BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — From the very beginning, mothers shape their children’s lives.
It starts with physical features, but soon children speak, think and even act like the women who raised them.
As Mother’s Day approaches, people all over the world are getting ready to celebrate the impact that mothers make every day.
In honor of Mother’s Day and the women who have such an effect on all of us, the Clipper is celebrating one woman from each Davis County city as a 2013 Mother of the Year.
Selected by their mayors and city councils, these women represent the years of laughter, tears, car trips and scraped knees faced by all mothers.
Honorees were nominated by their family, friends and neighbors. They will be recognized at a luncheon with their families.
The Clipper appreciates the support of the participating cities and taxpayers, who will pay for the costs of the meal. Local businesses have also joined the cause and will donate gifts to these beloved women.
Mothers have been celebrated for centuries, beginning with a Greek festival that honored Cybele, the Phrygian mother of the gods. Christianity had an early practice of celebrating Mothering Sunday, commonly held on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
The United States first celebrated Mother’s Day in 1914, after Anna Jarvis began a campaign to make the holiday nationally recognized. Other countries began adopting the holiday as well, and now it’s recognized all over the world.
The 2013 Mothers of the Year are as follows: Shannan Wainwright of West Bountiful, Michelle Workman of Woods Cross, Nancy Prosence of North Salt Lake, Verlynn Sheffield of Bountiful, Karma Karren pf Farmington, Nanette Lowder of Kaysville, Karen Wiscombe of Fruit Heights, Marilyn Lotz of Centerville, Gloria Olson of Syracuse, Gail Ukena of South Weber, and Janet Lujan of Sunset.
The value of moms is felt strongly in the Davis County Bureau of WIC, which offers nutritional support to low-income women and children. As they work with families throughout the county, WIC representatives have seen the many ways that mothers can influence their children.
“I don’t think you can ever take away the value of a mother,” said Marcie Johnson, the WIC bureau manager at Davis County Health. “They rely so much on their mothers to teach and nurture them. A mother is the center of her children’s world.”
When teaching young children about nutrition, WIC encourages mothers to mentor their children by serving as good examples of healthy behavior. According to Johnson, it has more of an effect than direct instruction.
“By the time they’re three, children have a pretty good model for what they want and need in life,” she said. “I don’t think mothers give themselves enough of a pat on the back. They don’t get the kind of credit they deserve.”
Johnson has seen grandmothers who come to WIC to help their daughters. Many of them are in their 20s, faced with difficulties such as husbands who are still going to school.
“It’s cyclical,” she said. “We’ve seen a lot of good mothers bring in a lot of good kids.”
The best moms can be picked out by looking at their children, Johnson said.
“You’ll see it when a little child walks in with their mother,” said Johnson. “When we ask, ‘Is that your mom?’ they just gleam. No agency can provide the kind of nurturing that mothers can.”
Download a complete PDF of the 2013 Mother's of the Year section published in the Davis Clipper here.