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Moms Offering Moms Support – Truly

If you aren’t a member – or maybe even if you are – you may not know that the “MOMS” in MOMS Club of Westchase is an acronym for Moms Offering Moms Support.

And this month, the ladies of the club truly exemplified this. I had planned to write my September article about the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. I hoped to share that the International MOMS Club has a Mother-to-Mother Fund that offers monetary assistance to members of the club affected by natural disasters or personal emergencies, and share the outpouring of support from our local Westchase chapter as well as the international MOMS Club. I would have added that we shuffled our plans in order to make the Mother-to-Mother Fund our September charity donation.

Then Irma came into the picture. With little time to prepare, and a shortage of supplies all around, the members of the MOMS Club of Westchase banded together to offer each other tremendous support during such a stressful time. Members shared traffic and gas updates for others to make a more educated decision about deciding to evacuate. We shared tips for passing the time indoors. And we shared what we could of our supplies.

Our president, Mary Kate French, shared this message with all of us the day before the storm hit, “Whether you have decided to stay or have left the area, I hope you are all safe with your families. We are hunkering down at home, and I want those of you that stayed to know we are here for anything you need. I pray that Irma is kind to all of us, and the gods at TECO spare us.”

We are so fortunate that the Westchase area survived the storm relatively unscathed and the club will be looking for ways in the coming weeks and months to support those who weren’t as lucky.

We are always looking to connect with new moms and local businesses. If you have a business or a babe, please visit http://www.momsclubofwestchase.com to get in touch. Interested in becoming a member but not ready to commit? Attend an event before joining; we’re sure you’ll love our supportive, close-knit community!

By Heather Dagostino

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MOMS Club of Westchase Tours the Town

The MOMS Club of Westchase went here, there and everywhere in August!

We kicked off the month with a behind the scenes projection booth tour of Regal Citrus Park movie theater, then we stayed to enjoy a Summer Movie Express dollar movie. We enjoyed a lunch bunch at Surf Shack, and the tots went bowling at Countryside Lanes.

For Moms Night Out we checked out Coolside Gelato in Palm Harbor, where they serve gelato and cocktails. The club then ventured further afield to downtown Tampa to see the Art of the Brick exhibit. We wrapped up the month with a family beach day at Honeymoon Island.

During August the club held a school supply donation drive and gave a monetary donation to Voices for Children. The Guppies and Starfish playgroups held a joint playdate to pack backpacks full of school supplies for the children. For September the MOMS Club will be making a donation to the Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay, dedicated to finding forever families for Tampa’s foster children.

Our group has grown to close to 150 members. It can be intimidating for new members to arrive to a sea of unfamiliar faces at their first event. To help ease new members into the club, we started a new member brunch. Held each month, it’s a way for new members to meet other new members, board members and playgroup leaders in a smaller group setting. Our inaugural new member brunch coincidentally fell on Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a. (Some of the kids appreciated it more than others.)

We are always looking to connect with new moms and local businesses. If you have a business or a babe, please visit http://www.momsclubofwestchase.com to get in touch. Interested in becoming a member but not ready to commit? Attend an event like our new member brunch before joining. We’re sure you’ll want us for keeps!

By Heather Dagostino

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MOMS Club of Westchase Beats the Heat

July was all about staying cool and beating the heat for the MOMS Club of Westchase.

We celebrated America with a patriotic open play at the West Park Village playground and splash pad. We enjoyed the air conditioning and bounced around at Pump It Up, and we took a tour of the kitchen and cooled off with milkshakes at PDQ. The moms also sweated it out at a complimentary class at Burn Boot Camp.

The MOMS Club held a donation drive and made a donation to the Zoe Adams Fund during July. Zoe Adams is a family friend of one of our members and was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome, an extremely rare, terminal disease that affects the central nervous system.

In August the club will hold a school supply donation drive and give a monetary donation to Voices for Children.

We are always looking to connect with new moms and local businesses – if you have a business or a babe, please visit http://www.momsclubofwestchase.com to get in touch. Interested in becoming a member but not ready to commit? Attend an event before joining. We’re sure you’ll want us for keeps!

