Lupe Cerna, Dixon’s 25th Annual Mother of the Year, is a familiar face to many in Dixon. At age 92 she and her husband Albert (age 100) have lived in Dixon for over 55 years.
She raised her own five children, and also her nephew Dennis Braga, who nominated her for the award. She worked for many years with the Dixon School District and promoted the importance of education to migrant working families. She volunteered for a number of years at Dixon Family Services and at St. Peter Catholic church where she is a lifetime member of the Y.L.I. and the Portuguese women’s group. (Although she is not Portuguese herself.)
She was born in Colorado in 1924 and her family moved to California in 1933 to work in the Central Valley fields.
She married her husband Albert on September 16, 1941.Together they built their own farming business in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. In 1960 they moved here for an opportunity to farm in the Dixon area.
“My aunt Lupe,” Dennis Braga wrote, “deserves to be Mother of the Year for her lifetime of commitment to children of others from Dixon as well as her own, and for all the people of Dixon she has affected by her giving nature and unconditional love that has never failed throughout the years.”
In addition to the Mother of the Year, as always there are two finalists selected from the nominating essays submitted. The Finalists this year are Wendi Hendershot and Michelle Austin.
Wendi was nominated by her 5th grade daughter Caitlyn. Michelle was nominated by her 4th grade daughter Alaina.
Wendi owns her own business – Stitching Solutions – and sponsors youth sports teams, and even has coached. She helps out at Dixon Montessori School and is a Dixon Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. She also volunteers to coordinate the Dixon May Fair Parade – including the lineup and being in charge of the “pooper scoopers.”
She also participates in flag and wreath events at the National Cemetery each year to honor veterans; with the Relay for Life to fight cancer; and for Rotary Club breakfasts.
Michelle has been an active mom both for her own kids and at times – once for two months for five to six hours a day – helping to care for her friend’s children, including a two-year old and a baby.
“My mom does really nice things for other people such as watching their kids to paying for a meal.”
The three moms honored this year will ride in the May Fair Parade this Saturday, with Dennis Braga driving them in a vehicle provided by DuPratt Ford. They will be sporting beautiful corsages provided by Dixon Florists.
The Mother of the Year awards are sponsored by Dixon’s Independent Voice – and have been for all twenty-five years. The honorees are selected from nomination essays to represent all the wonderful moms of Dixon. An honoree is chosen from essays submitted by three age groups: Grades 4 and younger; Grades 5 to 8; and High School through adult. The winning essays are published on the back page of this issue of Dixon’s Independent Voice.