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Local mom up for Mom of the Year Award

By:Adrian Alleyne

09/19/2012 Our Communities The Herald

An East Kildonan woman who has spent nearly half a century caring for young people is being recognized for her efforts.

Eileen Thiessen, who has spent 46 years as a foster parent, is one of eight finalists from across Canada up for Walmart Canada’s Mom of the Year Award, which was launched earlier this year.

All of the finalists will be flown to Toronto for a weekend with their families including an awards gala on Sept. 30. Thiessen — who raised nine foster children from the time they were babies including seven who are mentally handicapped — was chosen from 16,909 entries and was nominated by her daughter Carol.

Thiessen said she and her husband Ken have taken care of a number of other children, but for shorter periods of time.

The overall Mom of the Year winner will receive $100,000 for their chosen charity. In addition, each of the finalists will receive $10,000 to spend on themselves, while seven will receive an additional $10,000 for a charity of their choice.

Thiessen plans to donate her share of the money to Special Olympics Manitoba, where she is currently the head coach of Team Manitoba’s track and field squad.

With the help of Arcane Horizon Inc., five of her foster kids still live in a house down the street from her, and Thiessen makes a point of visiting them daily and getting together for Sunday dinner.

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