Walmart Canada Announces Susi Vander Wyk as the 2013 Mom of the Year

The Mom of the Year recognized at a gala dinner held at the Thompson Hotel

TORONTO, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - After a day of pampering and a gala dinner featuring a performance by Nikki Yanofsky and a surprise performance by Chantal Kreviazuk at the Thompson Hotel, Susi Vander Wyk of Chilliwack British Columbia, was officially named Walmart Canada's 2013 Mom of the Year. 

In honour of all that moms do, Walmart Canada launched the second annual Mom of the Year Award on Mother's Day to give Canadians the opportunity to recognize the enormous contribution mothers make to their families and to their communities.  Since then, nearly 25,000 nominations came in across the country from individuals who wanted to show appreciation for, and say thank you to, inspirational moms in their lives.

From the 24,644 nominations, eight finalists and their families arrived in Toronto on October 5 to spend the weekend at a luxury hotel and a day of pampering and makeovers. In celebration of the incredible dedication each of these women, Walmart will donate $100,000 to Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Canada Society, Susi's charity of choice and $10,000 to the charity of choice of each of the other seven finalists.  During the gala awards ceremony at the Thompson last night, all eight finalists were rewarded with $10,000 for themselves and Susi Vander Wyk was announced as the 2013 Walmart Mom of the Year.

Susi Vander Wyk is dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to families and children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Susi is a mother to three children Dexter, Holli and Amy. When Holli was two-years-old she diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. After a year of struggling with Holli's diagnosis Susi started EPIC, a support group for parents of children with all types of disabilities, which she facilitated and led for five years. As well Susi became actively involved in Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Canada. Susi organized charity dinners and dances to raise funds for the charity. She has facilitated and run a summer camp for the past 13 years, and invites families who have children with SMA from across the globe to join them. As well as organizing the camp, Susi and her husband Bruce host events on their dairy farm, throughout the year. They have Easter egg hunts, Christmas parties and camp fires for families with children who have SMA. Two years ago when the president of Families of SMA Canada stepped down, Susi stepped up again for her community and stepped into a role as president of a nationwide charity.

"We are thrilled to bring the Mom of the Year Award back for a second year," said Shelley Broader, president and CEO of Walmart Canada.  "Once again, it has been an inspiring journey to review all the amazing stories of admirable women from across this nation.  We are honoured to announce Susi Vander Wyk as Walmart Canada's 2013 Mom of the Year, and we celebrate her and every mom here tonight for their outstanding job of being a mom."

Walmart Canada and Mom of the Year Selection Committee members including professional singer, songwriter and Juno Award-winner, Chantal Kreviazuk, alongside notable Quebec comedian, actress and radio host, Sophie Prégent, the 2012 Mom of the Year, Katie Schulz, Editor-in-Chief of Walmart Live Better magazine, Sandra Martin and Shelley Broader are also proud to recognize the following seven finalists that shared in Sunday night's gala event, as well as the charities they support that will be receiving $10,000 from Walmart Canada:

  • Diane Bertin, Beresford, NB - Bathurst Volunteer Center
  • Marisa Bertoia, Thornhill, ON - "Skate with Daniel" Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre - Sick Kids
  • Elisabeth Linton, Toronto,ON - The Sanfilippo Children's Research Foundation
  • Joanne Poisson, Sherbrooke, QC - Service de Surveill Anges
  • Stephanie Roung, St.George, ON - MitoCanada Foundation
  • Krystal Shipley, Surrey, BC - Canuck Place Childrens Hospice
  • Josée Vigneault, Trois-Riviéres, QC - Société canadienne de la sclérose en plaques

For more information about the Walmart Canada Mom of the Year Award, visit www.momoftheyear.ca.

About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of 380 locations nationwide including 219 Supercentres. The retailer serves more than one million customers each day at its stores, and its online store, www.walmart.ca, is visited by over one million Canadians daily. With 95,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is recognized by Waterstone Human Capital as having one of Canada's top 10 corporate cultures. Walmart Canada's community giving program is focused on helping Canadian families in need. Since 1994, Walmart has donated and raised more than $180 million to Canadian charities and not-for-profit organizations. Additional company information can be found at walmartcanada.cafacebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/@walmartcanada.

SOURCE: WalMart Canada

For further information:

Jennifer Stein / Hilary Lawton at APEX
416-934-2111/ 416-934-2123
jstein@apexpr.comhlawton@apexpr.com

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