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David Laughlin/The Duncan Banner Theresa Sneed, left, Cheri Spurgin, Geneva Bolenbaugh, Lavonna Funkhouser and Briana Davis, meet and discuss projects they can do for the community during the last meeting of Mothers of Duncan.

The Duncan Banner

Stay-at-home moms tend to be creative in their efforts to connect with other moms, but one local group, Mothers of Duncan, manages to make their once-a-month meetings enrich their lives.

While it is a social-type group, giving the moms a chance to make friends and spend some “get-away” time from their children, they also schedule speakers and get involved in community events.

“We’re a group of every day moms. This lets us spend time to connect with others of the same interest. Plus it gives us ‘mommy time’ away,” Morgan Collier said.

Collier has lived in Duncan about three years and her children are 5, 3 and 10-months old. She looks forward to the meetings that are held the second Monday of each month, from September to May. Collier said the group was formerly known as Mothers of Preschoolers and members paid a fee since it had national chartership. The only problem was that once a mom’s child reached school age, they had to leave the group.

Geneva Bolenbaugh and Collier said this is the first year for the group to be Mothers of Duncan, an independent local group, with no rules like that of MOPS.

“We were losing a lot of good mothers, but now they can come back,” Bolenbaugh said. The group has about 40 members now, with about 25 actively attending the monthly meetings. Collier hopes the group grows. And it’s open to pregnant women who haven’t yet had their child.

“I’m 27 and we have some moms in their early 20s and moms in their 40s. It’s just hard when your with kids all the time, and this group, it gives everybody a chance to socialize,” Collier said.

Bolenbaugh, also a mom of three, likes that it offers moms a chance to get new ideas in parenting.

“This is my third year. It’s been a really good experience for me. I have time to go and talk with other moms to see if they are going through the same things I am,” she said. One of those things is potty training her third child.

“Oh gosh, it’s been even harder with my third one then the first two,” she laughed.

The women use the meeting times to enrich their lives. They hear from community leaders and get involved with various projects. At the most recent meeting, exercise specialist Dustin Hamm, who works at Duncan Regional Hospital’s Wellness Center, attended and talked to the moms about ways they could incorporate exercise into their daily schedules.

Bolenbaugh said he encouraged the women to not become discouraged in their efforts to maintain or achieve a healthy lifestyle.

They’ve also had Chef Maggie visit and show them how to decorate with food, making watermelon fruit baskets and things they could use for parties. Dr. Deena Wise, pediatrician at Sanford Children’s Clinic has been a guest speaker.

Gina Flesher serves as a mentor, Collier said.

“She’s always there at every meeting nearly. Gina and Sylvia Porter, they do a devotion, since we are a Christian-based group. Gina gives us guidance and wisdom,” Collier said.

Bolenbaugh said the devotion feeds their spiritual growth.

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