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News, Santa Monica, Seniors

Happy Mother's Day! Foster, Senior Citizen Mothers To Be Honored

Posted May. 11, 2014, 9:28 am

City News Service

Mother's Day in Los Angeles will include tributes to foster mothers and those in senior citizen housing while Major League Baseball will conduct its annual fundraising effort for the fight against breast cancer today.

More than 2,000 foster parents and children from throughout Los Angeles will be honored at the Willows Community School in Culver City, getting their hair styled, receiving manicures, clothing and lunch.

What organizers are billing as the "largest Mother's Day celebration in the world'' will be held at the Los Angeles Jewish Home in Reseda, where more than 1,000 people representing families of four and five generations will gather with their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers.

The celebration will include live music and dancing.

The Pay it Forward volunteer band will play at two skilled nursing facilities in the San Fernando Valley.

"When we perform on Mother's Day we will loudly reaffirm that the moms of this generation sacrificed much in order to pass onto us the country that we are privileged to live in today,'' band director Gary Gamponia said.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will join with the rest of Major League Baseball in raising funds for the fight against breast cancer and saluting women affected by breast cancer who have demonstrated a commitment to eradicating the disease.

Isela Diaz of Rancho Cucamonga will be the team's honorary bat girl for its game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Diaz was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on Oct. 8, 2013 and has undergone a mastectomy, a second surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes and chemotherapy.

Diaz completed radiation treatments two weeks ago that had been delayed due to another surgery for precancerous signs in her colon.

Despite her diagnosis, Diaz continues to do things doctors told her she would not be able to do. She says active by going on 20-mile bicycle rides and exercising in additional ways.

For the second consecutive year, the Mother's Day games will be played using  baseballs with pink stitching. All players and on-field personnel will wear symbolic pink ribbons on their uniforms. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards will also be pink.

Numerous players will use pink bats and pink Louisville Slugger bats will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats will be auctioned on Major League Baseball's website, MLB.com, with proceeds benefiting cancer research.

The average adult celebrating Mother's Day is expected to spend $162.94 on activities, gifts and cards, a 3.6 percent decrease from last year's record average of $168.94, according to the National Retail Federation's Mother's Day consumer spending survey.

Total spending is expected to reach $19.9 billion, compared to $20.7 billion in 2013.

"Americans haven't forgotten about the state of the economy and are treating their finances and gift-giving budgets in a way that keeps practicality top of mind," said Pam Goodlow, the consumer insights director of the business intelligence services company Prosper Insights & Analytics which conducted the survey.

"But like we saw with Valentine's Day and Easter, people this year will look for special ways to treat mom to something nice without breaking the bank."

Of the 6,535 adults polled, 84.5 percent said they planned on celebrating Mother's Day. Of those celebrating, 66.6 percent said they would buy flowers, 55.5 percent said they would treat mother to a brunch or dinner, 31.7 percent said they would buy jewelry and 33.5 percent said they would buy clothing or accessories.

The survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics between April 1-8 has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

In his Mother's Day proclamation, President Barack Obama wrote, "By words and example, mothers teach us how to grow and who to become.

"They shape lasting habits that can lead to healthy living and lifelong learning. They demonstrate what is possible when we work hard and apply our talents.

"Without complaint, they give their best every day so they and their children might achieve the scope of their dreams. Today, let us once again extend our gratitude for our mothers' unconditional love and support -- during years past and in the years to come."

Mother's Day was initially proposed in 1870 by activist-poet Julia Ward Howe as a call for peace and disarmament. It was celebrated in 18 cities in 1873, continued for about another 10 years in Boston under Howe's backing, then died out.

The second attempt to establish Mother's Day began on May 9, 1907, the second anniversary of the death of Anna Jarvis' mother Ann. She invited several friends to her home in Philadelphia in commemoration of her mother's life, which included providing nursing care and promoting better sanitation during the Civil War, helping save lives on both sides.

Jarvis announced to her friends her idea of a day of national celebration in honor of mothers, which was first celebrated on May 10, 1908 at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, W.V. where Ann Jarvis worshipped.

The church is now known as the International Mother's Day Shrine.

West Virginia Gov. William E. Glasscock issued the first Mother's Day proclamation in 1910. By 1911, it was celebrated in nearly every state.

President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional joint resolution in 1914 designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day nationally.

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