Little Free Library Turns 1

Our Little Free Library, situated next to the West Park Village bell tower, celebrated its first birthday on July 1. The idea behind the Westchase Little Free Library is simple: take a book, read it, return it or bring a different book back in its place. There are no fees and no due dates!

Founded to build a strong sense of community and to promote literacy, the library was the brainchild of MOMS Club member Jessica Guercio. After a year of serving as Little Free Librarian, she has passed the baton to fellow MOMS Club member Maura Cheatham. These two, along with the rest of the MOMS Club, hope the families of Westchase will be able to enjoy the library for many years to come.

Visit the Westchase Little Free Library with your kids this summer at 10101 Montague St.

By Heather Dagostino

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Summer Fun with MOMS Club

June was full of fun for the moms and kids of the MOMS Club of Westchase.

We started the month with a private storytime at Learning Express Citrus Park with Chase from Paw Patrol, which the kids loved. Later in the month, we made a Father’s Day craft at Highland Park in honor of our dads, who do so much for us.

We also had a private party at Small Cakes Creamery in Oldsmar, with a guest appearance from Belle and cupcake decorating. We wrapped up June with our End-of-Year party at Repeal 18, where we welcomed in the 2017-2018 MOMS Club of Westchase Board.

Congratulations to Mary Kate French, President; Elexa Booth, Vice President; Kim Bittle, VP Membership; Hailey Goodrich, Treasurer; and Heather Dagostino, Secretary. We wish you the best in your upcoming year of service!

We’d also like to extend a special thank you to the 2016-2017 board for all its hard work and commitment to our organization. Thank you to Mary Esposito, Amber Miller, Lindsey Smith, Brittany Podsobinski and Gina Knop!

For philanthropy in June, we took up a collection of items for The Spring of Tampa Bay and provided a financial donation to the organization. In July we will be making a financial donation to the Zoe Adams Fund.

July has a lot of great activities planned! We’re having a Celebrate America party in honor of the Fourth, a Mom’s Night Out at Señor Tequilas, Open Plays at Burn Body Bootcamp, Pump It Up, and Dunedin Splash Park, and Lunch Bunch at PDQ!

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Knop

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MOMS Club Celebrates Summer

Schools out, so it’s time for summer fun!

This month the MOMS Club of Westchase is kicking off summer with a splash! We’re headed to the Dunedin Splash Park for fun in the sun, cooling off in the water and playing at the playground.

To celebrate Father’s Day we will be heading to Highland Park to make a craft for Dad. We also have a private story time set up at Learning Express at Citrus Park Mall, and a Lunch Bunch at Small Cakes Creamery, where the kids will decorate their own cupcakes! This month also marks the end of our fiscal year, so we will be celebrating with a party at Repeal 18.

In May we celebrated Mother’s Day by taking “mommy and me” photos at Highland Park. A special thank you to Jessica Guercio Photography for capturing the memorable shots of kids with their moms! For Open Plays, we bounced, played, and balanced at La Fleur’s Gymnastics, and got to take a tour of the Westchase Fire Station. Both events were a ton of fun! To cool off from the heat, we had a Lunch Bunch at Bahama Bucks, where the kids had a snowball fight!

Our Moms Night Out was hosted by CPR Party, where we had the opportunity to learn CPR. All moms benefited from this learning experience. The MOMS Club of Westchase provided a financial donation to CPR Party for our May philanthropy. Our June philanthropy will be a financial donation and need collection for the Spring of Tampa Bay.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Knop

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MOMs Club: A Supporting Village Found

It takes a village to raise a child.

Well I, like many other MOMS Club members, have found my village. This goes out to the moms who are still trying to get involved and figure out if the MOMS Club of Westchase is for them. I have the answer – it 100 percent is.

This is my story of joining the MOMS Club.

Three years ago my husband and I welcomed our first child. The moment she was born, I knew that being a mother was my life calling and I wanted to spend all of my time with her. Like many moms, however, I had to return to work.

