Motherhood celebrated with naming of Mothers of the Year


TAYLOR COUNTY—May is a month designated for the honoring of mother’s far and wide, and because the nationally recognized holiday began here in Taylor County, each year, two local entities select women who have displayed the essence of what motherhood is.

Both the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum and the International Mother’s Day Shrine have named their 2021 Mother of the Year.

Because of her hard work in her role as mom, as well as her dedication in her professional life, the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum has selected Delegate Amy Summers as the recipient of this year’s title.

“We are so pleased to announce Amy Summers as the Anna Jarvis Mother of the Year,” said museum curator Olive Ricketts. “She is truly an exemplary model of motherhood, and womanhood for that matter.”

Summers currently serves at the state’s first-ever female House Majority Leader. When not tending to matters that affect the residents of the state, she works as an emergency room nurse, caring for the patients that come through the doors of the hospital, as well as their families.

And while her professional life is important to Summers, her role as a wife and mother is held very near and dear to her heart.

Summers and her husband, Rod, were married in 1985, and together they have three children: Sarah Gallagher, Molly Summers and Zac Summers.

“Being a mother has been one of the greatest joys in my life,” Summers voiced. “But the most exciting title change will be from mother to grandmother in June.”

The Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum will honor Summers during their annual Mother’s Day Celebration. This year, the event will be held on Sunday, May 9, in the pavilion at the Pearl Felton Park, across the street from the museum in Webster.

Beginning at 2:00 p.m., guests will be treated to special music and other activities, but the highlight of the afternoon will be the presentation of Summers as the 2021 Anna Jarvis Mother of the Year.

The community is invited to attend, and mask wearing and social distancing are encouraged.

For more information, please contact Ricketts at 304-265-5549.

Another outstanding woman claimed the title of the International Mother’s Day Shrine Mother of the Year.

Martha Claire Bennett, will represent the Shrine as its 2021 Mother of the Year, having been nominated and approved by the Shrine’s Board of Trustees.

Martha has been a Grafton resident for most of her life, except for a brief period when she resided on several US Airforce Bases in Georgia, Texas, and Sacramento, California with her husband and high school sweetheart of 66 years, Dr. Charles “Chick” Bennett.

The Bennett’s made their journey back to Grafton in 1958, to raise their four children: Sharle, Shelby, Chuck and Chad.

Bennett worked for the C&P Telephone company and was one of the original “MaBell” operators. She then transitioned to a stay-at-home mom role, where she devoted her time and energy raising her children.

When asked, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren described her as selfless, giving unconditionally, and a matriarch to the Bennett family. They also described her as, “someone who taught them that there were no ‘free rides,’ and that it takes hard work to earn your way.”

Bennett is known to love family gatherings, and is a fantastic cook, disciplined, and tough. She is not only a matriarch to the Bennett family, but a matriarch to the City of Grafton; a contributor to the community.

“My family is first and foremost my greatest accomplishment,” Bennett voiced.

The Mother’s Day Shrine will present Bennett as their 2021 Mother of the Year during their annual Mother’s Day program.

The 113th annual observance of Mother’s Day will be held virtually and can be accessed by visiting https://www.internationalmothersdayshrine.org/.

The service will be available for viewing after 2:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 9.

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