to action, to try to make things better for others living with mental illness.  Here's her full nomination, submitted by her son:

Helen MacDonnell, Charity: Canadian Mental Health Association - Moncton
"My mother is extremely special to not only her children and husband, but to all she encounters. She came from a family of 9 children, and is 3rd youngest. She has a law degree but chose to stay home and raise her two children. After her brother committed suicide, she began reading about bipolar disorder and depression, which is what he suffered from. She saw the lack of support that existed for people living with mental illness, and set out to change it. She started hosting an annual kitchen party at which guests were encouraged to share stories, provide support for one another, and donate to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Her idea spread, gaining more and more guests each year, and blossomed into the annual fundraiser known as Women and Wellness, which promotes open dialogue about mental illness, and is now hosted across the country, with events being held from Halifax to Vancouver. She is a great mother as she has been able to accomplish so much and help so many people."
written by her son, Alex Miller

Helen's homegrown fund- and awareness raising parties have grown into a national series of events, showing how one relatively small action can blossom and grow, inspiring others and taking on a life of its own. Helen's  dedication to her brother and desire to help others is having a major impact across the country. And if she wins the big prize, the $100K donation from WalMart will be an amazing addition to the fundraising work she has already done. 

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 [].

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