Fast forward a year and a half: my husband and I welcomed our second daughter. At this point we decided that I would leave the workforce and stay home with our girls. After about two months of figuring out how to be a mom to two kids, I needed to get out of the house and I needed a group.

There had to be a moms’ club in Westchase, right?

Through some searching, I found the MOMS Club of Westchase’s website. I submitted an interested member form and waited to hear back. After waiting for what felt like weeks but was actually one day, I was invited to try out two events. I was so nervous and anxious about meeting new moms, but I went to the first event.

I joined the club that same day. The moms were supportive, kind and welcoming. Everyone was friendly and watched all the children, not just their own. Everyone was respected and respectful.

It was the community I had been hoping for. I love this village and I know you will too. Come check us out! I know you’ll want to stay. Please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com

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By Gina Knop

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MOMs Club Has Busy April Activities Calendar

Happy Spring!

The MOMS Club of Westchase members have been busy! In March we took a shopping trip to Nutrition Smart, where we learned about packing balanced lunches and making good food choices. We visited K Peas Place, a new indoor playground located in the Westchase area. The kids had an instructional lesson plus free play.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day we had a cookie decorating party at Westwood Lakes Park. The kids really enjoyed making an edible craft! Later in the month we bounced around at Airheads during their toddler time. For Lunch Bunch we had a fun time at PK’s, where the kids had a chance to eat and play. Meanwhile our moms enjoyed a nice night out at Rumba in Oldsmar.

Our March philanthropy was a donation to High Risk Hope, an organization that supports women and families experiencing high-risk pregnancies resulting in hospitalization and neonatal services. For our April philanthropy, we plan to provide a donation to Nanny’s Educational Zoo to go towards animal feed. Nanny’s Educational Zoo is a petting and educational zoo in Lutz that takes in rescue farm animals.

The April calendar is full of fun activities. We have our first splash park play date of the year planned at the West Park Village Tot Park and Splash Pad. To celebrate Easter, we’ll be having an Easter Egg Hunt and potluck lunch. We’re also planning a visit to Upper Tampa Bay Park playground and nature center. For Lunch Bunch we’re headed to Panera  and our Moms Night Out will be at Taps.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Knop

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MOMS Club Serves Alpha House and Celebrates New Year

Happy New Year! The MOMS Club of Westchase welcomed 2017 with a “noon” year’s eve party, excited for all things to come.

In December we spent a lot of time celebrating the holidays and donating our time. Our Open Plays included a “mommy and me” workout at Westwood Lakes, a cookie exchange party, and the “noon” year’s eve party.

We also had Lunch Bunch at Burger 21 in West Park Village and our Mom’s Night Out Holiday Party at Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

We spent time at the Alpha House of Tampa, with our moms presenting two story times.  The Alpha House of Tampa offers homeless pregnant women and mothers with young children safe housing and the tools they need to become self-sufficient and effective, responsible parents. It is a comprehensive residential program serving an average of 100 homeless pregnant and parenting women and their infants and children each year in 39 units of emergency shelter.

The MOMS Club of Westchase collected Wish List items for the Alpha House, and provided a financial contribution to their services. During our visits, we all enjoyed the time spent together.

January is full of fun! Our plans include playing at Sylvia’s Clubhouse, an exercise class, and lunch at Mother’s. We’ll also be enjoying Nabruzzi and Del Frisco’s for Mom’s Night Out.
We’d like to extend a welcome to our neighbors to the north! The MOMS Club of Westchase includes neighborhoods within the 33626, 33625, and 33635 zip codes, so please contact us if you’re interested in joining our organization!

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out.” We’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Leigh

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MOMS Club Kicks Off New Year

The MOMS Club of Westchase brought in 2017 with activities for improvement and learning!

To help better ourselves, our moms had two workout sessions: one with Burn Body Bootcamp and the other with Camp Gladiator. To help our kids learn and play, we attended a LEGO party hosted by BrickSmarts. BrickSmarts in a local small business that up-cycles used LEGO sets and resells them. The owner, Mandy, gave us tips on how to use Legos for education and fun.

