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FIFTEEN INSPIRATIONAL MOMS TAKE THE SPOTLIGHT IN NATIONWIDE SEARCH FOR AMERICA'S FAVORITE MOM

Los Angeles, CA (April 30, 2008) – Teleflora, the world’s leading floral wire service, and NBC today revealed the 15 semi-finalists in the nationwide search for America’s Favorite Mom.  The inspirational stories of the three top moms in each of the five categories – military moms, working moms, single moms, “Non-mom” moms and “Chairman of Everything” moms – will be featured on NBC’s “Today” show May 5 through May 9 during the 9 o’clock hour.  Each day, America will vote on who will continue into the final round. The winning mom will be crowned during the primetime television special, “Teleflora presents America’s Favorite Mom,” airing on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 11 at 7 p.m. EDT. 

Teleflora’s 15 “America’s Favorite Mom” semi-finalists include:

Military Moms

  • Melinda Gintilas (Fountain, CO):  Gintilas is a soldier who survived two trips to Iraq, a tumor in her breast and long intervals and distances from her husband and three children
  • Patti Patton-Bader (Pasadena, CA): Patton-Bader is a mother who founded Soldiers Angels Network, an organization that sends care packages to over 200,000 troops overseas
  • Rosanna Vasquez-Brown (Harker Heights, TX): Vasquez-Brown’s duties to her family include caring for her daughter and husband; she is currently deployed as a physician assistant in Iraq

Working Moms

  • Lisa Druxman (San Marcos, CA): With two children in tote, Druxman started “Stroller Strides” a business catering to mom specific exercises
  • Patricia Griffith (Pittsburg, CA):  Griffith’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to open the successful Southern Oven Baking Company while also raising two children
  • Stacy Horn Koch (New Orleans, LA): The head of a household of two boys, Koch also runs a center for at-risk youth and heads a project to restore a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina

Single Moms

  • Lena Ledford (Atlanta, GA): A mother of five, Ledford never lets anything stop her which is why she’s also a part-time vocal, basketball and cheerleading coach as well as a teacher, counselor and  cook
  • Betty Yerks (Denville, NJ): If there was a popularity contest in Denville, NJ, Yerks would win it.  As an active leader for school, community and church volunteer activities, Yerks also raised two daughters while founding BirthRight, an organization that assists pregnant teenagers
  • Shawna Ray (Mount Pleasant, SC): Ray is a “teacher” to her two children and a “teacher” to others through a book she wrote about educating kids on diversity

“Non-mom” Moms

  • Bernice Burch (Sanford, FL): From taking care of her siblings when she was younger to raising four children and now a large extended family, Burch will always be known as the “neighborhood” mom
  • Nora Leon (Casper, WY): Leon is a “mom to many,” as she runs an orphanage in Haiti and finds sick children medical attention and even homes with families in the United States
  • Jennifer Keller (Home, KS): Keller has seven children, six of which were adopted and exposed to methamphetamines.  She also is an activist working to make the act of abusing controlled substances during a pregnancy illegal in Kansas

“Chairman of Everything” Moms

  • Gwendolyn Beauchamp (Lancaster, TX): Beauchamp, a mother of five, has supported her family through hard times despite being diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
  • Lisa Couture (Wesley Chapel, FL): Although she is blind, Couture manages to run the household and even achieve her MBA while caring for her three children
  • Courtnee Stevenson (Bremerton, WA): A mother of six including a set of quintuplets, Stevenson is a mom who clearly can juggle it all

The 15 semi-finalists were selected from more than 15,000 online nominations collected at AmericasFavoriteMom.com. A panel of experts that included Stacy Morrison, editor-in-chief of Redbook Magazine, Sally Lee, editor-in-chief of Parents Magazine, and Sabrina Weill, Editor-in-Chief of Momlogic.com, helped to narrow the pool.  Semi-finalists were notified when a local Teleflora florist personally delivered the specially-designed America’s Favorite Mom bouquet, the true centerpiece of Teleflora’s America’s Favorite Mom search, to each of their homes.

“We were just in awe of the thousands of amazing moms nominated on AmericasFavoriteMom.com – there were so many inspirational and heartfelt submissions,” said Lynda Resnick, chairman, Teleflora.  “Now it’s time for America to decide who among these incredible mothers should be crowned ‘America’s Favorite Mom’.

“At REDBOOK we know there is no one way to be a mom, since being a mom is just an expression of who you are as a woman,” said Stacy Morrison, editor-in-chief, Redbook Magazine.  “The amazing array of nominees for America’s Favorite Mom demonstrates this in the most inspiring way.  From fitness mom to working mom to military mom, these women remind us that the best way to have a life you love is to be exactly who you are.”

