Beth Feller joined the Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation as a way to make new friends in the area and to become more involved in the community. Just four years later, she became the president of the non-profit philanthropic group, which is hosting a “New Member Open House” on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m.
Feller, 33, is a stay-at-home mom, and her husband Brad Feller works in business development at Monitor Liability Managers. They live in Batavia with their three sons: Nathan, who is 6 1/2 years old; Jake, 4 1/2 years old; and Luke, 9 months, as well as their “furry child” Maddie, an 8-year-old Vizsla.
Read on to find out why we think Beth Feller is a “Go West Mom You Should Know” as well as more information about how you can help support or become a member of the Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation.
Q. How did you first get involved with the Batavia Mothers’ Club? Can you tell me a bit about the foundation and what you like most about it?
A. I joined Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation (BMCF) in October 2007 after I had my second child. I had heard about the BMCF when I first moved to Batavia and thought it would be a great way to meet new people and get involved in the community. BMCF is a non-profit, 501c3 organization that has been around for over 75 years. The mission of the BMCF is to improve the lives of women, children and families in the Fox Valley area. The money we raise throughout the year is disbursed back into the community to other local nonprofit groups, Batavia schools and other educational opportunities. We usually disburse anywhere from $20,000-$30,000 each year.
The funds are raised by our annual Arts and Craft Show in October, our annual Fox Trot 5K in April, and other smaller events. What I like most about the BMCF is the wonderful balance of philanthropy and social activities. This club has given me the chance to be an active and supportive member of my community while working with a wonderful group of women, who are all experiencing similar joys and challenges of being a mom.
Q. Do women need to live in Batavia to belong to the Mothers’ Club?
A. No, it is not a requirement to live in Batavia, but majority of the members do. We do have a couple of members that live elsewhere but they have either lived here before or are hoping to move to Batavia in the near future.
Q. When did you become president of the Batavia Mothers Club? What’s the most fulfilling part of that role? What’s the most challenging part?
A. I took on the role of president at the end of May 2011, that is when the new Board of Directors and Committee Chairs take office. The most fulfilling part of being president is being able to see how every aspect of the club comes together to make the year a success and be able to disburse as much money as possible to those who need it. I work with an amazing group of women, who are generous and compassionate about the BMCF all while raising children, working and volunteering with other organizations. The most challenging part is balancing home life and the club. Serving on the Board of Directors does require extra meetings each month and as president there are extra activities I need to attend. But we are all mothers and we know our kids come first, so we just make it work!
Q. Can you tell me a bit about your children — their personalities and interests?
A. Nathan is our oldest and in first grade this year. He is smart, kind and really into sports. Nathan has always been my quiet, reserved, shy child, but in the past year he has really blossomed into an outgoing, brave little man. He is a great big brother and always interested in helping me cook or help Brad will whatever project he is working on around the house.
Jake is in preschool and is a little spit fire! He is smart, funny and keeps us on our toes. He has such a fun personality and has always been a tough little guy trying to keep up with Nathan. Jake has done a great job stepping into the role of big brother for Luke and loves playing with his little brother. Right now Jake seems to be into whatever Nathan is, but Jake has influenced Nathan to try new things and to loosen up a bit!
It has been so fun having a baby around the house again! I couldn’t imagine our family with out Luke. He is very active and curious, doing everything but walking, but I am sure that will be here soon even if I am not ready for it! Luke is so entertained by his big brothers and he is already making sure his voice gets heard in our busy house. There are many days when the boys are driving each other crazy, but overall they do play well together and balance each other out.
Q. How do you describe your parenting style?
A. Changing daily to adapt to the mood of my children! Ha! Wow, I am not really sure how I would describe it. Brad and I have always established routines and set boundaries for our kids, encouraged them to be involved with family chores and activities, and tried to take every opportunity to teach them to be good people.
The kids love to go into Chicago, so we give them a chance to earn the trip by adding “leaves or ornaments” (whatever the season may be) to a kindness tree when we catch them being kind to each other or someone else. I hope activities like that makes a difference, but I guess we will have to just wait and see, right?
I think as we have had more kids our style has had to change to adjust to two, then three! I try to tell myself when I go to bed at night, if the kids are safe in their beds, happy and feel loved, then it was a good day. With young children I think you have to take one day at a time and know that there will be good days and bad days. Having children has taught me a lot about myself, some good and some not so good. So as parents, I feel it is just as much a learning experience for us as it is for them!
Q. What do you like most about living in Batavia?
A. I love Batavia! It is a wonderful community with a small-town feel but with many great opportunities for families. I feel safe raising my children here and I am confident they are going to get a wonderful education. I love that we are close enough to hop on a train and head into the city or go down to the river and enjoy the outdoors.
Q. Do you have anything else you want Go West readers to know?
A. I would just like to add if anyone is interested in becoming a member of the BMCF, they are welcome to attend any of our general meetings. We meet the first Wednesday of the month, September through May, at 7 p.m at the Batavia Public Library. They can also check out our website at www.bataviamothersclub.com.
Editor’s Note: The Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation New Member Open House will be held Thursday, Feb. 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at a member’s home. To RSVP and for more information, email the Chairperson of Membership at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630-748-1501.