Mother of the Year crowned at annual event

Anita “Boss Lady” Dean-Arnette holds the winning letter for Mother of the Year.

Mother of the Year crowned at annual event
May 12
12:50 2021

For the past 20 years, Anita “Boss Lady” Dean-Arnette of The Light (1340 AM and 103.5 FM), a local Christian radio station, has invited listeners to send in letters to nominate their mothers for the title of “Mother of the Year.” From humble beginnings in a conference room, the event has grown to become a much-anticipated annual tradition in the area. 

Dean-Arnette said when she decided to host the first event in 2000, she only received five submissions and they held a small luncheon for the contestants in a conference room at the station. Now, Dean-Arnette receives hundreds of letters every year and more than 200 people usually attend the event, which is held the week before Mother’s Day weekend. After they had to cancel the event last year due to the pandemic, Dean-Arnette said she started planning for this year’s event only about a month ago, but she was determined to make it happen.

“We’re so excited to be back,” Dean-Arnette said. “We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to have it, but as soon as we got the word, we got to work and started putting it together. It’s a blessing after COVID-19 and everybody being shut in for so long, it feels good to be able to get out and celebrate Momma.”

Due to the governor’s gathering restrictions, only 100 people were allowed to attend the luncheon held at the Enterprise Center on Thursday, May 6, but the event was just as joyful as ever. Before lunch was served, attendees enjoyed musical selections, a dance performance, and encouraging words from several speakers. 

After lunch was served, it was time to find out who would take home the crown of Mother of the Year. Submissions for this year’s contest were centered around the theme, “Mom … Thank You For All You’ve Done.” Boss Lady said the panel of judges who are responsible for choosing the winner had a hard time because there were so many heartwarming submissions.

“These letters were just wonderful,” Dean-Arnette continued. “We read about so many challenges and so many things these mothers and grandmothers have gone through and their stories are just awesome and I thank everybody for taking time out to write these letters.” 

First place was awarded to Mary Voss. In addition to the crown, flowers, and several other prizes, Voss also received a $500 gift card. Voss’s letter was submitted by her grandchildren. After receiving her crown, Voss was all smiles when she spoke with The Chronicle. 

“The letter was submitted by my grandchildren and I didn’t know until the last minute … I’m just so excited I can’t believe I actually won,” Voss said. “This really means a lot.” 

Second place was awarded to Belinda Robinson and third place was awarded to Josephine Frazier. 

The Light (1340 AM and 103.5 FM) is the Piedmont’s top-ranked urban gospel music station. Midday Praise with Boss Lady is on air Monday-Friday from noon to 3 p.m. For more information, visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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