Red Deer mother’s story makes finals

A Red Deer mother’s story has made her one of 20 finalists in a Walmart Mom of the Year promotion that carries a top prize of $20,000.

A Red Deer mother’s story has made her one of 20 finalists in a Walmart Mom of the Year promotion that carries a top prize of $20,000.

Marlene Pannenbecker was chosen from 12,000 nominations for her impact on her family and community.

She needs to get the most online votes to win the top prize, which allows $10,000 for her to spend and a further $10,000 for her favourite charity.

Earlier this year, her 19-year-old son was killed in a car crash that also killed one other boy and injured three others.

Despite her grief, she visited the other three boys regularly and provided meals to them.

Pannenbecker is a mother of three children and has four adopted children from the Dominican Republic. She travels often to the Dominican Republic to help a village.

At home, she raises donations, clothing and medicines to send to the Dominican.

Pannenbecker also raises money to fight cancer and she drives to Edmonton on weekends to help with a street program called Smiles.

People who want to help Pannenbecker become one of six finalists are asked to vote for her at www.walmart.ca/mom.

As of Friday afternoon, Pannenbecker was in second place with 1,208 votes.

Voters can see the other 19 candidates but must vote only for one.

The final five finalists each qualify for $500 personally and $500 for a charity. The winner takes home $10,000 for herself, and $10,000 for a charity of her choice.

Voting takes runs from now through July 4, with the finalist announced on July 5.

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