As the Charlestown Mothers Association (CMA) comes together on Nov. 3 for their 20th annual gala, organizers said it will be a time to reflect on where the organization was and what it has become now.
Originally started in 1998 as a way for new mothers to connect, the CMA has morphed into a social organization that now also has a mission of helping out in many ways around the Town.
“People may not know all of the things we do now, including $20,000 in college scholarships, which is a big focus now,” said Abby Belge. “It’s not just for a fun party and there are a lot of behind-the-scenes things we do. I think the organization has come a long way from what it was – which was moms trying to go out for a night to socialize. It started to meet that need, but has evolved into a public service organization too.”
Katie Darci said they are thrilled that the gala on Nov. 3 has already sold out, and she wanted to acknowledge all the sponsors and participants. She also said while the event is sold out, donations are still welcome.
Darci said the CMA turning 20 is a chance to let the entire Town know how they have changed, and may not be the same organization that people came to know in the early years.
“It is a platform for people in Charlestown to effect positive change,” she said. “The mission is for people to stay in Charlestown, thrive in Charlestown and to be family friendly…There are a lot of families that start out somewhere else in Boston and they have a child and then move to Charlestown. Some of them eventually move to the suburbs when they have another child, but a lot stay now.”
Those that stay have found the CMA is a great way to socialize and also raise money for the Town.
In addition to the scholarships, the CMA regularly helps with volunteers and financial contributions at the Charlestown Working Theatre, the Bunker Hill Development, the Boston Public Schools, Charlestown High School, Bunker Hill Community College, as well as having diaper drives and toy drives throughout the year.
“The organization has evolved in to something different,” said Belge.
Added Darci, “We’re going to take a moment to mark the 20th, but then we’re going back to work afterward.”
The organization now boasts about 1,500 families in its membership, and many of them remain very active in the organization.
“It has become a very large organization, especially for one square mile, and it began with just a handful of moms looking to connect,” said Belge. “That’s a pretty great story.”