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Mom honored as unsung hero

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville-area mother and teacher was recognized Tuesday at Chets Creek Elementary School for her work in the community. 

Elizabeth Duncan thought it was just going to be a normal day until she was surprised at a special ceremony held by Armour, in partnership with Winn-Dixie, to kick off the "Great Moms" campaign, which acknowledges and rewards moms across the country.

Duncan was the first honoree chosen. 

"I had no idea," Duncan said. "When they started reading out the description and it was me, I was beyond humbled."

The mother of two has worked as a special education teacher for 25 years.

"I've never really thought of myself as a special mom. I just thought of myself as somebody that loves kids and I'm going to do what God made me to do," Duncan said.

Duncan also helped create Mackenzie Academic Resource Centers in two at-risk communities, giving children and their families a place where to get help with school work, counseling and other support services.

"The majority of our children have parents that work very hard to try to make ends meet, so there's not a lot of support for their academics and the other social/emotional pieces that children so desperately need," she said.

Duncan received a $2,500 gift certificate for Winn-Dixie alongside her family, friends and extended Chets Creek family.

"To honor somebody that's been able to balance family and balance work and still do that while managing a family is so rooted with what we're trying to do with Winn-Dixie," said Regional Vice President of Southeastern Grocers Shawn Sloan.

Many hugs were given and pictures were snapped at the event.

"It really is touching. One thing is when we start to hear the stories of these great moms, how selfless they are and the way they give of their lives not only to their communities but their families," said Sharnell Weathersby, Armour brand manager. 

Duncan said it's the kids who keep her motivated to make a difference.

"Just when I think I'm ready to take a break, stay home and put my feet up, I have a vision of one of those faces and I have to go to work, I have to just do it," she said.

Armour representatives will continue to travel the country through November, surprising and honoring other great moms like Duncan.