Nearly 60 entries for contest make this year’s toughest ever to judge

By BILL MILLIGAN

The nearly 60 entries submitted in the Call’s Mother of the Year contest made this year’s competition the toughest ever to judge.

Since 1990, the Call has been honoring mothers whose families believe they deserve special distinction to the title and most of the entries have the same theme.

Apart from the idea that their mom is the “best,” those who submit entries want to honor their mothers for their sense of self-sacrifice and the values their mothers have instilled in them. This year was no different, aside from the sheer number of entries that made it difficult to choose between the numerous heartfelt essays.

“For a change, it’s time for me to do something for you,” wrote one woman to her mother in 1986. “A day hasn’t gone by that you haven’t been here for me.”

It was a theme that ran through each of the 59 entries received at the Call.

Another theme was appreciation for “the little things” that mothers do for their children, often at the expense of nice things for themselves.

“I know she loves her children above all else,” wrote Genny Markowski of Lemay. “She shows this by dropping everything to pick us up at school or drop us off at a friend’s or even asking us how our day went and giving her subtle advice through it all.”

“She doesn’t get mad when we spill our drinks,” wrote 7-year-old Shelly Wientge of Lemay. “She always forgives us.”

Ten-year-old Adam Connor of Affton had one of the most unique reasons why his mother should get the recognition.

“She lets me ride my bike in the street,” he wrote. “She lets me stay up until 9:30. She asks me what I want from the store. She makes my favorite dessert.”

Eight-year-old Kaila Barnes of Concord proved she has a special mom.

“My mom shows she loves me by taking time to listen to me when I have problems at school and giving me ideas to help,” Kaila wrote. “She takes care of me when I’m sick. My mom is also my Brownie leader and all the girls like her.”

Melissa Willoughby of Oakville told us her mom could be a successful chef or chauffeur. “But I think the job she’s best at is being my mom.”

The Call’s Concord area submitted the most nominations with 12, followed by the Affton area circulation with 10 nominations. Nine nominations were submitted from the SunCrest circulation area — Sunset Hills and Crestwood — and eight from Lemay. The Call also received seven nominations from Oakville and six from Fenton. In addition, two nominations each came from Arnold and Dupo, Ill., along with one each from St. Louis, Imperial and Columbia, Ill.

“She’s not only my mother, she’s my best friend and I don’t know what I’d ever do without her,” wrote Melissa Westhoff of Affton about her mother, Sally Bupp.

Happy Mother’s Day from the staff at Call Newspapers.