GEORGETOWN – The Delaware Association of American Mothers has selected Rosalie Betts Walls of Georgetown as the 2012 Delaware Mother of the Year.
Her principle nominator was the Georgetown Historical Society, which is the sponsor of the nationally and internationally recognized Sussex County Return Day.
Ms. Walls was recently re-elected the Return Day Committee's President, having served in that role for the past 22 years.
She also received nominations from 17 other civic and community organizations, which described her many volunteer activities.
Ms. Walls will be installed as Mother of the Year at the annual TDAAM ceremony, by Governor Jack Markell at his official residence in Dover at the end of April.
The American Mothers' earliest beginnings emerged after the Civil War as a tribute to Mothers.
Anna Reeves Jarvis of Gruntytown, West Virginia, sought to bring about reconciliation to divided families. She organized "Mothers Friendship Day" with invitations to both Union and Confederate soldiers and their families.
In 1905, her daughter Anna began an intense campaign to establish a National Mother's Day. In 1914 Congress passed the bill and President Woodrow Wilson approved the second Sunday of May as Mothers Day.
Since then, American Mothers, Inc. is the parent organization and sponsor of Mothers Day and of the Mother of the Year, Young Mother of the Year and Merit Mother, when selected throughout the United States.
Here in Delaware, participation did not begin until 1950, when Governor Carvel appointed a chairperson, Mrs. Joseph Ennis of Smyrna. She was assisted by three mothers, one from each of Delaware's three counties. Mrs. Jonathan Willis, of Milford, was selected as Delaware's first Mother of the Year.
Since then, Delaware has been represented each year at the American Mothers International Convention in May. This year's AMI Convention will be held in Washington, D.C.
The Delaware Association of American Mothers lists the names of annual awardees on a roster that hangs in Legislative Hall in Dover.