Spokesperson Carroll Rinker says they cannot host more kids until they bring the building up to code — an expensive endeavour.
By Amy Wilsonfirstname.lastname@example.org
The West Lake Ministerial Alliance program, Mom's Day Out, started about four years ago after Sunrise Beach resident Carroll Rinker had a visit from her then 20-month-old grandson.
"He was used to going to a Mom's Day Out program in North Carolina," Rinker says. "And I noticed there weren't any little children in the neighborhood or at church."
While there are daycares in the area, she says this program is different from daycare, just offering caregivers of small children a break once in a while to, for example, go to the grocery store or the doctor or to get in a little alone time.
As a retired elementary teacher, Rinker says Mother's Day Out programs also offer an opportunity to socialize children.
Taking this to her church, and ultimately the West Lake Ministerial Alliance, Rinker now works with two other ladies from different churches.
The director of the program is Sue Boone of Ozark Chapel. Rinker is a member of West Lake Christian Church, and the third woman is Karen Pragman of Kent Memorial Lutheran Church. All three are retired teachers.
Because of limited resources, the number of children allowed to attend each session during the last four years has been five or less.
The Mother's Day Out program is held in the Loehr Center of West Lake Christian Church in Laurie. The center, however, was not constructed to current building codes of the State Fire Marshal's Office for this type of activity.
As a result, Rinker says they cannot host more kids until they bring the building up to code — an expensive endeavour.
"There are some fairly major projects to get us up to code, and we just don't have the money," Rinker says. "We've done a number of small fundraisers the last couple of years. It's been little bit by little bit. I think we're at the point it's got to be done now. I see a great deal of need for this in our area."
Not only does the building need updating, she says, but Rinker would also like to eventually increase how often it is held and see the teachers paid a little something in order to create a quality program.
Currently, Mother's Day Out is held from 9 a.m.-noon on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month for a monthly tuition of $20. Children ages four months to four years old are welcome.
How they want to raise the money
Fall Festival BBQ
What: Dinner with entertainment, regular and silent auctions and the opportunity to get family pictures taken
Menu: BBQ, baked beans, cole slaw, dessert and drink
Entertainment: Kent Klowns, Lake West Christian Acadmey choir, haunted house for pre-schoolers and pony rides
When: 5-8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30
Where: West Lake Christian Church at 936 Highway O in Laurie
Cost: $10 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under
Fundraising goal: $10,000