A common theme of the 2021 Best Mom InMaricopa Presented by Iconic Tire and Service Center contest is humility. All three winners were surprised to be nominated, despite the long hours, thankless tasks, and unseen good deeds they provide their families on a daily basis. But as the nominations and voting show, those things are greatly appreciated, and in this case, rewarded.
Lucinda Boyd – 1st Place
Boyd gets plenty of practice honing her motherly skills. As the mother of four and stepmother of two she already had her hands full. But according to the nomination by her daughter, Melissa Fierros, her caring is not limited to her own kids.
“She has taken in lots of teenagers throughout the years,” said Fierros. “Took care, fed and loved them as her own.”
That loving and giving philosophy was bred in Maricopa.
“I have lived in Maricopa for 37 years,” Boyd said. “All my kids grew up out here, I have four kids and two step-daughters and some of the other kids in Maricopa as well. They all came to my house to stay so I had a lot to do with a lot of kids here in Maricopa.”
Being the mom her community could turn to in a time of need has become a career for Boyd, who, with her husband Rob, founded a nonprofit that provides life skills, rehabilitation, and intervention programs for troubled and at-risk youth and those who are incarcerated.
Based on Rob’s book of the same name, Boyd said The Streets Don’t Love You Back programs are taught at Maricopa middle schools, Pinal and Maricopa County jails and more than 165 prisons nationwide.
“A lot of people in jail or prison are coming back to our communities,” she said. “So, we want to teach them how to set goals, and get themselves back into society. Our movement is about helping people change their lives for the better.”
According to Fierros, it all begins at home.
“Where do I start?” she said. “My mother is amazing; she is truly a wonderful mother. My mother raised four children and did an amazing job. I can call her for anything, and she is always there for me and my siblings, no matter what!
Amazing enough to be voted Best Mom InMaricopa.
Boyd won a grand prize package worth more than $2,000 and including numerous gift cards, $200 credit on her electric bill and dinner for two at Harrah’s Ak-Chin’s Chop Block and Brew with bottle of wine or cider, flowers, and a chauffeur-driven ride in a Rolls Royce Phantom.
Ashley Burke – 2nd Place
Bryan Tompkins had no doubt his wife Ashley was deserving of the honor of Best Mom InMaricopa.
“My wife undoubtedly deserves this title,” he wrote in his nomination. “She deserves and earns this title every day. She is the most loving, patient, selfless, passionate, caring, and devoted mother in the known universe.”
He said she proves it through the early mornings, long days, and sleepless nights she navigates to provide and care for their son Kyler, who will be 2 next month.
Ashley was happy just to be nominated.
“I was surprised,” she said. “My husband had told me, ‘you’re probably not even going to know so I need to tell you something, I nominated you for Best Mom.’ I was so happy and surprised, it just made me feel great.”
Ashley, who works with special needs adults and children, said she has to set her work day aside when she gets home.
“That’s a really tough job,” she said. “And I have to come home and be a mommy after that, so in a lot of ways my job never ends. But it makes what I do at home seem a little easier and more rewarding.”
Burke won a $1,000 package including Sunday brunch for two at Arroyo Grill with flowers and chauffeur-driven ride in a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible donated by Iconic Tire and Service Center.
Ericka Abeyta – 3rd Place
Abeyta is, according to her nomination by Angelina Manuel, a “fun, loving, beautiful and caring mom of five kids, six grandchildren and two daughters-in-law. And the devoted wife to chef Frank Abeyta.” She is described as a very hard-working woman who lives for her family and presents a positive spirit at all times.
Abeyta, too, was caught off guard when she was told she had been nominated.
“I’m not going to lie, it was a beautiful gift,” she said. “I didn’t even know about it; it made me feel very special that I’m very loved by my kids. I even told my daughter I don’t care if it’s third place, it was just the thought that counts.”
Her daughter-in-law, Angelina Higareda, said Abeyta makes a tough job seem easy.
“There’s been a lot of obstacles thrown her way over the last couple of years and she’s always overcome them,” Higareda said. “She has the support of her family and she’s always there for somebody, whether you just need to talk or get away, she’s always there. She’s very thoughtful and caring.”
Abeyta walks away with a more than $700 in gift cards and other prizes.
Boyd received 33% of the 1,894 votes cast, Burke received 20% and Abeyta 6%.