2018 Lafayette Mom of the Year Finalists

2018 Lafayette Mom of the Year Finalists

We received some amazing nominees for our very first Lafayette 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 10 finalists from all of the nominations proved to be a very difficult task.

A team of objective judges will determine the Lafayette Mom of the Year from the 10 finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Sunday, May 6th!

 

Top 10 Finalists

Charlene Boudreaux

{Nominated by :: Kasey McCullough} Everyone thinks their mom is the best, but I know mine truly is. My mom thinks of everyone but herself even when she’s been handed an uphill battle. My parents were out of town and asked me to go check on their home in August. Upon arriving, I found their home in shambles. The water heater on the second story had exploded; therefore, flooding every level of their home. Instead of being upset, she simply took it in stride telling everyone she would be ok … as she moved into an apartment. Nine months later, she’s still in that apartment and still looking out for everyone but herself. After flooding, she dry cleaned all of her clothes and donated to a lady who she said was “worse off than she.” The rest of the things that were not flooded and in working order were also donated to Hearts for Humanity. She’s 60 years old and works at Lourdes as a nurse for a pulmonary doctor; her patients love her too! Everyone does really! She has 4 grandkids that also agree she’s super human! Her smile can light up a room and she can make anyone smile on any day. She takes her time with everyone and makes them feel like the most important person in the world! Charlene is kind, funny, thoughtful, has a heart of gold, selfless, and extraordinary! I feel my mom deserves this award; she has had such a hard year but has been so positive about her experience and continues to be as she continue to look out for everyone else. Thank you!

Lauren LeBlanc 

{Nominated by :: Kyle Robin} I can not think of a more deserving mom than Lauren. She is a single mother of three, 1 of which has special needs. She has also been the “mother” of my daughter for 4 years. Lauren gets little help from her children’s father so she works full time in her at home business but still makes time to homeschool one of her children and also brings her daughters to cheer and dance on a daily basis. She also very involved in bleeding disorder and autism advocacy for her son.

Katie Linkhart

{Nominated by :: Lauren Louviere} Where do I even begin? Katie prayed for a baby for a long time and finally her prayers were answered times two when she found out she was expecting twins! She planned on having an all natural birth but Liam and Elliot had other plans and came 5 weeks early via c-section. Due to their early arrival they stayed a few weeks in the NICU. I watched Katie go back and forth every day to that hospital to see those boys. It was a very exhausting and difficult time but she did it. The boys recently turned a year old and are doing wonderful! I don’t know how she survived this last year. She does it with such grace. She takes amazing care of those boys, works full time and still breastfeeds! And she does it all with a smile on her face. I think she deserves this award because her whole life is about those boys and being a good mother and wife and employee. I think she should be honored.

Cheryl Granger

{Nominated by :: Brittany Granger} Cheryl, aka Mom, aka the Shrimp Lady, deserves to win Mom of the Year because she IS the mom of the Year. In the past year alone, she has cared for her father with dementia with more patience and love than I could imagine. She has taken herself and her husband Albert’s small shrimping business, Granger’s Seafood, to new heights by opening up a packing plant at home to sell frozen products as well as the shrimp he catches on his boat. She donates her seafood across Acadiana for raffles and fundraisers and has used her platform to promote our local seafood industry across not only Acadiana but across America. In 2017, Cheryl began experiencing more pain than usual in her back. After pushing her to take care of herself and see a doctor for it, an MRI was taken with an orthopedic doctor. When we went in to receive her results, we were told that her back issues would have to take a backseat because they found a large tumor on her kidney. This diagnosis pushed our family to strengthen our belief in God and not question why bad things happen to good people. In October, the tumor and part of Cheryl’s kidney were removed in a major surgery. Some complications arose that caused her to develop a lung injury which began another fight for her life. I’m very pleased to say that after a very long recovery, Cheryl (mom) is doing significantly better and is back to doing what she loves every day, taking care of her dad, her family, her customers, and her community. She is truly an astounding woman who has used all of the hardships and loss that life has thrown at her as a tool to strengthen the foundation that she builds her life and family’s life on. Throughout most of Acadiana, wherever we go, people know and recognize her as the Shrimp Lady but I am so proud to be able to call this woman my mom. I pray to one day be half the mother that she is.

Jessica Verret

{Nominated by :: Jennifer Castille} My sister, Jessica Verret, deserves to be mom of the year because she is one of the best moms I know. My sister decided at a very young age to become a single foster mom. She has had approximately 10 amazing children come in to her home over the last few years, two of which she has adopted. She has had to say goodbye to so many children that she loves but has done so with such grace and she amazes us all. She continues to foster and currently has a one year old foster child along with her adopted 2 and 5 year olds, all on her own. She goes above and beyond for these children and never has a night, much less a moment to her self. She often even takes my son for the night so my husband and I can have date night when she has not once asked me to take all 3 of her children so she can have a night off. She is always on the go — whether it is bringing the kids to doctors appointments, to the zoo, children’s museum, gymnastics, helping her friends etc. She is also a full time preschool teacher and currently enrolled in a masters program. I don’t know how she does it all!

