Avon Mom of the Year: Julie Keller
Writer / Heather Chastain
The Brownsburg resident spends a great deal of her time in Avon babysitting her two grandkids, Cameron (5) and Kellen (3). “They are the loves of my life,” Julie says.
The spirited winner said she didn’t even know her daughter Robin had nominated her until a friend shared a link from the Avon Magazine website and let her know she would be voting for Julie.
“People were calling me and stopping me at church to let me know they were going to vote for me,” Julie says. “So, then I called my daughter to ask her what she had done and she just laughed. I am flattered she thought enough of me to send in a nomination.”
The stay-at-home mom spent her days raising her two children, Robin and Adam, and volunteering across the county. She spent a lot of time with the Mental Health Association of Hendricks County, being a part of their puppet show Kids on the Block. Kids on the Block is an educational puppet program for elementary age students. Educational video-based presentations are available for middle and high school students.
“The puppets were the kids size, and we wore all black and stood behind them. The kids were always so focused on the puppets that they didn’t see us at all,” Julie says. “It was very rewarding seeing the kids.”
Over the years, she said they have added more puppets, including those with autism and other disabilities.
Two years ago, Julie learned about a group called the Threshold Choir. It’s a network of a cappella choirs of primarily women’s voices whose mission is to sing for and with those on the thresholds of life. In March 2016, she began a group in Indianapolis called the Threshold Singers. Eight ladies have joined her group. The group sings at Horizon Hospice Care in Danville, The Gathering Together in Plainfield and other locations around the county.
“It’s an honor to sing to these people,” Julie says. “It’s not for everyone, but I have a great group of ladies that sing with me.”
Looking back at her time as a stay-at-home mom with two children, Julie said it was an idyllic time.
“There were 4 to 5 of us who were all stay-at-home moms in our neighborhood, and we were each other’s support group,” Julie says. “We didn’t worry about so many of the things we do today.”
While Julie said she wasn’t a strict mom, she did used to threaten to spank her kids with a wooden spoon.
“I never had to use it, but it was a nice motivator,” laughs Julie. “Recently, Robin found a shirt online with the words, ‘I survived the wooden spoon.’ She shared that with me, and we both laughed and laughed.”
Julie said she isn’t sure what kind of mom she was, but she is proud of how her two children tuned out.
“We have two wonderful kids who have turned into two wonderful adults, and I guess maybe, in some small way, my parenting may have contributed to that,” Julie says. “Robin is the most kind, loving daughter, and she is my biggest cheerleader and supporter in all I do. I treasure our mother-daughter relationship.”