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Mother's Day Celebrated Throughout L.A. Area

From the coast to the inland valleys, a huge variety of celebrations are taking place Sunday.

in the Los Angeles area Sunday include what is being billed as the "largest Mother's Day celebration in the world'' and a show of support for breast cancer research at Dodger Stadium.

More than 1,000 people representing families of four and five generations will gather with their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and some great-great-grandmothers at the Los Angeles Jewish Home in Reseda, organizers said. Two Jewish Home residents over age 100 will speak, representing all Jewish Home residents and its 36 centenarians.

For the seventh consecutive year, Major League Baseball will use Mother's Day to generate awareness about breast cancer and raise funds to fight the disease. 

The Dodgers will wear pink ribbon decals on their uniforms for their game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Some players will use pink bats that will be auctioned on Major League Baseball's website, MLB.com, to benefit cancer research.

Lisa Nevolo-Lewis, a four-year breast cancer survivor from Los Angeles, will be the honorary bat girl, part of a nationwide campaign to recognize baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease. She will start the game by announcing "It's time for Dodger baseball.''

Additionally, players' mothers will throw out a ceremonial first pitch to their sons, mothers will be chosen from the crowd to take the field before the game and a Mother's Day "Walk in the Park'' will follow the game.

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier will mark Mother's Day by giving free rides to mothers on its Ferris wheel, whose 160,000 LED computer generated lights will feature an evening-long display of Mother's Day colors and patterns in pink, yellow and turquoise. The park will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The average adult celebrating Mother's Day is expected to spend $152.52 on activities, gifts and cards, up from $140.73 in 2011 and $126.60 in 2010, according to the National Retail Federation's Mother's Day consumer spending survey.

Total spending is expected to reach $18.6 billion, compared to $16.3 billion in 2011 and $14.6 billion in 2010.

"Despite grappling with high gas prices, Americans will look for sentimental and unique ways to shower mom with affection this year,'' said National Retail Federation President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay.

Of the 8,724 adults polled, 86.5 percent said they planned on celebrating Mother's Day. Nearly two-thirds, 66.7 percent of those celebrating, said they would buy flowers, 54.3 percent said they would treat mother to a brunch or dinner and 32.8 percent said they would buy clothing or accessories.

The survey conducted by BIGresearch between April 3-10 has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percent.

In his Mother's Day proclamation, President Barack Obama called mothers "cornerstones of our families and our communities.''

"Through their example, our children learn the principles of  hard work, compassion, service and personal responsibility,'' Obama wrote. "Through their encouragement and unconditional support, they instill confidence and values to vital to our children's success.''

Mother's Day was initially proposed in 1870 by activist-poet Julia Ward Howe as a call for peace and disarmament. It was celebrated in 18 cities in 1873 continued for about another 10 years in Boston under Howe's backing, then died out.

The second attempt to establish Mother's Day began on May 9, 1907, the second anniversary of the death of Anna Jarvis' mother Ann. She invited several friends to her home in Philadelphia in commemoration of her mother's life, which included providing nursing care and promoting better sanitation during the Civil War, helping save lives on both sides.

Jarvis announced to her friends her idea of a day of national celebration in honor of mothers, which was first celebrated on May 10, 1908 at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, W.V. where Ann Jarvis worshipped. The church is now known as the International Mother's Day Shrine.

West Virginia Gov. William E. Glasscock issued the first Mother's Day proclamation in 1910. By 1911, it was celebrated in nearly every state. President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional joint resolution in 1914 designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day nationally.

By Steven Herbert

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