Amy Primeaux

{Nominated by :: Haili Dorchock-Primeaux & Isabella Dorchock-Primeaux} My mother, Amy Primeaux, is not my birth mother. She’s my adopted mom. But, she deserves to be mom of the year for 2018 for various reasons. One, she willingly took us under her wing and nurtured us into the better people we are today. Two, she teaches us life lessons every single day and also she teaches us to be thankful for every moment in life. Three, she offers advice to anyone in need. If you have an issue, my mom is the right one to talk to. She will be sensitive about the topic but will be honest with you. She sets an example to me and others by being the fun, kind-hearted, loving mother she is. If any mom is in need, my mom will help them out. She will encourage them to solve the situation they are in. Not only all of that but she is an animal lover. She works with various rescue groups around Acadiana and works at a veterinary hospital in Opelousas. My mom is truly remarkable and I hope to be like her one day when I am grown. She is outstanding.

Mary Macaluso

{Nominated by :: Jake Boudreaux} Mary Macaluso deserves to be named 2018 Mom of the Year for many reasons. She is a single mother of three young boys: Nicholas (6), Zachary (5), and Benjamin (18 months).  She left her job as a public school teacher to take care of Benjamin, who became seriously ill shortly after his birth. She has spent the last year and a half traveling across the state and living in hospitals trying to get Ben healthy and still be a good mom to Nick and Zach. She has dedicated herself to being the best mother, nurse, and teacher to the boys that she can be; often facing extreme hardships in all aspects of life. She inspires me because she never complains. In fact, she is always telling me to try and look at the bright side of things and telling me how important it is to be kind and pay things forward. She also deserves the title because she has been a “mother” to countless of her students. Ask any of them and they will say how she helped them in some form or fashion. We all called her mom. Lol. She would admit that she hasn’t done much for herself over the past few years; mostly because she was too busy with the boys or she couldn’t afford it. That’s why I am nominating her for this award. She is the most loving and selfless person I know and she deserves it.

Samantha Williams 

{Nominated by :: Nicholas Perron} Samantha took care of her terminally ill mother all her life. Her father ended up dying of a heart attack first, and her mom followed a year later. She had every reason to give up, the most tragic thing that can ever happen to a person. But all it did was make her come alive. She had her son, Aiden a year after her mother’s death. She raises him with little to no help. Her closest family member is a brother an hour away. She literally never takes a night off because she doesn’t have anyone to call for help. She has told me a few times the anguish she feels knowing her parents will never know her children. I thought this would hinder her parenting, somehow make it more difficult to raise a child. But it’s the opposite. She has this unrelenting passion for kindness and teaches her son to live with a rare understanding of how important life is. She maintains a career, her home and her family with grace even though it’s twice as hard momming with no parents or grandparents as backup. They say it takes a village, but Samantha doesn’t have one … so she builds one from scratch by herself. That is who she is. Samantha should be mom of the year because she doesn’t even know she deserves it.

Zelma Broussard

{Nominated by :: Bethany Broussard} She has been the backbone to our family. Having lost a dad to suicide at a young age, she has raised me to not only have strength when weak, but also forgive the unforgivable while standing in confidence. She has worked 2-3 jobs to provide not only needs, but wants as well. Now having kids of my own, I am able to share that same strength and courage. She has been the lead on several non profit organizations in the community which has helped youth and underprivileged kids gain focus and increase esteem. My mom has also been active in the community providing mentorship, sitting on the board for united way, public speaking and being a voice for those who need. She is an alumna of USL, a loving nurse and leaves a lasting impression on every patient she greets. She is the epitome of strength and fears none. I walk through life successfully because of the role she continues to instill upon my life … Forgiving the unforgivable, remaining strong and constantly keeping faith. Because of she, I am me. 💪 Thank you mom! Blessed to have her chosen for me.

Angie Bryson 

{Nominated by :: Jessica Thibodeaux} Angie Bryson is a Lafayette mom of 6. I met Angie when I was new at a lot of things: a new resident of Lafayette, a new wife, and a new attorney. When I was offered a job with Bryson Law Firm (Angie and her husband Cary’s law practice), I thought I’d been blessed with a job opportunity, but I was truly blessed with so much more. Angie became a mentor to me, something everybody new at something so desperately needs. Her mentoring didn’t stop with the practice of law, but extended into my personal life as well. She felt like a mom away from my mom. With my family across the state, my heart needed family in Lafayette and blessed me with Angie Bryson and her sweet family. More recently, I encountered another new: new mom! Angie inspires me daily as a mother to her 6 children. She has raised her children to be faith-filled, kind, smart, wonderful children. She offers me wisdom, guidance, and an ear to listen any time it’s needed as I navigate through life as a new mother. She has shown me that it’s possible to be both a good mom and a good attorney, and this theme radiates through her business. She and Cary have created a company that allows its employees like me to be both. Angie Bryson is so deserving of the title “Lafayette Mom of the Year.”

Not only will the winner be crowned the 2018 Lafayette Mom of the Year, but she will also win the fabulous prize package giveaway valued over $900 including:

The winner will be announced on Sunday, May 6th! 

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