Forest Lakes a place for fun with charities

Jennifer Chappell, director of development, Women’s and Children’s SafeHouse of Shelby County, stands at the SafeHouse booth at the Forest Lakes Women’s Club Spring Expo. (contributed)

Jennifer Chappell, director of development, Women’s and Children’s SafeHouse of Shelby County, stands at the SafeHouse booth at the Forest Lakes Women’s Club Spring Expo. (contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

Kelle Thomas and her husband used to go to church in Homewood, and all their friends lived there or in Hoover. But she wanted friends in her own backyard, she said. So she founded the Forest Lake Ladies Club.

They have around 20 consistent members and others at times, she said.

“We have luaus, barbeques, dinner in each other’s homes, Pinterest and painting parties,” Thomas said.

But the club’s activities are not all social. “We have served the SafeHouse, adopted children for Christmas, provided meals to moms struggling with cancer and raising their kids.”

The Club’s latest and biggest project was this spring’s Expo where they raised more than $650 for SafeHouse.

Brandy Poe coordinated most of the event, Thomas said. “Brandy is excellent at raising money and working with charities.”

Kelle said the Spring Expo was really booming this year. There was a steady flow of people enjoying more than 25 vendors, including bouncy house (donated by FunSource, Inc.), Fabs First Face Painting. Nanny’s Old Fashion Lemonade, Granny’s Hot Dogs, Gemini Treats, Crafting with Brandy, Kristin Tice with Fresh Bag, Lula Woodworks, Lazarus Designs, Origami Owl and Jennifer Chappell, director of development for SafeHouse.

“The Women and Children’s SafeHouse of Shelby County is very special to us,” Thomas said.

They’re looking forward to summertime fun with them and are collecting new outdoor toys like kiddie pools, sprinklers, bubble machines, and sidewalk chalk. Later, they will purchase school supplies.

“Last year, we collected about 30 backpacks full of supplies for SafeHouse,” Thomas said.

In September they will host a book fair with Usborne Books and will have a book registry to purchase from. They will also buy other books.

Reading and learning are important to them, she said, and they want to help build these opportunities for the kids.

Club officers for 2013-2014 are President Kelle Thomas; Vice-President/Membership Director Jan Greer; Secretary Fran Dufour; Treasurer Pricilla Ingram; Hospitality Director Robin Loveless; Charity Director Jan Hoyer and Fundraising Director Brandy Pate.

Kids of club members are growing up together, Thomas said, “We have a real community around us. Forest Lakes is a great place to live.”

 

Shelba Nivens is a community columnist for the city of Chelsea and can be reached at Shelbasn@juno.com.