We also enjoyed a delicious Lunch Bunch at Mother’s restaurant here in Westchase, and had a nice Mom’s Night Out at Flamestone in Oldsmar.

Our January philanthropy was a collection of new and gently used stuffed animals and soccer balls donated to Bless the Children, Inc. organization. Bless the Children is an international organization which helps the poorest children of the world who are living under extreme conditions. Their programs help poor communities improve their own conditions through pioneering efforts focused on addressing the primary cause of poverty –
a lack of access to education.

In February we are spending time outside and heading to Horsepower for Kids, Nanny’s Educational Zoo, and Highland Park. We’re planning to have our Lunch Bunch at Green Market Café and Mom’s Night Out at the movies! To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re planning a couple’s night out for our moms and dads at Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

For our February philanthropy, we plan to take collection of new and used towels, sheets, pillows, and blankets for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out.” We’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Knop

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MOMS Club Celebrates the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, the MOMS Club of Westchase has been celebrating!

Celebrations started with Halloween trick-or-treating at West Bay of Tampa, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center. The patients of West Bay enjoyed passing out candy to the kids, and seeing their costumes and big smiles. We love bringing joy to the patients and are thankful for the opportunity to spend time with them.

As we moved into November, we focused our attention on being thankful – thankful for the support and friendships that we have within our group; thankful for the welcoming and generous community that we live in; and thankful for the love and support of our families and friends. Throughout the month, there were celebrations of thanks in “friendsgivings” and an Open Play Thanksgiving potluck lunch and with Music with Mar. Many of our members spent time volunteering in the community, while others participated through donations. As an organization, we provided a monetary donation to Alzheimers Research.

The MOMS Club has also been working to support local businesses. In November we were graciously hosted by the lovely owners of Casa Consenza for a Mom’s Night Out. At an Open Play, we enjoyed delicious coffee from Kahwa Coffee then played at Highland Park. In December, we will have our Holiday Party at Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

December is full of fun events, including time at the beautifully renovated parks in our neighborhood, and Lunch Bunch at Burger 21. Our philanthropy will be a toy collection and donation for local children in need.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out.” We’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Leigh

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MOMS Club Pool Party Celebrates Birthdays

Only in Florida can you have a pool party in the fall!

Early in October our Starfish playgroup had a pool party to celebrate some of the babies turning 1. The kids and moms all had fun splashing around and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

October was packed with fun, including a visit to the Glazer Children’s Museum, Lunch Bunch at Mission BBQ, a Halloween Party, a visit to Horsepower for Kids, and Moms Night Out at Sacred Pepper. The MOMS Club also participated in the Westchase Fun Run, with sponsorship from My Gym. Thanks for the gear, My Gym!

October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, so we elected to make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Eighty-five percent of their spending goes toward programs that provide mammograms, breast health services, education, and support for those in need. The foundation is based in Texas, but has a program at Moffitt Cancer Center.

In addition to the donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, we collected shoes from our generous members for Soles4Souls. This organization will provide shoes to the people of Haiti who were devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

November brings more fun as we approach the holidays. Our plans include a Lunch Bunch at Sweet Peas Café, coffee at Kahwa Coffee with an open play at Highland Park, a Thanksgiving potluck with Music with Mar, Moms Night Out at Casa Cosenza, and an open play at the newly renovated Glencliff Park. For our November philanthropic activity, we plan to make a donation to Alzheimer’s Research.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out.” We’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Leigh

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MOMS Club Celebrates Fall’s Arrival

Fall has arrived and the MOMS Club of Westchase members have been enjoying the change in season!

In September the kids had a ball with Soccer Shots by playing soccer and learning the basics of the game. We went to Grimaldi’s, where the kids had a “make your own pizza” party and got a tour of the kitchen! (Thank you for hosting us, Grimaldi’s!) At the end of the month we had a Movement and Music Pajama Party at Village Square. The kids and moms had a great time dancing and making music. We also celebrated World Peace Day with a dance party and made a card for local police officers to thank them for their service.

