The Mom of the Year recognized at a gala dinner held at the AGO

Toronto, ON – October 1, 2012 – After a day of pampering and a gala dinner featuring a performance by the Canadian Tenors at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Katie Schulz of Dundas Ontario, was officially named Walmart Canada’s 2012 Mom of the Year. 

In honour of all that moms do, Walmart Canada launched the annual award initiative on Mother’s Day designed to give Canadians an opportunity to recognize the enormous contribution of their mothers. Since then, nearly 17,000 nominations came in across the country with countless examples of mothers who have demonstrated a tireless commitment and dedication to their family and community.

From the 16,909 nominations, eight finalists and their families landed in Toronto on September 29 for a weekend at a luxury hotel and a day of pampering and makeovers. It was only at the gala awards ceremony at the AGO last night that all eight received $10,000 as a reward to treat themselves and Katie Schulz was announced as the Walmart Mom of the Year. In addition to the title and cash prize, Walmart will also donate $100,000 to Katie’s charity or cause of her choice while the other seven finalists will receive $10,000 for the same.

Katie Schulz is dedicated to making her daughter's life a long and happy one. In 2009, she gave birth to Sophia who was diagnosed with the most common, fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians: cystic fibrosis. Katie has since dedicated herself to both her daughter’s care and to the fight against the disease, providing Sophia with two hours of chest physiotherapy daily and teaching her to take over 20 digestion pills. Katie was elected president of the Kitchener-Waterloo chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada and her tireless efforts have also helped to make the area’s Great Strides fundraising walk one of the most successful in Canada. In her spare time, Katie has written a children’s book about her daughter and cystic fibrosis, which is now available at libraries across Ontario.

Katie’s charity of choice is Cystic Fibrosis Canada, which will receive a $100,000 donation from Walmart Canada.

“As the first of many Mom of the Year Awards, tonight was especially memorable,” said Shelley Broader, president and CEO of Walmart Canada. “We were inspired by the submissions that detailed the stories of deserving women across this country. We are proud to announce Katie Schulz as Walmart Canada’s first Mom of the Year, and we thank her and every mom here tonight for taking on the most important job in the world: that of a mom.”

Walmart Canada and Mom of the Year Selection Committee members including Olympic athlete Hayley Wickenheiser, Quebec opera singer Natalie Choquette and Today’s Parent Editor-in-Chief, Karine Ewart 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:

  • Olivine Bernatchez, Gaspé, QC - Handicapped Association of Gaspésie
  • Helen MacDonnell, Riverview, NB - Moncton division of the Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Tammy MacKinnon, Cornwall, PEI – IWK Health Centre
  • Eileen Thiessen, Winnipeg, MB – Special Olympics Manitoba
  • Carol Westerberg, Calgary AB - Southern Alberta Myeloma Patient Society
  • Wendy White, Lorraine, QC - Epilepsy Canada
  • Karen Whitford, Fergus, ON – Kidney Foundation of Canada

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

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About Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of discount stores and supercentres with more than 330 locations nationwide serving more than one million customers each day. With nearly 90,000 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 is focused on helping Canadian families in need. Since 1994, Walmart has been committed to helping families in need. The company has donated to and raised more than $160 million for Canadian charities and not-for-profit organizations.

For more information, please contact: corporateaffairscanada@wal-mart.com