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Honoring mothers in Camden
Best Hat
Judges at the Family Heritage Committees Mothers Day Festival declared Willie Ann Ledwell the wearer of the best hat on Saturday. - photo by Gary Phillips

The Family Heritage Committee sponsored a Mother’s Day parade and celebration Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day being officially recognized in the Unites States. It was the first such event in Camden and organizers said they hope it will be repeated yearly.

The day started at 10:30 a.m. with a parade from Camden City Hall to Zemp Stadium. Mothers could ride in the parade for a $10 fee. Upon arriving at the stadium, each one was escorted to a special seating area near the stage. The color guard from Camden Military Academy presented the flags of the United States and of South Carolina, marching into the stadium between two rows of youths from Vision Academy holding flags from countries around the world. Inspirational music was provided by the Family Heritage Choir, made up of members of Camden First United Methodist and Abundant Life churches.

“You are making history here today,” host John Clinton announced. “This is the first event of its kind not only in Kershaw County, but in the world.”

Camden Mayor Tony Scully said mothers deserve the highest recognition and praise.

“The love every mother has shows throughout the world,” Scully said before breaking into the song, “Mama a Rainbow” from the musical, “Minnie’s Boys,” the story of the early lives of comedians/actors The Marx Brothers.

The mayor’s singing was met with enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Dance routines were presented by the Kershaw County Diamonds and Children for Christ.

The featured speaker of the day was Dr. Brenda Williams of Sumter, who gave a talk titled, “Special Delivery.” She told the crowd what a mother is, and isn’t.

“Mothers come in different shapes, colors and religions. Some are good. Some are bad,” she said. “Giving birth does not make you a mother. Caring for that child and raising that child is what a real mother does. To those who don’t do that, we don’t say, “‘Happy Mother’s Day.’”

The mother declared to have the best hat was Willie Ann Ledwell. The oldest mother at the event was Mary Ice, 93. The original plan was to name a Mother of the Year, but organizers felt it more appropriate to honor all mothers and not single out one woman for the special honor.