by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell-Sauk Rapids MOMS Club is comprised of women with a wide variety of life experiences. There are teachers, photographers, musicians and all manner of skills, talents, professions; some are stay-at-home moms; others have jobs away from home.
Those differences enhance the dynamic cohesion of the group whose members all have the same ultimate aim.
“The goal is to live life as great moms and great kids who all make great friends,” said the club’s president, Tanya Stegman of Sartell.
The “MOMS” stands for “Moms Offering Moms Support.”
The non-profit organization was founded many years ago and now has about 50 active mom members and at least 150 children. Some of those children, by this time, are now college students.
The club meets once a week on varying days. The second Tuesday of the month is Social Day – a time to share ideas about fundraising methods and to plan upcoming events. There is also a monthly Playday during which moms and children get together just to have fun, sometimes indoors, other times outdoors. Usually, the moms talk and have lots of verbal fun while the children play games, enjoy playground amenities, go bowling and do many other activities. There is also a Lunch Brunch at family-friendly venues where they eat pizzas, burgers or other tasty foods.
During Moms Night Out, the women gather at fun places like Milk and Honey in St. Joseph or – most recently – for the “Haunted Hayride” at Molitor’s Halloween Fun Nights in rural Sauk Rapids.
The virus pandemic has caused the group to adapt with safety precautions, types of distancing and so forth, but it has not dampened any of the club members’ enthusiasm and forward momentum.
Through all of the get-togethers, the moms and children do a lot of learning, bonding, sharing of thoughts and feelings, all while forging connections that strengthen themselves and their children.
“There are a lot of warm fuzzies that happen,” Stegman said. “And we all share our concerns in a judge-free zone. There are so many different women of different backgrounds and yet so many commonalities and connections. And what we have in common most of all is being moms. It’s a great group of women.”
Like all of the women in the MOMS Club, Stegman had had – and is having – an interesting, productive life. She and her husband-to-be, Brian, met while both were students at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. She was studying business management and chemistry; Brian, the son of North Dakota beet farmers, was pursuing medical studies. Later, the couple, married, moved to Cleveland where Brian worked in a medical clinic. Still later, they moved back to Minnesota where Brian had a new job, and they moved into a house in Sartell. Brian is an interventionist cardiologist for CentraCare Health System.
The couple has two daughters – Sydney, 7; and Riley, 5.
The MOMS Club Board is comprised of Stegman, now in her second term as president; Ann Nelson, administrative vice president; Tricia Meling, membership vice president; Christie Duininck, treasurer; Cindy Fitzthum, secretary; and Carrie Weller, hospitality.
Any mom is welcome to join the Sartell-Sauk Rapids MOMS Club. The next meeting will take place from 9-10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, the location yet to be determined. The club can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. It also has a Facebook site. Just google Sartell-Sauk Rapids MOMS Club Facebook.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.