An effort that got started a few months ago has taken solid hold locally and now has a full slate of officers, as the Mid-Cal Blue Star Mothers are now recognized as an official group within the military family support organization.
The Blue Star Mothers group is open to any parent – mother or father – with a child serving in the military and has its regular meetings on the fourth Sunday of the month.
Installation of officers was conducted at the August meeting and the officers include President Emmy McDaniel, first Vice President Alicia London, second Vice President Charilyn Damigo, Financial Secretary Charlene Cano, Recording Secretary Sharolyn Larson and Treasurer Lisa Cano.
For those interested in attending, with a son or daughter in the military, contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org for location information or call President McDaniel at 209-595-3764.
“We are having our first fundraiser at Mountain Mikes (in Oakdale) this Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” McDaniel said of the Sept. 24 event, with the restaurant donating a portion of the proceeds during that time frame to the new group.
McDaniel was a local driving force in getting the group started, after her son Clayton joined the Navy. She wanted to connect with other military parents but found the closest Blue Star Mothers group was well outside the area, with groups in Sacramento, Fremont and Merced, but nothing local.
She and fellow Oakdale resident Sharolyn Larson started the new chapter and have opened up membership to all interested in the Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Tuolumne county areas. Members just have to have a child in the military, whether active duty or in the reserves. Family members can also attend.
Blue Star Mothers is a Congressionally chartered Veterans Service Organization, with the goal of supporting the troops, veterans, military families and each other.
The local group’s next meeting will be this Sunday, Sept. 28.
Monthly meetings are designed to give attendees the chance to share experiences, talk about concerns and, at certain times of the year, get care packages together to send to the troops.