MAHOPAC, N.Y. - We asked our readers to nominate mothers who have risen above the challenges of the pandemic for our special Mother’s Day tribute. Here they are:

An essential worker…and a mom!

Christina DiNapoli lives in Mahopac and has worked a full-time job as a social worker for the past 17 years. She is married and has two beautiful children, Gregory, 5, and Gia, 2.

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As an essential worker during these stressful times, Christina still manages to be a great mother to her children. She is a role model for the kids to know what hard work is, making the best of every situation and to always have a good time. After work, Christina makes sure to have dinner on the table for her family, time for school assignments with her son, and anything her 2-year-old daughter could think of. On weekends she always makes sure to do something fun with her kids, whether it’s a trip to McDonald's or a trip to a waterpark.

She is the true definition of a hardworking mother who will go above and beyond for her children. We want her to know she is loved and appreciated. Wishing her the Happiest Mother’s Day!

-Greg DiNapoli

Not your typical ‘mom’

This won’t be your typical “Mother’s Day” post.

My mom passed away in December 1997. My Aunt Miki (Donovan), my mother’s sister, changed her entire life to assume the care of then 8-year-old me and my 4-year-old sister.

After 9/11, she left her job in Manhattan, went back to school to further her education in orthopedics and now is one of the greatest medical assistants in the world. She works for White Plains Hospital. She is the hardest working woman I know.

Most recently, she was deployed to the main hospital to help on the front lines during the pandemic. She doesn’t drive; she uses Metro North and the shuttle bus from Mahopac to Croton Falls.

 During this time, public transportation has been slim to none. So, I drive her to and from work each day.  She is scared and anxious but when we get to the hospital, she walks in those doors with her head held high, ready to face the day.

My Aunt Miki has always been my No. 1. I became a mom in 2015 and my aunt has always made sure that I know what a good job I am doing. In 2017, I had to have back-to-back surgeries. She was by my side every step of the way. The day after I was discharged from the hospital after my second major surgery, I was determined to participate in a walk for Drug Crisis in Our Backyard. I had worked so hard to raise money to support them and I was determined to be at that walk. The day after coming home, I woke up and went to that walk. I was pushed in a wheelchair, but I made sure to walk across that finish line. My Aunt, once again, supported my decision.

Our bond is unlike any other. She may not have birthed me, but she is the true definition of a mother. I can say we wouldn’t be half of what we are if it wasn’t for her. I am forever grateful for everything she has done and continues to do for me.

-Caitee Donovan

A role model and ‘go to’ mom

This Mother’s Day, I’d like to honor my cousin, Debbie Callaghan Madigan, who is vice president, human resources, at Tompkins Mahopac Bank, but most importantly, mom to 5-year-old Kaylie.

She is an outstanding mom, role model and one of my “go-tos” when trying to navigate through this beautiful journey called Motherhood.

For children, these times can be very unsettling, but Debbie has done an incredible job maintaining a sense of stability for Kaylie. Like many moms, Debbie is wearing many hats and discovering some new hidden talents during the stay-in-place order.  She is a full-time worker, a loving mommy, a boo-boo fixer, best arts and crafts teacher, Zoom meeting extraordinaire (set up so Kaylie can chat with her school buddies), best bedtime storybook reader, and gymnastics cartwheel trainer!

Debbie also takes pride in and supports her community. Whether it’s ordering curbside pickup to help support local eateries, being part of a friend’s drive-by birthday parade or taking a walk around her neighborhood to take in all of Mother Nature’s beauty with Kaylie, Debbie does it all. Wishing Debbie and all the incredible moms out there a beautiful Mother’s Day. You deserve it!

-Tara Carey

Best mommy in the world

My mommy, Laura Nappi, is one of the best mommies in the world because she helps me craft and lets me cook some easy things. She also taught me how to ride a bike. When she is tired, she does not take a nap!

We are making the very best of our quarantine time at home. We go outside to play every day, we craft, and we do puzzles.

She works as an x-ray tech and helps people if they break a bone. She lets us eat sweets like four times and lets me snuggle with her almost every night! She got us our very own bunkbed and desk and when she goes to the store, she even brings us home a toy! I love her a lot! She’s a very nice mommy to have and I don’t know what mommy would be better for me. She cares about her family and she cleans up my sister’s and brother’s toys. She is really nice and caring. She also helps me, and my sister learn our schoolwork at home. We even do science experiments. She helps us learn! She is the very best. Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!

-Madison Nappi, age 7

'My biggest influence is mom'

The biggest influence in my life has to be my mom, not only because she is my mom but because she is the most hardworking, caring person that I have ever met. My mom is always trying to help people no matter what the situation is. She will do everything in her power to help someone who she loves.

She has been a nurse for a very long time but in the last several years she has worked in a more administrative capacity as the vice president of a care company called Lean On We. However, with the coronavirus pandemic, she recently thought that her nursing skills need to be put to better use and she started to feel a bit helpless. But that changed in matters of seconds. My grandma, my mom's mom, was severely compromised at her own house and was struggling with the coronavirus. My mom decided to get out of her comfort zone and make an ICU in my grandma's house, which is amazing knowing that my mom will do anything in her power to save someone's life.

As the day ends, I realize that I have the most talented mom. She is honestly my biggest role model.

- Celena Kuhbier