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To the editor:

In response to Sharon Maynard's letter (June 1), may I clarify a very important point in the selection of Mother of the Year. The criteria for this award, as sponsored by the American Mothers Inc. in no way discriminate against the single mother.We have honored many mothers who have admirably raised their families alone. In fact, our 1989 Utah Mother of the Year, JoAnne McKenna, is a very recent example of such mothers.

Well do we recognize the significant contribution such devoted mothers make. Any mother of a natural or adoptive child of at least 15 years of age is eligible for this distinction.

The selection of the Mother of the Year is in no way intended to make others feel inadequate or discouraged. It is intended to give honor to the noble though often times thankless "profession" of mothering. Our Mother of the Year is there to say "Hang in there; it is worth it."

There are many factors that tear at the fabric of our society with home and families being the victims. In something as important as this, we cannot afford to be divisive.

Rather than taking shots at mothers who are earnestly striving to do a good job in their own way, let all mothers join hands, that together we can create a better environment for strong families. We need every one of you.

Marcia Ford, president

American Mothers Inc. of Utah