For the past three years, the Moms Club of the Foothills has been raising money and support from the foothills community to place a sunshade over the children’s play area at La Cañada’s Memorial Park.
Moms Club is an international nonprofit organization that offers support and camaraderie for community mothers. The organization started with one woman in Simi Valley back in 1983 and since has grown to encompass over 2,100 chapters throughout the United States alone.
“The Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena chapters started as one,” explained Annmarie Pesa, member of the Moms Club of the Foothills. “In the late ’90s, the chapter got so big it had to split – one for each city.”
The Foothills chapter stretches from La Cañada in the east to Lake View Terrace in the west and includes Montrose. These moms have been meeting at Memorial Park for years to spend time with their children and each other. With few trees and no shelter surrounding the children’s play area, the meeting place became unbearable in the summer months.
After changing location to Two Strike Park in La Crescenta, the moms noticed and appreciated the recent sunshade installed over the jungle gym. It was then that mom Elise Gilbert fostered the idea for the sunshade at Memorial Park.
Since then, the moms have raised $1,250 toward the cost of the sunshade with bake sales and silent auctions. Unfortunately, after offering the money and their idea to the city of La Cañada, they were informed that the council could not directly take the money – yet.
“At the time they approached the City, in March 2012, the project was not an official City project,” explained La Cañada City Council Management Analyst Carl Alameda. “So, I would not be in a position to accept money raised in the amount of $1,250 toward a project estimated at $13,750 that the City had not adopted within its annual budget.”
In order to ensure the money was properly allotted to the correct project and there was no misuse of funds, the moms were told they must find a way to show community support for the project. If they could find a way to show community support, there was a chance that the sunshade plan could be fit into the city budget.
“It would be beneficial to their cause to solicit signatures in support of the project to show a breath of appeal toward the project within the community,” continued Alameda. “This way, when the proposed project was presented to the City Council during budget for potential funding along with numerous other projects, it would have a quantifiable level of support with their petition.”
Running with this information, members of Moms Club of the Foothills have collected over 300 signatures for their petition and regularly attend city budget meetings to help support their cause.
Mother Jessica Cushman has been actively acquiring signatures for the Moms Club of the Foothills petition. Cushman, along with the rest of the Foothill chapter members, implore anyone who supports their mission to help out.
“Anyone interested in the cause is welcome to come to city budget meetings and show support,” she invited.
For more information on Moms Club, visit their website at www.momsclub.org.
To show support or ask about city budget meetings, call or email Carl Alameda at (818) 790-8880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.