As part of our service program, we provided a donation to Horsepower for Kid’s, Inc. Our donation will assist this non-profit animal sanctuary, located in Oldsmar, with food and supplies needed to support the animals that they rescue. The MOMS Club of Westchase was happy to contribute to such a cherished local organization.  With a petting zoo, bird sanctuary, and pony rides, the kids and moms love visiting Horsepower for Kid’s! We have an open play scheduled for October there.

In addition to the visit to Horsepower for Kid’s, our October calendar is full of other fun events including a visit to the Glazer Children’s Museum, lunch at Mission BBQ, Mom’s Night Out at Sacred Pepper and a Halloween party! We will be making a donation to breast cancer research in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Leigh

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September MOMS Club Schedule Filled with Fun

As summer ended and school began, the MOMS Club of Westchase had a bittersweet August.

With pride, love, and teary eyes, many of us watched our babies become children as they started school. Our Goldfish playgroup had one last pool party before saying goodbye and starting VPK. Best wishes to all of the kids for a great year!

August was full of fun with Open Plays at Airhead’s and the Oldsmar Splash Park; Lunch Bunch at Culver’s, where we had delicious frozen custard and a got a tour of the kitchen; and a good laugh watching the movie Bad Moms for Moms’ Night Out. We enjoyed a family day at Honeymoon Island, where we basked in the sun and splashed around in the Gulf. In honor of Nelson Mandela, we celebrated Mandela Day with the kids making and decorating a thank you card for local firefighters.

For our August philanthropy, our generous members donated school supplies and the MOMS Club of Westchase provided a financial donation to The Children’s Home. We hope our donation helps the children have a great start to the new school year.

September has a lot of fun in store too! For our Moms’ Night Out, we’re having an Usborne Books party so we can stock up on great books for our little ones! For Open Plays and Lunch Bunch, we plan to play soccer with Soccer Shots, have lunch at Grimaldi’s, and have a Movement and Music party. For September’s charity, the MOMS Club plans to donate to HorsePower for Kids, Inc.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out.” We’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Leigh

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MOMS Club Makes Most of Summer Fun

July was full of fun in the sun and relaxation for the MOMS Club of Westchase! We really enjoyed the summer and took advantage of what Tampa Bay has to offer!

We started the month with an open play at Phillippe Park in Safety Harbor, where the kids had a great time at the playground and kept cool with ice pops. It wouldn’t be summer in Florida without a day at the beach! Our moms and kids splashed around in the Gulf and played in the sand at Honeymoon Island. Later in the month, the kids monkeyed around at the new play structures at Baybridge Park. For our Lunch Bunch, we enjoyed a delicious and healthy meal at Jem’s Natural Living. We wrapped up the month with a relaxing and pampering Mom’s Night Out at Vo Nails. Thank you to Jem’s Natural Living and Vo Nails for hosting us!

August has a lot of fun events scheduled, including: Lunch Bunch at Culver’s, Open Plays at Airheads, Highland Park, and Oldsmar Splash Park. For Mom’s Night Out, we plan to see a movie! For our July philanthropy, we provided donations to the Glazer Children’s Museum Sunshine Sunday program and to the People of Haiti, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing long-term medical and material support for the people affected by the 2010 earthquake.

We are excited to announce that the Westchase Little Free Library has been installed in West Park Village, near the bell tower! In mid-July, we commenced the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, or have a business that would like to host us, please visit http://www.momsclubwestchase.com Inter.ested new members can attend an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Gina Leigh

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MOMS Club Enjoys Summer

Happy summer!

School’s out, and we loved spending June with our school-age kids who we don’t get to see as often. Earlier in the month, Ali Songs for Tots invited our kids out for a day of singing and playing instruments.

We were able to play a few games with Soccer Shots and Soccer Gemz, and the kids came dressed in their dad’s favorite sports jersey for a special Father’s Day photo shoot at the park.
We switched things up and had a Brunch Bunch at Chick-fil-A instead of our usual monthly lunch, and we said goodbye to the old board and hello to the new board at our end of the year party at Repeal 18.

