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Ceres club blends moms with kids, other moms
Mothers of small children can sometimes feel overwhelmed and isolated, feeling cut off from the adult world. That's where the MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club of Ceres can bring sweet relief.

The club met Friday at Smyrna Park, giving mothers of youngsters a chance to socialize, do crafts with their children and share life experiences.

"It's been a godsend because it's really taught my kids a lot of social interaction skills," said Tressa Schaller, a member of the club who has three small boys. "Good for me too because I've met a lot of good people, a lot of girl friends."

Cynthia Robinson checked out the club of Friday and likes what it has to offer.

"I go crazy staying at home all the time. This allows my child to play with other kids, too."

She noticed that her two-year-old daughter, Cassydi, was enjoying herself as she shuttled between the craft table and the park playground equipment.

About 30 women are members of the Ceres club. They meet every week and never exclude children from the mix. They normally choose a park to play in but during inclement weather they meet at the Hughson Family Resource Center.

"Every activity the kids are invited to," said Candace Looney, the club's president, who joined about three years ago.

Arts and crafts projects allow the children and moms to interact.

The club also offers a Moms Night Out social event - without the kids.

Upcoming events include several planned trips to local pumpkin patches.

The group also engages in community service projects, such as raising money for Meals on Wheels. The money is raised through garage sales and the sales of entertainment discount books. They are also collecting clothing to donate to the First Step Rehab program on Richland Avenue. The recovery group is associated with the Sierra Vista Children's Center.

The moms will be buying turkeys for poor families during the holidays. In January they will host a blood drive.

A book club is also offered.

"It's been a great opportunity for me in terms of sharing my experiences as a mom with other moms," said Looney.

For more information on the club, contact Johanna Sullivan at 541-1873. The group has a website at