Foothills Floral Gallery
Foothills Floral Gallery Designer & Assistant Manager Robin Wilson clean and cut flowers Thursday morning May 5, 2011 with Mother's Day coming up Sunday. Darryl Webb/AFN Darryl Webb/AFN

According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year to dine out. Americans spend more than $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on gifts and $68 million on greeting cards every year. With these impressive numbers, wouldn’t it be great if some of that money went back into our community?

This Mother’s Day, put as much effort into where you’re going to buy the perfect gift as to what you’re going to buy. Retailers report that Mother’s Day is the second highest gift-giving holiday in the United States (Christmas is the highest). Honor mothers by thinking locally and buying locally and supporting the independent retailers, restaurants, florists and other businesses in Ahwatukee Foothills.

Anna Jarvis was the woman who came up with the holiday back in the early 1900s. She lobbied and convinced President Woodrow Wilson to make it a national holiday: A day for the woman who often puts herself last is put first.

If a special woman in your life is a business owner, one way to honor her is to nominate her for the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce’s Palo Verde Award. Given by our Women In Business Committee, this award recognizes excellence in business, acknowledging our Business Woman of the Year.

Another way the Chamber’s Women In Business Committee gives back to the women in our community is through our annual Scholarship Awards. In keeping with the committee’s mission of providing support for the business endeavors of women, these awards will be given to women who are pursuing their education, whether in college, trade school, online courses or continuing education classes. There are no age restrictions, and application is open to high school seniors, college students, and women who are returning to school.

On May 3 the chamber is hosting its Third Annual Red, White Beautiful event at The Foothills Golf Club. This is a “girls night out” and a great opportunity to experience the quality products and beauty services of many of our local businesses while enjoying the company of friends and family. A great way to pamper mom for Mother’s Day!

We are in a much better position to spend this year and will push the daily stresses of high gas and food costs aside for one day to celebrate the most important women in the world to us. Because each gift is local, you’ll be putting your hard-earned money right back into the community. From the traditional to the exceptional, we have something for our mothers to make shopping that much easier.

Visit to find local businesses to shop for the perfect gift for mom or for more information on the Palo Verde Award and Scholarship Awards.

• Anne Gill is president and chief executive officer of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at (480) 753-7676 or

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