In July we’ll be soaking up the sun with open plays at Philippe Park and Honeymoon Island. We’ll return to Jem’s for our Lunch Bunch, and spend an evening getting pampered at Vo Nails.

Community involvement is so important to us. On behalf of the MOMS Club of Westchase, we are excited to have received approval from the CDD to install a Little Free Library! You’ll spot it over on the lawn in West Park Village this month. It’s something that we’re thrilled to share with our fellow Westchase residents.

Whether or not you’re a MOMS Club member, we’d love to hear how we can get involved in other community projects! If there is anything we can step in and help with, feel free to contact us through our website, and we’ll be sure to respond as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, you can get in touch by visiting http://www.momsclubwestchase.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom join us at an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Brie Gorecki

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MOMS Club Announces New Leadership

The MOMS Club is happy to announce the members of its 2016-2017 board!

Every June a new board takes over. These members organize our events, maintain our membership roster, handle the club’s finances, update our website, and write this column in WOW.

Please welcome our new president, Mary Esposito; vice president, Lindsey Smith; secretary, Gina Knop; treasurer, Brittany Podsobinski; membership chair, Amber Miller; and newsletter coordinator, Nicole Doyle. We know they will do a spectacular job!

The previous board was busy planning their last few events for May and June. We kicked off May with an open play at Highland Park. The kids took pictures with their moms, holding a sweet Mother’s Day sign. We also enjoyed blueberry picking, lunch at Tijuana Flats, a swim day at the West Park Village pool, an after-school play date at the Eagles’ playground, and our Moms’ Night Out took place at Craft Street Kitchen, a popular hotspot in Oldsmar.

This month, we’ll kick the soccer ball around with Soccer Shots and Soccer Gemz and sing along with Allisongs for Tots. We’ll get to monkey around at MyGym, enjoy breakfast at Chick-fil-A, surprise the dads with a Father’s Day craft, and return to Repeal 18 for our end-of-year Moms’ Night Out party.

As you can see, we love working with local businesses in the area! If you work at or own any places that would like to host a future lunch, play date, or night out, please feel free to contact us at momsclubtampa@hotmail.com or visit our website.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, you can get in touch by visiting http://www.momsclubtampa.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom join us at an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Brie Gorecki

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MOMS Club Forms New Playgroup

The MOMS Club is delighted to introduce our newest playgroup –  the Starfish!

The Starfish group is for children born after September 2015 – and they had their first official playdate in April.

April was a fun month for us. We enjoyed splashing around at the Oldsmar Spray Ground, took a tumble at LaFleur’s Gymnastics and created some tasty pasta dishes at Olive Garden.

We even decided to kick things up for our monthly Moms’ Night Out. Westchase Fit Body Boot Camp gave us a great 30 minute workout and afterward, we enjoyed some food and drinks at Tampa Bay Brewing Co. This month we’ll get to pick fresh blueberries at BlueYouth Berries, celebrate an early Mother’s Day at Highland Park and enjoy some Mexican Food at Tijuana Flats. Meanwhile the moms will get an evening out at Craft Street Kitchen.

Since our playgroup age dates coincide with the school year, so does our calendar year. Every June, a new board steps in to take over. As this term comes to a close, I’d like to say how much I’ve enjoyed my role as secretary on our board, and have loved contributing to such a fun organization. I’d like to give a big thanks to my fellow board members who did a fantastic job: President Sarah Bartlett, VP Amanda Greene, Membership Chair Emily Barrows and Treasurer Michela Ducrey. And thank you to Monica Doyle, who helped create our monthly newsletters! Next month, we will introduce the new members of the 2016-2017 board.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, you can get in touch by visiting http://www.momsclubtampa.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom join us at an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Brie Gorecki

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MOMS Club Enjoys Spring

Happy spring! The MOMS Club took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent a lot of time outdoors last month.

We enjoyed a day at Sunset Beach during spring break, followed by a special Easter egg hunt and an afternoon at R.E. Oldsmar Park. Our monthly Lunch Bunch took place at Mellow Mushroom. Later the moms enjoyed sushi and wine at Sushi Alive.

