2016 Red Stick Mom of the Year Finalists

2016 Red Stick Mom of the Year Finalists

We received some amazing nominees for our first annual Red Stick Mom of the Year campaign … nominated by husbands, fiancés, daughters, sons, sisters, and friends … all who have made a difference in the lives of others and who motivate and inspire those around them. Selecting the top finalists from all of the nominations proved to be a very difficult task.

A team of objective judges will determine the Red Stick Mom of the Year from the finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Saturday, May 7th!

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The 2016 Finalists

Amanda Bacala

amanda bacala{Nominated by :: Allison Hutch} This amazing person and mother of 3, not only stays home and raises amazing human being she runs an at home business by adding value to others lives! I met my now soul sister as we say 3 years ago, she has affected my life and my children’s lives by being an epic friend that constantly encourages me through my day to day struggles. She has also raised children that love my boys for who they are and are the most sweet loving little humans ever! Amanda does this for not only me but every person she encounters, by her smile and kind heart she is truly a blessing to the community!

Sylvia Martin

Sylvia Martin{Nominated by :: Carmen Richardson} Are you kidding? Why doesn’t she? My mom is the epitome of “Super Mom” and has been for over 37 years! She was a fabulous mother to my sister and I … sweet, compassionate, mentor and friend. She wears her heart on her sleeve but don’t cross her because she’ll set you straight in about a flat second – usually in the form of a letter. 🙂 Since getting to know her the past 12 years, my husband has affectionately titled her “Super Syl” because of her go getter mentality. While being a wonderful wife and mother, she also has worked as a full time nurse at Lane Regional Medical Center. In the 80’s and 90’s, she worked as an RN in surgery and then later in the 90’s, she moved to the labor and delivery department where she held the manager position for 5 years. Since then she has worked as the nursery coordinator and retired… but you couldn’t tell it. You can still find her on any given day helping younger nurses learn, filling out charts, taking care of a new born, or teaching a new mother how to care for her new little one. She loves what she does and she gives every bit of her heart while doing it. My mom is the total package.

Alica Benton

alica{Nominated by :: Ashley Viltz} Alica and her husband have three daughters that they are raising. Their oldest is their biological daughter. They adopted their middle daughter (5 years old) a year ago after fostering her for several years. They are currently fostering a two year old girl as well. Alica loves all three of her girls so beautifully that she inspires everyone around her to be a better parent. Even with the emotional, behavioral, and social effects of being in the foster care system, Alica has managed to gracefully parent her girls in a way that allows them to heal and feel secure. She works so hard to make sure her children have every resource they need and deserve whether it be ballet class, counseling, occupational therapy, or just a security item on hard days. One would never be able to tell which of her girls is biological and which are not because she treats each as a special gift from the Lord. She does all this while going to school, teaching elementary school, and being a wife and great friend. The weight she bears is heavy but somehow she finds a way to do it so well. I am honored to be in her life and witness her servant’s heart.

Erin LeBlanc Kibodeaux

{Nominated by :: Marques Kibodeaux} For starters, she is the most calm, patient, polite, loving, caring, giving and supportive woman I know, not just to my wife and children, but to everyone I know. She sacrifices time with her children and I when a friend is in need; I have never seen a fellow mother that had a baby or hardship that she didn’t slave away to make a homemade meal for and bring it to their door, no matter how far the drive. She volunteers around LSU, for Susan G. Komen, the AHA, Donate Life and Habitat for Humanity (in her 11th year now). She sacrificed her own career so that she could be a mother first, and even completed her last 2 and most difficult years at LSU with a 3.2 GPA while caring for our daughter, me and our home full time. She understands when people want to gossip, but keeps her mouth closed, even recently she lost some good friends due to petty drama- she has been upset but has not talked down on any of her previous friends. Even losing her father 6 months before our wedding and a month before our 1st daughter’s first birthday, and dealing with her mom being told her cancer was terminal twice (she even moved to Houston twice for 8-10 week stays to care for her mom during chemo and post-surgery), she still held it together and have her friends and children the support and care they needed. She is the mother that put everyone before herself and is going to go out of her way to help. Stranger she’s never even met, she even goes so far to make sure she includes everyone in everything she does so that nobody would feel left out or hurt if not invited. As much as this aggravates me sometimes, she is the greatest maternal figure I’ve ever known.

