History of Sierra Moms
Folsom Moms Club – 1993
In the spring of 1993, Margo Fowkes wanted to join an organization for mothers. Unfortunately at that time, there were no mother support groups close by and there definitely was a need! So, with the help of the National Moms’ Club and various friends she started the Folsom Moms’ Club. The group grew quickly and by year’s end was approaching 100 members.
Although the group’s needs were changing, the Moms Club bylaws would not permit evening and weekend activities. So with the members’ permission, the club seceded from the national group and became our own entity, “Sierra Moms.”
In 2001 Sierra Moms held its First Annual Bunko Bash, a fundraiser event that became one of the main ways Sierra Moms raised money (aside from dues) to cover club expenses such as mailing newsletters.
In 2004 Sierra Moms participated for the first time in the Annual Gifts from the Heart Toy Drive.
Sierra Moms in 2006-2007
Activities and playgroup schedules for the month were listed in The Crier newsletter. At this time, some playgroups were starting to form individual email lists to inform members about last minute changes due to weather or illnesses. Others simply listed their events in the newsletter or relied on phone calls to let members know about changes. The 5th annual Bunko Bash in March 2006 helped Sierra Moms fund parties, mailing the crier newsletter, Sierra Moms events, and contributions to “cop camp” a charity summer camp event run by the Folsom Police Department for underpriviledged youth.
Sierra Moms in 2007-2008
Sierra Moms Logo (2007)
Sierra Moms in 2008-2009
A lot of changes took place in Sierra Moms during this period.
Sept 2008 – Sierra Moms held our First Annual Sierra Moms Preschool Faire
July 2008 – Board voted to add a new Board Position, Director of Public Relations, to coordinate PR efforts for events and promote awareness of Sierra Moms in the community with a committee.
August 2008 – Here’s a look at the members area of Sierra Moms website, before the days of BigTent:
September 2008 – Sierra Moms transitioned from having a members-only area on our website to using BigTent for members-only communication. At that time, all members memberships expired in June, and were for a fixed period from July through June. Prior to this, all membership applications were done via a paper application.
November 2008 – VIP Member Discount program proposed.
October 2008 – Sierra Moms participates for the fifth time in the Annual Gifts from the Heart Toy Drive.
December 2008 – Due to techonological advances making the idea feasible, Sierra Moms decides to move to rolling enrollment, where rather than all memberships expiring at the end of June, members who joined mid-year would receive a full twelve months of membership. No longer would people be waiting until an arbitrary date to join Sierra Moms to maximize the value of their membership dues. Cost of membership remained $40. Prior to this, membership dues were $40 for anyone joining in the first half of the fiscal year (July through December), or $20 for anyone joining in the second half (January through June), and all memberships would expire at the end of June.
Here’s a look at what our website looked like in 2008:
March 2009 – 8th annual Sierra Moms Bunko Bash. The bash had a “Mexican Theme” and was Sierra Mom’s only fundraiser (for club operating expenses) as well as a great Moms Night Out!…prizes, silent auction, and of course BUNKO. After this year the Bunko bash was put on “hold” and no longer held, because moving to electronic distribution of the Crier eliminated the need for a major club fundraiser.
June 2009 – After an unsuccessful but close vote in the previous year, Sierra Moms voted to change Crier newsletter distribution to email/online only instead of printed & mailed. Benefits of the change included eliminating the printing expense, postage expense, volunteer hours to assemble, label, and mail it. And for the first time, it was feasible to distribute with photos in color.
Due to the challenges of tracking volunteer credits on a rolling enrollment period, volunteer credits are moved to an honor system rather than tracked as a requirement for continued membership.
December 2010 – Sierra Moms plans and holds a first ever Holiday Shopping Party event.
March 2012 – Penny Chow spear-heads a new website advertising & sponsorship program called “Platinum Sponsorship”. In coordination with the new sponsorship program, the website is given a new look.
June 2012 – Volunteer credits become re-incentivized by being required for invitation to the end of the year member appreciation party, plus prizes raffled off to volunteers for earned volunteer credits.
October 2104 – Spearheaded by Lindsay Keyes, the Crier monthly newsletter is no longer sent as a PDF email attachment, but as formatted HTML, powered by MailChimp. The new newsletter is also posted to the group facebook page, so non-members can read the newsletter. As such, content such as birthdays and playgroup leaders contact info is no longer published in the newsletter.
January 2015 – Sierra Moms launches a members-only Facebook group for discussion amongst members, impromptu playdates, and photo sharing, creating yet another avenue for members to connect.
March 2015 – The organization moves and rebrands the annual Children’s Activity and Preschool Expo to Sunday, adds a sponsorship component and extensively advertises the event, increasing attendance and resulting in a more robust event.
April 2015 – A new semi-annual tradition is added to the Sierra Moms event roster: a free members-only swap event. Occurring twice a year, the event allows members to bring unwanted baby and children’s clothing, gear, toys, books and other items, go home with “new” items, and the leftovers are donated to charity.
May 2016 – Coordinated by former President Karen Brown in conjunction with Care.com, Sierra Moms organized the first regional meeting of parent club leaders.