In April we will be going blueberry picking, visiting the Oldsmar Spray Park, trying out a class at LaFleur’s, and cooking up some pasta dishes at Olive Garden. Westchase Fit Body Boot Camp will host a different kind of Moms’ Night Out for us by giving us a private boot camp class.

The MOMS Club is excited to announce a new project. We are in the process of putting up a Little Free Library! The location has yet to be finalized, though it will be a very central area that is conveniently accessible by all Westchase residents. The project is being headed up by MOMS Club member Jessica Guercio, with the support of the board members. We look to have it up within the next few months.

Our chapter of the MOMS Club is constantly growing. Due to the increased interest of moms in Highland Park, Waterchase, and Odessa, we are looking to form a new chapter for those areas. If you know of any fellow moms who live in those neighborhoods and would like to be part of the MOMS Club, please have them contact us!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, you can get in touch by visiting http://www.momsclubtampa.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom join us at an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Brie Gorecki

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MOMS Club Loved February

February was a sweet month filled with love!

The MOMS Club enjoyed the beautiful, cool weather with some fun outdoor events. At the beginning of the month we took a trip to Horsepower for Kids, where the kids had fun checking out all the animals, visiting the petting zoo and riding ponies.

Later on in the month we had an open play at Glencliff Park and collected donated items for a foster program called Acheson’s Attic. Just before Valentine’s Day, we paid a visit to Genesis Healthcare Nursing Home, where we created a fun Valentine craft and passed out Valentines to the residents.

In February one of our members, Lauren Wimsatt, was sweet enough to host our Moms’ Night Out at her home, where we moms enjoyed some chocolate and wine. Toward the end of the month Green Market Café in Oldsmar hosted our delicious Lunch Bunch.

In March we will continue to enjoy the great weather with outdoor open plays at Sunset Beach and Baybridge Park. The moms will also get to take advantage of the new Sushi Alive restaurant for our Moms’ Night Out.

Most people don’t know that the MOMS Club of Tampa/Westchase is actually a non-profit organization, and a chapter of the International MOMS Club. We are always getting requests to join, and love meeting new members. Prospective members are allowed to attend up to two events before joining, and we are even in the process of creating a group for our newest members, born after September 2015!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, you can contact us by visiting http://www.momsclubtampa.com and c,heck out our blog, http://www.westchasemomsblog.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom join us at an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Brie Gorecki

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MOMS Club Enjoys Brooker Creek Preserve

The MOMS Club kicked off 2016 with a healthy start, and we were finally able to enjoy the nice weather!

Our first open play of the year was held at Brooker Creek Preserve. The kids learned all about snakes, and had fun exploring the Environmental Educational Center, which taught them about Florida wildlife. Our lunch bunch took place at Jem’s Café. They were wonderful hosts, and treated the kids to toys, goody bags, and sweet treats, while the moms and kids enjoyed their delicious, healthy food for lunch.

A few days before the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, the kids had a play date at the park, and sported their beads and pirate gear. We ended the month with our Moms’ Night Out at Pinot’s Palette, where we sipped wine and painted canvases.

February is going to be just as sweet, with a Valentine’s Day themed event, a visit to Horsepower for Kids, and a chocolate and wine night for the moms.

Charity has been a strong focus for the MOMS Club this year. Whether we are donating money or physical items, it’s important to us to give back to others in need. Everly’s Angels is a non-profit organization that was started by a local mom and which raises awareness of Trisomy 18. Next month, they will be doing a fundraising walk called the Volksmarch, and the MOMS Club is proud to be a sponsor of this event. If you would like to learn more about the walk, or would like to donate, go to http://www.everlysangels.com

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If you’re interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, you can contact us by visiting http://www.momsclubtampa.com and c,heck out our blog, http://www.westchasemomsblog.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom join us at an event to “try us out.” We’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Brie Gorecki

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Westchase MOMS Club Gives Back to the Community

Happy fall! We wrapped up another fun-filled month in September.