“This is one inspiring group of moms,” said Sally Lee, editor-in-chief, Parents Magazine. “They have such different life experiences, but they’re all truly selfless in their commitment to raising happy, healthy children. They’ve made sacrifices and weathered challenges, but each one of these moms has an amazing attitude. They all deserve the title of ‘America’s Favorite Mom’!”

Momlogic.com editor-in-chief Sabrina Weill says, “What strikes me most about these amazing moms is not just one particular shining moment, but the everyday acts of motherhood, big and small, that impact their families and the children around them in such a powerful way. It’s a bit of ‘momlogic’ actually: You don’t have to be ‘SuperMom’ to be a truly heroic mother.”

Viewers can tune-in to the “Today” show, the week of May 5 to learn more about these semi-finalists and vote for their favorite mom each day on www.NBC.com.  A different category will be highlighted every day:  military moms, Monday, May 5; working moms, Tuesday, May 6; single moms, Wednesday, May 7; “non-mom” moms, Thursday, May 8; and “chairman of everything” moms, Friday, May 9.  Donny and Marie Osmond will appear on the May 5 show to kick-off the competition.

The five mothers with the greatest percentage of votes will take part in “Teleflora presents America’s Favorite Mom,” an NBC prime-time television event hosted by Donny and Marie Osmond.  The one-hour show will feature an exclusive duet by the celebrity siblings and a special performance by Sony/Epic artists The D.E.Y. performing their new single "She Said,” a heartfelt ode to mothers.  Editor-in-Chief of Redbook Magazine Stacy Morrison, who was a print sponsor of the nationwide search, will also make a guest appearance in the show. 

The program will include a special tribute to 100 year old Opal Trundle, who was born on the first Mother’s Day, May 11, 1908.  Opal raised six children during the great depression and has 96 grandchildren.  In addition, there will be special cameo appearances by Christina Aguilera, Tony Hawk, Alicia Keys, Hulk Hogan, Naomi Judd, Amy Poehler and more throughout the broadcast.  At the end of the special, the Osmonds will crown one lucky winner, “America’s Favorite Mom.”

Teleflora will present the grand prize winner with $250,000, an America’s Favorite Mom diamond encrusted pendant and a year’s worth of Teleflora flower arrangements.  The winning mom will also receive a REDBOOK “Love Your Life” all-expense paid trip to New York City, including a beauty makeover and spa treatment, courtesy of Redbook Magazine, a family vacation package to St. Lucia, courtesy of Coconut Bay and all-new General Electric kitchen and laundry appliances.  Teleflora will present the four runners-up with $25,000, a gold pendant, a year’s worth of Teleflora flower arrangements and a General Electric washer and dryer.

“Moms all over can relate to the hard work and sacrifices that go into raising a family, and we want to tell their stories through this television tribute to moms,” said Doug Vaughan, senior vice president, special programs and alternative development, NBC Entertainment.  “Through uplifting stories and great performances, this special is bound to tug at your heart strings.”

Executive producers of the primetime special include Lynda Resnick, chairman, Teleflora, Al Berman, president, Berman Productions and Marc Koops, managing director, Reveille.

 

About America’s Favorite Mom
In honor of the 100thAnniversary of Mother’s Day, Teleflora invited consumers to nominate their inspirational moms on www.AmericasFavoriteMom.com for the title of “America’s Favorite Mom.”  From January to April 25, children and adults alike adoringly expressed how much they loved their mom onlineLog on to the web site to view all the nominations.  The site also features more information about the program, including the official rules.

 About Teleflora
Teleflora is the world’s leading floral service offering the best choice in floral arrangements and convenient local delivery.  Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Teleflora has over 20,000 member florists throughout the U.S. and Canada, with an additional 20,000 affiliated florists outside North America.  Teleflora offers industry-leading floral arrangements and gifts, technology, marketing and education services.  Through its extensive member florists’ network, Web sites including www.teleflora.com and www.findaflorist.com, and its toll-free line 1-800-TELEFLORA, the company offers consumers fast, convenient and high-quality flowers and keepsake products.

About NBC
NBC Entertainment develops and schedules programming for the network’s primetime, late-night, and daytime schedules. NBC’s quality programs and balanced lineup have earned the network critical acclaim, ratings success, particularly among young, upscale viewers, and numerous awards, including more Emmy Awards than any network in television history.

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