Kelly Populus

Kelly Populus{Nominated by :: Hannah} I first met Mrs. Kelly three years ago, and I remember telling my boyfriend how much I loved his mom immediately after.  Since the beginning of Aaron and my relationship Mrs. Kelly has taken me in and treated me as one of her own children, and I know there’s nothing she would do for them that she wouldn’t do for me also. She makes me feel special and important by valuing my opinions and lending me her ear and advise on anything I have going on, and no matter how small or insignificant my troubles and problems may sometimes seem to other people, she never treats them as irrelevant. She is one of the most honest, truthful, and real women I have ever met and because of this her opinion means the world to me and many others. When I grow up I want to be kind-hearted, patient, intelligent, funny, strong, an educator, a class act, a Proverbs 31 woman through and through. When I grow up I want to be like Kelly Populus as she is made up of all of these elements and more. She is an optimist, a hard worker, and a loving mother and wife. Mrs. Kelly is a woman after God’s own heart, and a perfect example of what it means to let His light show through oneself to others. I know I am so blessed to have her in my life and I want her to be able to feel blessed as well, so this Mother’s Day I choose to nominate Kelly Populus as the Red Stick Mom of the year 2016!

Aimee Poche

Aimee Poche{Nominated by :: Stacy Wilson} Aimee is a fabulous mom to her 7 wonderful children. She is kind, loving and patient, and is always reading, praying, and seeking advice from those who have come before her to ensure that she is the best mom for her close-knit family. Her children are full of joy, and are an amazing reflection of her love and grace. Any mom who comes into contact with Aimee is overwhelmed by the beautiful image that is their family. But Aimee is a mother in a much bigger way – Aimee is a family builder. She works tirelessly to help foster children find families through her creation and ongoing work with the Louisiana Heart Gallery, connecting children available for adoption with their forever families. Aimee also organizes local foster and adoptive moms into community through her ministry His Heart for Orphans, building support networks for families who are growing through domestic or international adoption, or foster care. She organizes events that promote foster and adoptive needs and issues, as well as supporting and encouraging the state workers who provide services for these children and families.  Aimee has helped myself and so many others to become mothers, guiding us through the quirks and nuances of our unique processes, and she has supported us into always growing to become better moms. If I become half as good a mother as Aimee is, I know that I will have succeeded.

Sarah Pittman

SarahPittman{Nominated by :: Hannah Leigh Pittman and Ericka Poole} Sarah is an outstanding citizen in our community! Here’s why: She is a loving wife and mother to four lovely daughters who range from 14 to 21 years old. She has managed to keep her sanity while raising them to be self-respecting, courteous and successful young ladies in their education and extra curricular activities. By profession, she is a teacher who taught in the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System for a number of years but these days you can find her teaching at a wonderful Mother’s Day Out to a classroom of toddlers from ages 1 and half to 3 years old. When children walk into her room, they are truly met with loving arms and parents know that they’re child is safe while in her care. She has been my “mentor” mother and has taught me a lot about what it means to be a good, loving mother and balance family life. I really can’t say enough about her encouragement and constant positivity. She has also helped her husband through his battle with cancer, in which they came out on the other side. She is heavily involved in her church and she, her children and husband are very active in the musical community in Baton Rouge. She is constantly encouraging and supporting other mothers around her while also doing the same for her four beautiful daughters who may end up becoming mothers one day. Her girls (and others around her) are getting an exemplary view of what it looks like to have fellowship, family, and friendship. I’m very proud to know her.