The kids enjoyed story time surrounded by nature at Brooker Creek Park, celebrated National Teddy Bear Day with a teddy bear picnic at the park on Sept. 9, and got face to face with farm animals at Old McMicky’s Farm. Culver’s hosted our delicious Lunch Bunch, and our moms enjoyed some sushi and wine at Hot Tuna Sushi. The weather is changing and pumpkins, costumes, and candy corn are everywhere, which means that Halloween is not too far away! We have one of our most exciting months coming up this month, packed with lots of events for both the kids and the parents.

One of our focuses in October is going to be on charity. MOMS Club is not just about play dates – we love getting involved in the community, and feel that it’s very important to give back. This month, we’ll be focusing on two charities: the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, and the Spring of Tampa Bay. We will be having an open play this month where the kids will create a dog- or cat-themed craft, and we will collect items such as towels, food, newspapers, etc. to donate to the Humane Society. We will also be collecting clothing and household goods at another event to donate to the Spring of Tampa Bay. If you are not a MOMS Club member but would still like to donate items to these drives, please e-mail us at momsclubtampa@hotmail.com for more information.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, you can contact us by visiting http://www.momsclubtampa.com and c,heck out our blog, http://www.westchasemomsblog.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom join us at an event to “try us out” – we’re sure you’ll want to stay!

By Brie Gorecki

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MOMS Club Enjoys Summer

June was a fun-filled month for the MOMS Club.

And we are so excited to have all of our school-aged children now at the monthly events!

We celebrated the start of summer by spending the majority of our Open Plays outdoors at splash parks, swimming pools and playgrounds. We had a wonderful turnout at our Father’s Day celebration and were able to give all members in attendance a special gift option for dad! Our Moms’ Night Out event for the month was our End of (Fiscal) Year Party held at Repeal 18. There we thanked the outgoing board for their hard work, welcomed the new board and enjoyed a night out with friends.

In July the entire club looks forward to the new ideas and activities the incoming board will plan throughout the year. We will begin the month with a Red, White and Blue Celebration, where all members and children are encouraged to dress for the theme. We will meet at a local playground for fun and a potluck. Later in the month, we will enjoy a Music and Movement event, where our children can show off their dancing, singing and instrument-playing skills! We also have events planned that continue to support local restaurants and shops, including a breakfast get-together, as well as a Moms’ Night Out in West Park Village.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, please visit http://www.momsclubtampa.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom at an event to “try us out.” We’re sure you will want to stay!

By Erin Kosoy

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MOMS Club Hold Egg Hunt

April was another fun-filled month for the MOMS Club.

We began the month with a fantastic turnout at our Easter egg hunt, where our children not only enjoyed the egg hunt, but also shared snacks provided in our Easter potluck. We spent the rest of the month participating in a variety of activities for our kids, including a Music and Movement Open Play, lunch at Burger 21, playtime at the playground and even cooling off at a splash park.

Even with a calendar packed with fun child-centered activities, we still made time to spend with our friends. We rejuvenated with a yoga class at Green Locus for our Moms’ Night Out event and then grabbed a drink to toast to the friendships we’ve made through the MOMS Club.

In the month of May we will celebrate the thread that ties all of our members together: motherhood! We begin the month with a Mother’s Day celebration, which will include an opportunity for attendees to have their photo taken with their children. We all have hundreds (dare I say thousands?!) of pictures of our kids, so we wanted to provide an opportunity for moms to be on the other side of the camera!

Also this month, we will continue to provide a variety of Open Play activities that are open to all members. The Open Plays will range from playground visits and swimming play dates to gymnastics and other special events. As always, we also look forward to our Moms’ Night Out event to spend time together enjoying adult conversation. We will be holding a crafty night out this month, so all members who attend the Moms’ Night Out event will return home with something to enhance their décor!

If you are interested in finding out more about the Westchase chapter of the MOMS Club, please visit http://www.momsclubtampa.com We wo.uld love to see any interested mom at an event to “try us out” – and we’re sure you will want to stay!

By Erin Kosoy

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