At a luncheon Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, was honored as the American Cancer Society’s Mother of the Year. Redskins players and coaches wives were in attendance, a fundraising auction was held, and Dan presented Tanya with her award in front of a ballroom full of supporters.
But it was a speech given by the Snyders’ 17-year old daughter, Tiffanie, that was the talk of the afternoon.
“Before I begin, I would just like to say, this speech is for you, mom,” Tiffanie began, before immediately breaking down into tears. “And I love you so much and you’re the greatest and I’m sorry for crying. But I knew I was going to do this.”
She continued her speech through tears, sharing her memories of Tanya’s battle with breast cancer before moving on to talk about prom, her mother’s fashion sense and Taylor Swift quotes. It was perfectly sweet and teenage, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Well, almost.
“She saved me. I was gonna cry, but she turned it into a little funny speech,” Robert Griffin III said of Tiffanie’s touching moment. “That kinda saved me from crying. But I think everyone got a little choked up when she started giving the speech.”
Griffin was attending the event with his own mother, and said that it made him a little emotional.
“My mom was sitting a couple of tables away,” he laughed. “And her daughter sitting there crying and telling that story, I wanted to go grab my mom because, I mean, moms are truly special to everybody.”
Tiffanie said she had kept the contents of her speech a secret from her mother at the urging of the rest of the family, so the words were a surprise to the day’s honoree.
“I was planning, hopefully, on saving a few tears for the end,” Tiffanie said after the event. “But I didn’t get through word number one.”
Past recipients of the award have included Grace Hightower DeNiro, Tory Burch, Ann Curry, and Katie Couric, among others. Usually presented in New York, this is the first year in the award’s history that the society has also honored a woman in D.C.
“This is, by no means, a ‘me’ award,” Tanya said. “It is me representing all the women, and the mothers, and I think when you put a bunch of women together, they’re a great support system for each other.”
You can see video of the day’s speeches, including Dan Snyder’s introduction of Tanya, here.