A mom worth recongnizing

The award for “Mom of the Year” allows everyone in Pullman to know who rocks at being a mother.

Mom’s Weekend is still more than a month away, but the deadline for Mom of the Year nominations is coming up soon. Students have only a week left to submit their nominations, the winner announced during the Mom’s Weekend Brunch in April.

The brunch event features live music, breakfast food, a speech from the president of the university and the first lady, and of course Butch the Cougar.

Coordinator of Women’s Transit Missy Gill, who graduated in May 2013 in psychology, said the Women’s Resource Center oversees the event and the brunch began as Mom’s Weekend Tea in 1932. Over the years it has evolved and began incorporating the Mom of the Year in the 1970s.

“The Mom of the Year is someone who has really done an outstanding job of parenting,” Gill said. “Not just parenting their child but being a part of the community.”

Students nominate their moms by writing an essay and answering questions, such as what situations best illustrate their mother, the best advice they received and how their community has benefited from their mother’s involvement.

The 2013 winner of Mom of the Year was Elizabeth Prentice, nominated by her daughter Chelsie Prentice. Elizabeth, a pediatric nurse, said Chelsie never told her about the nomination until the night before the brunch, when Chelsie showed her the essay she wrote.

“I knew she was busy with school, but she took the time to write an essay with all her feelings and I was blown away,” Elizabeth said.

Chelsie, a junior psychology and human development major, said she nominated her mother because of everything she’s done for her. The nomination was a way to show her mother how much she was appreciated.

The story of Elizabeth and Chelsie began before Chelsie was born, when Elizabeth was diagnosed with endometriosis, Elizabeth said. After several surgeries, she was told she would never have kids. Yet somehow, miracle baby Chelsie came into the world.

Elizabeth admitted she cried when her daughter told her about the nomination. But when they found out she won the award they were both shocked.

“Winning makes you feel like not only do you see your mom as Mom of the Year but other people agree,” Chelsie said.

A Mom of the Year is someone who just does their job as a mom: to love their child or children unconditionally and support them, Chelsie said. Even just the nomination, and getting a certificate and brunch with it, can make a mother feel special, she said.

Gill said the award is a way for mothers to be recognized for the little things they do every day, such as writing lunchbox notes for their kids. Although it’s a small act, it can leave a huge impact in the grand scheme of things.

“It’s easy sometimes for us to overlook the everyday things people in our lives do that make them an exemplary person,” Gill said.

Mom’s Weekend in general is the whole campus coming together to celebrate the mothers, Gill said. It’s such a popular weekend that organizations all over campus create events specific to the weekend.

Chelsie said she enjoys Mom’s Weekend because it’s a cool event for mothers to come see their college children without fear of imposing on schoolwork. Elizabeth said she’s glad WSU has these weekends for children who are so wrapped up in school life they don’t give their parents a second thought.

“Wazzu, by doing this, is almost making people mentally aware to care more,” Elizabeth said.

Students have until March 6 to nominate their mothers for Mom of the Year. Forms can be found online at momsweekend.wsu.edu. Paper forms are available at the Bookie and the Women’s Resource Center. The Bookie is also offering a raffle to everyone who nominates their mother.

The brunch will take place April 11 from 10-11:30 a.m. Tickets will be sold starting after spring break, are $15 and can be bought at the Women’s Resource Center in Wilson Hall Room 8.