Mothers’ Club members provide valued support

Teacher grants only one part of group’s service

The+marching+band+performs+at+Open+House+in+November.+The+band+is+of+the+recipients+of+the+most+recent+Mothers+Club+grants.+

Lauryn Woods

The marching band performs at Open House in November. The band is of the recipients of the most recent Mothers Club grants.

Ava Amos, Reporter

On Christmas Eve, if you’ve been good, Santa will visit your house and leave you lots of presents. But for the members of the Cathedral Mothers’ Club and their service to the school, it’s Christmas all the time.

The Cathedral Mothers’ Club is a service organization made up of Cathedral mothers (and yes, mothers; there are no fathers who are members this year). “Founded in 1959, the Cathedral Mothers’ Club is a service organization of Cathedral mothers. We are dedicated to philanthropy and volunteerism in support of the Cathedral mission and vision. We’re almost 60 years old,” co-president Mrs. Beth Hunter said in an email.

Hunter serves in this role along with Mrs. Lorraine Phillips Vavul. Hunter is also the president of the digital, social and club communications committee, and Phillips Vavul is the teacher grants committee chair. The mission of the club is to enhance the school community through different services that will benefit the students, faculty, staff and parent and to do so in a way that reflects the Holy Cross values.

The club currently has more 40 registered members for the current school year, but there’s also some mothers who volunteer with the club throughout the year that don’t officially join. “The Mothers’ Club is open to all parents/guardians of Cathedral students. We even have mothers whose students have graduated who still participate,” Hunter said.

Throughout the school year the Mothers’ Club organizes different services and events in support of the Cathedral family. “Our efforts are aimed to enhance the Cathedral community through initiatives that benefit faculty, staff, students and parents, and which reflect the Holy Cross values,” Hunter said.

One of the signature initiatives they coordinate is their annual grants that go to teachers and staff. These grants are used to improve the environment of the classroom and the on-campus experience for both the teachers and students.

Over the last 10 years the Mothers Club has awarded more than $100,000 in grants. That money also goes toward providing equipment for the STEM program students, photography, telescopes for astronomy, APE equipment, books and musical instruments and numerous other items.

Some of their other activities include assisting the admissions office for Open House night in November, the Nativity on display on campus (the club purchased it), brunch for faculty and staff appreciation in December, multiple used uniform sale (three to five times a year), Teacher Appreciation Week in the spring, prom parking, Baccalaureate reception, ice cream to the students and staff during the Centennial Celebration, bowling league from September to April, and many more.

“For some activities the Mothers’ Club helps the school by providing volunteer resources or ‘woman power,’” Hunter said. The mothers will organize the information packets for the Open House and the parking for prom to ensure students have a safe and enjoyable evening. Every year they will also partner with the National Honor Society to celebrate Cathedral’s birthday by collecting cupcakes donated by those students and distribute them to all the counties to enjoy during service day.

The used uniform sales are held throughout the year to help some families purchase uniforms. “The money raised through the sales help fund our annual teacher grants program,” Hunter said.

Their bowling team is also a big contributor to funds; “The League is a lot of fun and brings together women both inside and outside of the Cathedral community,” Hunter said. “We have fun and enjoy supporting the Cathedral community,” Hunter said, “We are able form friendships with women from so many backgrounds as well as lifelong connections through our Cathedral family.” She said she hopes that through their strong parent involvement and support, the school will be even more successful.

The Mothers’ Club also holds several social activities throughout the year, including the weekly Mothers Club bowling league and annual holiday gatherings for the group’s members. A portion of the funds brought in from the bowling league also go toward funding the teacher grants.

The officers said they believe that hosting these social outings helps grow friendships and build working relationships with one another to make them even stronger of a community. The Mothers’ Club dues, which are $19.59 each year, go toward the annual administrative expenses and the club’s sponsored programs to help fund activities.

“I believe our annual teacher grants have had the greatest impact on the school community because the grants provide teachers with supplemental resources they may not otherwise have access to,” Hunter said.

Many teachers have been fortunate to have been able to be awarded these grants. The recipients of the most recent grants are librarian and media services director Mrs. Jenny Herron, IB physics teacher Mr. Adam Hibshman, art teacher Mr. Jon Kane, photography teacher Ms. Joellen Desaultes, PE teacher and head men’s volleyball coach Ms. Rhonda Low, honors geometry teacher Mrs. Lisa Hastings-Smith, Spanish teachers Mrs. Rose Egan and Mrs. Karen Hovanec, marching band director Mrs. Kathy McCullough, English teacher Ms. Laurie O’Brien and assistant band director Mr. Steve Goodman.

McCullough was a awarded a clarinet for the marching band from her CMC grant. “Some students don’t own their own instruments, so it’s nice when we can provide an instrument for a student to play and they can participate. Whereas if they didn’t have that instrument, they couldn’t participate. Even though it’s just one student, it’s more than that over the years because instruments last so long. It can impact a dozen (students) over its lifetime, or more,” McCullough said.

But the Mothers’ Club does more than just dole out money for worthy causes. Hunter said, “We are able form friendships with women from so many backgrounds as well as lifelong connections through our Cathedral family.”