Cathy Schroeck

Cathy Schroeck{Nominated by :: Haley Schroeck} A lot of people say their mom is the best and strongest, but I can say, and I have plenty of witnesses that will say, that my mom tops them all. Cathy Schroeck is the mother of two, my sister Dorsey who has Cerbral Palsey, and me, Haley who is a actress…you decide which is harder to deal with. My entire life I’ve seen my mother deal with “the Dorsey factor”. The extra time it takes for us to get ready to go somewhere, the accessibility of a place that she has to worry about, and how much work has to go into her having a night out…it’s generally not worth it. She wakes up earlier, stays up later, and does more for her children then any mother of a physically capable child will ever have to do. She’s spent countless hours in hospitals, in doctor’s offices, and on the phone with the government. However, she’s never complained and she’s always gone out of her way to give me as much care and support to others. After a heat crushing realization that I couldn’t be a brownie because their wasn’t a troop leader, she stepped up and led my trip of 20+ girls from kindergarten – 7th grade. She created a girls study at our church, Jefferson United Methodist Church, when she realized there wasn’t an outlet for her daughters and their friends on Wednesday nights. Even now, she selflessly serves food at St. Anthony’s when she’s not doing her day job, being a physical therapist who has worked with the elderly for over 20+ years. Daily, I have people ask me, “how does your mom do it?”. I genuinely don’t know. She is the most selfless, strong, beautiful woman on the planet, and if I grow up to be half the woman my mother is, then I will have amounted to so much more than most people ever do. Thank you for considering my incredible mother for your first mom of the year. Even if you don’t select her, I know she is always the best.

Teresa Hyfield

Teresa Hyfield{Nominated by :: Amy Martin} Teresa is a client of mine, I haven’t spoken to her in a while but I keep up with her on Facebook. She is the most kind and generous person. She is currently watching her own mother suffer greatly with a severe case of Alzheimer’s (she writes about it and her life on her blog https://casahyfield.wordpress.com ). She faces challenges and trials with unwavering grace, never letting those circumstances get in the way of her attitude toward her children. Every spare second she has she spends with her husband and 2 children. They aren’t wealthy people but they are the richest when it comes to quality of family time. They live a modest life, but it is the kind of life we all wish to have. Weekends spent at the park, planting gardens, doing crafts, going to parades, going to festivals, reading at the library etc. She embodies the kind of mom that I want to be but can never seem to muster the will power to be. I hope this doesn’t sound insulting, but she and her husband are big kids, they seem to LOVE life so much and want to soak up all of the experiences rather than try to keep up with the Joneses or keep up with anyone for that matter. The first time I met her, she just oozed with love for those kids and her husband, the kind of love and respect that seems to get lost nowadays. There is no doubt that her family is her number one priority. Though I am sure there are hard days, she never seems to lose that focus. Teresa is not someone I think of everyday or even see posts from that often but for some reason when I saw your Instagram post, I immediately thought of her. Maybe it was God, or fate or whatever higher power you may believe in. I believe it is because she absolutely deserves this award, to be pampered and get a little spoiled. She is a selfless person and I would love for her to be able to have a treat that would refresh her spirit and make her feel as special as I know she is.

Jenni Gomila

Jenni Gomila{Nominated by :: Whitney Andrus} Jenni is my best friend. This year has been a rough year. Let’s start from the beginning. She had a baby that she prayed so hard for. She struggled to breastfeed but powered through like a champ. That’s a feat in itself. At the beginning of the school year she started a new career as a teacher. She agreed to go to a failing school in Baton Rouge and never gives up. Though wine together helps. 😉 She brings treats for her students and encourages them daily. She struggles to get through to a class who’s parents and admin have all but given up on them. She works tirelessly at the cost of her sanity. Cherry on the cake: This year her husband lost his job. Jenni is now the main breadwinner till he finds employment. she has rocked it with grace and class that only a true southern gal could do!

Not only will the winner be crowned the 2016 Red Stick Mom of the Year, but she will also win the fabulous prize package giveaway valued over $440 including…

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The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 7th!

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