Mother of the YearBy Mary Adamski
contest seeks nominees
The Hawaii Association of American Mothers Inc. is looking for a few good women.
They're out there, of course, but it isn't easy to get them to compete for the state "Mother of the Year," which the group bestows each year, said the group's outgoing president Amanda DuPont.
Leaders of the local chapter are seeking nominees for two titles -- there's also a Mother of Young Children award.
They are calling and writing potential sponsors, including community groups, service organizations and churches.
Nov. 15 is the deadline for nominations. The Hawaii winners, to be chosen by judges in January, will compete for the national Mother of the Year title.
Don't confuse the competition with the beauty pageant stereotype, said Patricia Lei Anderson Murray, who was named 1998 Mother of the Year for Hawaii. The judging is not about how a woman wears clothes, but about her achievements as a parent and a member of the community.
Applicants for Mother of the Year must be at least 45 years old with older children, only one of whom may be under 15 years of age. The children of the state representative of Mothers of Young Children must be under 18 years of age.
Murray said the application process can be daunting for one person and that's why it's best to have the help of a sponsoring organization. Each nominee must prepare a portfolio outlining her community activities, letters of recommendation, a biography and photographs.
The mother must write an essay on her "philosophy of parenting" and also descriptions of her children and their achievements that reflect her guidance.
The deadline for the essays and other items in the portfolio is Jan. 1.
The 1999 competition is special for the Hawaii chapter because the national Mother of the Year will be named in Honolulu during the annual American Mothers Inc. convention.
Women from the 50 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will compete in the event beginning April 27 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
The national title went to Carolyn Shumway, wife of the Brigham Young University Hawaii president, in 1996. Other past Hawaii title holders include Louise Chun Kim, Susan Bright Spangler, Margery Terpstra, Joyce Fasi and Martha Hohu.
The national Mother of the Year title has been presented since 1935. The national American Mothers Inc. organization is recognized as the official sponsor of Mother's Day in the United States.
Applications and information are available by calling Ellen Oba, president of the Hawaii association of American Mothers Inc. at 293-1506; Karen Miller, state search chairwoman, at 293-2370 or 293-3843; or DuPont, convention chairwoman, at 734-4920.
A free concert featuring talented youngsters will be presented Nov. 22 by Hawaii Mother of the Year Patricia Lei Anderson Murray.
The musical program will begin at 2 p.m. at Castle High School's Ronald Bright Theater. It will feature children in the Ellen Masaki School of Music and Hui Mele O Kapalama and the Halau Hula Olana.
Murray, an entertainer and former Miss Hawaii, will also perform.
Murray said she is presenting the free concert to mark National Family Week. Each Mother of the Year is required to involve the community in a celebration of the family during her year as titleholder, she said.