AMI, which serves as the official sponsor of Mothers' Day, is a 65-year old organization created to recognize and honor the role of mothers in America.
In May, Mrs. Perdue will compete for the title of National Mother of the Year against candidates from the 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Candidates were selected based on their influence on other mothers and/or people in their community through their faith and dedication to motherhood, family life and community service.
On learning of her selection as Maryland Mother of the Year, Mrs. Perdue pledged, "I will use this wonderful honor as a platform for spreading awareness about healthy lifestyles for children."
She went on to say, "Sometimes loving our children and being Mrs. Popularity with them isn't the same thing. We need to do such things as limiting TV while encouraging them to go outside and exercise. We need to say, 'Snack today is an apple, not a cookie.'"
Mrs. Perdue, founder of Healthy U of Delmarva, a 4000-member organization on Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore, believes that children will have a better chance for long and healthy lives and are more likely to be productive, contributing citizens if parents begin teaching them healthy eating and lifestyle habits from an early age.
"It takes effort and commitment, and the ability to say 'No' to unhealthy choices, yet parents will find that the rewards of self-discipline are not only physical, they're also spiritual," added Mrs. Perdue.
Mrs. Perdue will represent Maryland at the National Convention for American Mothers, this spring. As part of the selection process, she will give a three minute presentation to the judges. She will also conduct a workshop, "A Quick Guide to Successful Media Appearances," based on tips she gave her guests during her eight years as a syndicated television hostess.
Healthy U of Delmarva is working to reduce the very high rates of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes in this area. The organization's members commit to making lifestyle improvements, such as including 30 minutes of exercise a day, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and not smoking.
Mitzi Perdue is the wife of Frank Perdue, the mother of Jose and Carlos Ayala, and the stepmother of Anne Oliviero, Beverly Jennings, Sandy Spedden, and Jim Perdue.
For more information about American Mothers, Inc., visit the website: www.americanmothers.org or call (202) 234-7375.