Most developers simply plan out a subdivision and move onto the next plot of land. But Darol Rodrock wanted more for his neighborhoods; he wanted to establish a true sense of community and foster the growth and health of families. It’s for this reason that in the early 1980s Rodrock formed the Moms’ Council.
An abundance of family-friendly activities are planned thanks to the Council, including spring egg hunts, Memorial weekend pool-opening parties, July 4th bike-a-thons and pumpkin-carving contests, depending upon the community. These events help new neighbors get to know each other while having fun. Such gatherings forge friendships and build a true sense of togetherness, which resonates deeply with families.
Jessica Jasa first learned about the Moms’ Council when looking for a new home in 2013. “We were looking for a home in a neighborhood with a sense of community and close-knit neighbors — both of which we found in Stonebridge Meadows. The idea of a Moms’ Council to bring neighbors together on a regular basis is one way to foster that sense of community in a meaningful way.”
Jasa wanted to get involved in the neighborhood, and the Moms’ Council enabled her to easily do so.
“I’ve enjoyed meeting other moms and working together to put on events for our families,” she said. “Our kids love any excuse for a party, but our favorite events would probably be the Halloween event and the Holiday Sleigh Ride. Halloween night can be so busy; this is a great way to celebrate together in advance of the big night. And the sleigh ride stands out for our kids, not only because they get a visit from Santa, but they also enjoy cookies and cocoa with their friends before a sleigh ride around the neighborhood to see holiday lights.”
“In our neighborhood, we have more than just neighbors — we have great friends!” said Lori Anderson of Stonebridge Trails. “And our kids have made great friends, too. The Moms’ Council is a wonderful way to stay connected with your neighbors and community.”
Anderson’s favorite event is also the Holiday Hayride. “Santa comes to visit and talk to each child. There are cookies and hot chocolate after your horse-drawn hayride. It’s so magical to see each child’s face light up as they sit on Santa’s lap and tell them what they wish for this Christmas. The joy and happiness in their eyes as the dream of Santa becomes real to them makes it such a wonderful event.”
“The Moms’ Council is such a great way to not only engage with your neighbors but to help create memories for your children that will last a lifetime,” agreed Aubree Barbosa of Grayson Place. “I think what’s so special is you have moms working together, alongside Rodrock’s support, to really drive home that community feeling. It brings together moms from all stages as well — we have stay-at-home moms, working moms, moms with small children and moms with kids in all levels of school. We all work together and bring ideas for what will best serve the community as a whole, rather than just one small group.”
She said the Barbosa family loves to celebrate everything. “Holidays, birthdays, whatever the occasion, we love to celebrate it! Having small events throughout the year is a great way to add another celebration to the mix. Our son is only 3, so he’s not in school yet. These events are a great way for us to meet other kids his age that he’ll eventually go to school with.”
Krista Suozzo of Forest View just recently took over the role of organizing the Moms’ Council events for her community. “I’m excited to add additional events throughout the year, build the group and find ways to support each other and our kids. Growing our children takes a village. The Rodrock Moms’ Council is encouraging that fellowship.”
Living in Forest View these last two years has provided the chance to meet other moms, added Suozzo. “This past year, I’ve stayed at home with my new baby, and it can get lonely. Meeting up with other women at the park or the pool is a huge benefit of living in a Rodrock community, where getting to know and socialize with neighbors is encouraged. Events for families encourage lifelong relationships in our neighborhood and we’re able to incorporate elements into our events such as food drives and working with Operation Gratitude that allow our children to learn to give to others.”
Tammy Coody, the Moms’ Council Coordinator for Rodrock Development, said the impact the Council has on Rodrock communities is tremendous.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told how grateful people are to have this concept offered to them,” she said. “The Moms’ Council is so important because of the busy lives we lead. It offers the opportunity for residents of all ages to participate in family-oriented activities right in their own ‘backyards.’ It provides a sense of neighborhood connectedness, as well as a sense of belonging. I believe we all still seek that, maybe more so now than ever. The fact that the Moms’ Council is still in place, since the 1980s, speaks volumes to our desire to feel part of a bigger family.”
For more information, visit Rodrock.com.