Fishers Mom of the Year Finalists
After much deliberation, the Fishers Magazine judges decided to randomly select the five finalists. Hey, aren’t “all” moms worthy of an award? So here are the candidates, in no particular order, for our 2016 crown. Remember, you can vote once per day until midnight on April 15, 2016. Good luck!
Nominated by Deborah Howland
Bettyjo is a single mom and was working a great job. A week after getting a promotion, she was laid off, and then a week after that, her only child had his first seizure. He was diagnosed with epilepsy, a common and very dangerous neurological condition. As she struggled to navigate this new world of epilepsy, fighting for her son’s life, she made the decision to change her career, so she could work from home to take care of Gavin (he was having seizures every day and couldn’t even go to school). She also decided to complete her doctoral dissertation in this time as well. Now Gavin is nearly seven months seizure-free and a straight A student, and she is defending her dissertation at the end of the month. Bettyjo is a mom that fought for everything in a year of crisis.
Nominated by Michelle Boyd
Courtney is a wonderful mom to four sweet children of her own. However, I am nominating her because of her role as second mom to many kids. Many of Courtney’s friends (including myself) have children who have been the beneficiary of Courtney’s love. Although she has a full house, she often invites our children to join for trips to Sky Zone, tumbling, craft days, science experiments and more. From days of fun to math and science tutoring, “Ms. Courtney” is mom to an extended group of young neighbors, school and cheer friends, rugby friends and wrestling buddies. She has created a strong sense of community by bringing families together who may have not otherwise met. I admire her spirit and her love of encouraging children to laugh and grow!
Ruth Ann Restivo
Nominated by Tara Storm
My mother is the most selfless person I know. After four years, she and my dad have decided to leave their town of over 30 years to move to Fishers to watch her grandkids grow up. She is leaving everything she knows to enhance my family’s life and truly believes it takes a village to raise the youth. A breast cancer survivor who never once complained, she is a rock for our family and extended family. The love and godly example she sets forth is unparalleled. She has created a strong sense of community by bringing families together who may have not otherwise met. I admire her spirit and her love of encouraging children to laugh and grow!
Suzanne Gaidoo and Jill Kramer
Nominated by Cathy Robinson
I am nominating my two daughters, Suzanne Robinson Gaidoo and Jill Robinson Kramer. Last year, I read the article for the 2015 Mom of the Year, and I kept it for this year! April Cantrell said she always wanted to adopt. Well, I did adopt (by choice), and my two daughters are turning 39 and 40, respectively, this year. Suzanne is African/Caucasian, and Jill is Korean. They also have a brother who is Caucasian with learning disabilities. Their dad died while the three kids were attending Lawrence North High School. Jill was a senior and editor of the school paper, and Suzanne was a top athlete. They went onto college, Suzanne to Indiana State and Jill to Hanover. Suzanne received her law degree from University of Cincinnati, and Jill received her masters in philanthropic studies from IU; she is currently working on her doctorate degree. Suzanne has twins, Josie and Davis, 3 years old, and Jill has Lucy, 12 years old, and Theodore, 9 years old. Both girls manage to volunteer, serve on community boards, be active members in their church, attend school and athletic functions for their kids, manage household duties and have full time jobs. The girls are just delightful, and they are deserving of recognition. I thought it would be great to have a double Mom of the Year with two adopted moms as a great follow up to last year. For my 65th birthday last year, the girls formed a nonprofit, David’s House, which will eventually house and support people like their brother. David was the name of their late father. I was totally surprised and proud of their gift.
Nominated by Jason Peasley
She is the mother to our three beautiful girls, a hard working nurse and business owner and a supportive and loving wife. She’s a Girl Scouts leader and drives our oldest to meetings with longtime friends. She started a T-shirt campaign for the Fishers Police Department that raised over $1,500 for charitable causes.