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Lions Club honors 2016 Mother of the Year

GORDON JACKSON/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD 
 Biloxi Mayor Andrew 'FoFo' Gilich presents a city proclamation to Biloxi Lions Club 2016 Mother of the Year Amiee Gautreaux.
GORDON JACKSON/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD Biloxi Mayor Andrew 'FoFo' Gilich presents a city proclamation to Biloxi Lions Club 2016 Mother of the Year Amiee Gautreaux.

Amiee Gautreaux, the biological mother of four and adoptive mother of two, was honored as the Biloxi Lions Club's 61st annual Mother of the Year at a luncheon and special meeting Wednesday at the Biloxi Yacht Club.

"Amiee is a wonderful example of what a mother should be," said Betty Jean Hughes, standing in for husband Kenny Hughes, who formally nominated Gautreaux for the honor. "She goes over and beyond to help anyone in need. Most importantly, Amiee represents the young generation of motherhood and is a shining example of a totally devoted young wife and mother."

Gautreaux works at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, and is a member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, where she holds several leadership positions.

Gautreaux and her husband, Steve, have four biological children: Clare, 15; Jon, 13; Anna, 10; and Thomas, 8, the couple traveled to China and adopted Jerry, 10, in 2012 and Ellie, 6, in 2015.

"They also need lots of love, which they certainly get from Amiee and her great family," Betty Jean Hughes said. "She is introducing American culture to them by involving them in every facet of American life, while helping them to maintain a connection to their own culture."

"I love the fact that we have the opportunity to be both biological and adoptive parents," Gautreaux said. "It is showing us a whole new world of what unconditional love can do."

Gautreaux also gave credit and homage to Ellie's and Jerry's biological mothers, who she said "chose to give our children life and chose to bring them into a place where they could be found."

"She's a very inspirational person," said Margo Swetman, the luncheon's guest speaker, who also nominated Gautreaux. "She's had to give up a lot and given up a tremendous amount to be the good mother that she is. I have a lot of respect and admiration for her."

Other nominees were Sarah Pitalo Rider and Beth Sturdivant.

Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich was on hand to present Gautreaux with a proclamation. As many as nine past Lions Club Mother of the Year honorees were also present to congratulate Gautreaux and welcome her into their elite group.

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