Friday, 16 August 2013 09:40

Mommies Network Celebrates Four Years of Local Support

By Chelsea DiSchiano | News

SARATOGA COUNTY — Local moms and their children will be gathering for fun and a good cause at the Clifton Park Center this Saturday in honor of Saratoga County Mommies Network’s fourth birthday celebration. 

The Mommies Network is a national not-for-profit organization consisting of 80 different chapters spread throughout the country, including one right here in Saratoga County. 

“Our mission is to provide a safe, secure, free place for mothers to find support, get encouragement, meet other mothers and become empowered to be better women, mothers and people in the community,” said Lisa Milewski, senior advisor of chapter promotions.

Though the original chapter was founded back in 2002, the Saratoga chapter was founded in 2009 by Katie Pratt and now has 105 members. The group organizes a variety of events and activities for its members, including ‘Mom’s Night Out,’ day trips, crafting events, play dates and family get-togethers, as well as plenty of community outreach events. 

“We try to tie in the ‘pay it forward’ motto as much as possible,” Milewski said. 

The Mommies Network website also has a 24/7 forum which allows mothers to connect and chat anytime, whether during the day or during a feeding at 2 a.m. 

“If it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and you’ve got a question or just want to talk to someone, someone is usually there,” Milewski explained. “If it’s 2 a.m. and you’re up for a feeding, someone might be there to chit chat or just share your experiences together, and it just builds a friendship and a bond. We’re all in the same boat so we’re here together.”

Milewski also said the group helps mothers to realize that they’re not alone in their experiences. 

“When you’re a mom you kind of feel alone at times, like ‘Am I doing this right? Is this supposed to happen?’ or ‘What do I do if they get Sharpie all over them?’” she said with a laugh. “So it’s kind of like we’re there for all the bad moments, the good moments and the in-between—to say, ‘It’s okay, we’ve been there and you’re going to survive!’”

As community outreach is another major mission of the organization, the Saratoga County chapter plans to use their birthday celebration this Saturday, August 17 as a way to support two nonprofit projects: admission to the event is free with a toy donation for Toys for Tots, and $2 pizza slices will be available with proceeds being donated to the Greenfield Playground Project. 

“We’ve all bounced around different ideas in the chapter and aside from my personal reasons for supporting Toys for Tots, it came up a lot because they do amazing work each year in fulfilling the holiday wishes for the children of our community,” Milewski said. “With the Greenfield Playground Project, we just learned about it during our planning of the party—we’ve seen the plans and it’s phenomenal. I know our kids are going to benefit because we’ve got moms in that community and we’ll probably be there to play at some point when it opens, so we decided to see if we could help make that project become more of a reality for them.”

The Saratoga County Mommies Network party will take place August 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bounce Around Indoor Family Fun Center inside Clifton Park Center. The event includes bounce houses, cake, games, food , vendors, door prizes and other activities for both kids and adults. 

Besides the upcoming party, the Mommies Network has plenty more outreach events in the works: later this month, they’re participating in National Mom’s Night Out by picking a day between August 25 and September 5 to invite moms in the community to join them in celebrating motherhood together. 

“Saratoga’s theme is “A Night on Broadway,” and we’ll be visiting local restaurants in downtown Saratoga beginning at 5 p.m.,” Milewski said.

Details of that event are on the group’s Facebook page at ww.facebook.com/saratogacountymommies. 

“Additionally, we’re working on some new projects for the future like a Children’s Book Drive for the month of September to benefit the Saratoga EOC and a Winter Wonderland event at the Saratoga Children’s Museum on January 24th to provide winter weather apparel to the community,” she added. “We’d appreciate the community’s support on those events as we’re just starting the planning process for each of them.”

To learn more about the local chapter of the Mommies Network or for information on how to join the free organization, visit www.saratogacountymommies.com. 

You can also visit www.saratogamama.com for more details on this weekend’s event and more! 

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