SKOWHEGAN – When Barbara Provost and her family were invited to the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge for the annual Mother of the Year ceremony, she thought that one of her friends was going to be honored.
But to her surprise – and delight of her family and friends – she was the recipient.
The ceremony was hosted by Past Exalted Ruler (former lodge president) Ricky A. Stewart, who said that giving out awards “was the best part of this job. The lady I have chosen for this year’s honor has always given of herself to help others. She has spent her time committed to helping her community, her family and – most recently – has made a commitment to help her lodge.”
Barbara Provost has been a third-grade schoolteacher for 32 years at Canaan Elementary School, said Stewart. “Being a third-grader at one time, I don’t remember the teacher’s job as being an easy one,” he joked.
She and her husband of 35-years, David, have raised a daughter, Leah; and a son, Spencer. She now has a seven-month old granddaughter, Maddilynn.
The Provost family has worked on numerous fund-raising activities at the lodge and David chaired the Americanism Committee last year. Barbara has accepted the chairmanship this year, although the couple traditionally works on projects together.
Leah Provost described her mother as “amazing. She is beautiful not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.”
She said that her mother’s “number-one priority has and always will be to her family. She helped my brother Spencer and I grow into adulthood, and become the hard-working and kind people we are today. But let me tell you, it wasn’t always easy. Our mother did her fair share of government posters and geometry homework for my brother, and never missed a field hockey game or tennis match for me.”
As her father deals with some health-related issues, Leah Provost also credits her mom for “standing strong and tall for my father during the time he needed her most. Not only that, but she lost a lot of Scrabble games during their long days off together after his hospitalization.”
Mrs. Provost was presented with a bouquet, tiara and engraved silver cup by Stewart and last year’s Mother of the Year, Mary Ann LeClair of Skowhegan.