Mothers compete for annual title

By Peter Kim

The Moms Association will host the first “Amelia Alpiner Stern Mom of the Year” contest on Friday at their annual kick-off dinner for Mom’s Weekend.

“It’s a great way for students to recognize their mom,” said Becki Galardy, program manager for University parent programs.

The award was named after Amelia Stern, founder of the Moms Association, and will recognize the support and encouragement moms give to their students, Galardy said.

“The contest is based solely on student nominations,” Galardy said.

To nominate a mom for the award, students filled out an application with a series of questions such as “What my mother would say about being nominated for mom of the year” and “The best advice my mother gave me.” The moms themselves do not apply for the award.

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“Some (moms) don’t even know they were nominated,” Galardy said.

The winner is decided among a panel of judges composed of students, Illini Union Board committee members and members on the Moms Association board.

“It’s extremely difficult to pick a winner. The amount of energy put in by students is amazing,” Galardy said. “It speaks a lot about students.”

Out of 20 nominations submitted this year, three finalists and a runner up will be announced at the Friday kick-off dinner. The Mom of the Year winner will receive an engraved plaque and a gift bag.

Formerly known as the “Queen Mom” contest, the Mom of the Year competition was originally coordinated by the Illini Union Board.

The Moms Association decided to host the event after the Illini Union Board dropped the contest last year.

Illini Union Board officials were not available for comment.

According to Galardy, the contest was advertised through flyers and advertisements around campus early in the semester. Applications were accepted through March 7.

“It sounds like a great idea,” said Ben Trevor, sophomore in LAS. “I’m glad the Moms Association picked up the award from the IUB.”

The award will be presented alongside two other awards: the Medallion of Honor, an award that recognizes outstanding service for the University and its students, and the Humanitarian Award, an award that honors dedication to community service, Galardy said.

The Moms Association will continue to host the Mom of the Year contest next year and plans to expand the committee for awards, she added.