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

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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