Time Warner Cable Presents San Diego's “50 Best Moms” 2011

Over Mother's Day weekend, I had the distinct honor of attending a luncheon for San Diego's “50 Best Moms” presented by Time Warner Cable (TWC) at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, California.  As a past Best Mom myself, and now as a member of the judging panel for the fourth consecutive year, it is my privilege at this event to put the faces together with the names of some of the essays I read in the process of selecting 50 out of 2,500 submitted from schools all across San Diego county.


Jodi Kodish, NBC 7/39 weather reporter and judge, Jen Goodrum, Popchips San Diego Representative and Suzette Valle, judge. Photo S.Valle 

This year was more significant since the annual community event celebrated 10 years of recognizing some outstanding mothers who do much more than one would expect the matriarch of a family to do as part of mother duty; setting the bar high for their kids by example takes dedication, sacrifice, and selfless commitment,  and it's precisely these qualities that set these moms apart.

Only excerpts from the 50 winning essays are read to the audience and the stories of a mother's courage, strength or will to overcome obstacles while raising children are always heartwarming.   I wish I could tell you a little bit about each mom who was selected as a winner, but space nor time allow it.  I'll highlight just a few so you can have an idea of what it takes to become one of San Diego's 50 Best Moms —  which could be you in 2012!

Deborah Bukolt, Coronado, Michael Bukolt, Grade 7, Coronado Middle School


Marc Farrar, Time Warner Cable Public Affairs VP with winning mother and son. Photo by S. Valle

Last year, with a stress fractured hip from running too much, my mother, with help from one other adult and a large group of crazy middle school kids, put on a benefit dinner that raised enough money to build a well in a school in Haiti, so that the whole community could have clean fresh water, without walking three miles carrying five gallons. With a large amount of help, energy, and commitment from my mom, we raised 3,000+ dollars, and there was no way that we couldn't have done anything so amazing without all the help she put into it.

Yezenia Martinez, Carlsbad, Rose Martinez, Grade 8, Aviara Oaks Middle School


I think of my older sibling Yezenia Martinez as a mom. She is 22 years old and is currently attending San Diego State. I am lucky to have her in my life because thanks to her, I have a place to live and also something that every kid deserves to have, an education. She is a great mom because she always puts me and my brother before herself and she always tries to do what's best for us. She also gives me the support I need in school, and always wants me to do what's best for me.

Patricia Roder, Point Loma, Andy Roder, Grade 8, Correia Middle School


I am a 13 year old boy who has kidney failure, and my mom has learned so much information to take care of me that she is like a walking hospital. My mom is the one who helps do everything medical. She helps me understand my homework if I don't get it. Now it is turning into me explaining my homework to my Mom, it is so complicated, but it still helps me remember by explaining things to my Mom. She always tells me how strong I am and that I can do anything. My kidneys may fail on me, but my Mom never will.

Besides honoring mothers, the best three essays, one each from elementary, middle and high school, were chosen out of the top 50 to win a Viao Laptop from sponsor Sony, plus his/her teacher also won a $250 gift card.  


Sony Vaio Laptop winners. Photo by S. Valle

This year, the essay-writers had a chance to win more for themselves and their class.  TMC raffled off five skateboards to five random students, and new sponsor Popchips (which I proudly introduced to TWC!) donated three class-wide “Snack Break” prizes in conjunction with Submarina to one lucky winner from each grade level!


Marc Farrar, Time Warner Cable  VP of Public Affairs with skateboard winners. Photo by S. Valle

Each year, I look forward to reading the essays children write describing their mothers and the reasons why they think they are the best.  But, believe it or not,  cooking like Emeril, driving kids around like a NASCAR champion nor keeping house in Martha Stewart style are pre-requisites to win this contest.  It is that extra ingredient, the thing a mom does that makes an indelible impression on their children that make these 50 Best Moms not only the best in San Diego, but as many of their kids wrote, the best in the world.

From one Best Mom to the newest TWC San Diego's 50 Best Moms, congratulations!


  1. Anonymous says:

    I love this. It's one thing to see a woman or mother recognized, but by their own child has an honor all of it's own.
    Congrats to San Diego's 50 Best Moms and to their children!
    What a beautiful event. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    That's so true, Laura! Nothing more motivating to a mother than to know in your child's own words why you are important to them. That's what I love about this event!

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