Look out for ‘2 Moms on a Mission’

By Phyllis Gail - ReminderNews
Enfield - posted Wed., May. 1, 2013
(L to r) Kari Monteforte and Lauren Andrews have teamed up to raise money for people in the community who need it. Photo by Phyllis Gail. - Contributed Photo

Raising money to help others takes on many forms, from spaghetti dinners to walkathons, auctions and dance parties. Much planning and organization goes into fundraising projects and sometimes the background work itself is what determines how successful the event will be. Two local women have figured out how to do it well and they are very busy helping people in many walks of life.

Enfield residents Kari Monteforte and Lauren Andrews have formed a non-profit foundation called “2 Moms on a Mission,” and they named their organization to reflect who they are rather than what they do.  The women’s friendship, partnership and foundation began last March after one coincidental meeting. Monteforte had organized a vendor fair to raise money for her church and Andrews was one of her vendors. After one lengthy phone call, the two discovered they had the same passion for helping others and they decided to become a team with that simple mission as its goal.

Upon meeting a family that was struggling to meet the expenses of a premature birth, the women organized a Beautiful Baby contest at the Enfield Mall raising upwards of $5,000 for the March of Dimes.

One of 2 Moms on a Mission’s signature events is called a Quarter Auction, and they run them frequently at the Enfield Elks Club #2222 Lodge located at 138 North Maple St. Using their logo of hot pink and black, they arrange vendors around the periphery of the room and assemble the guests at circular tables, allowing for plenty of socialization. During a recent event, there were close to 200 guests and about 30 vendor booths, including Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware, Scentapy, Candle Threads and Addison Saige Designs.  The ladies try to have a nice variety of vendors at each event and not always the same ones.

Vendors sell their own cash and carry items or those that must be ordered through a catalog, and each vendor donates a gift basket to the auction. Based on the value of the basket, a bid amount is set (For a $75 basket, the bid value is 75 cents; for a $25 basket, the bid amount is 25 cents and so on.) Then an auction is held, with bids increasing in 25-cent increments.

The Quarter Auction is an idea that Andrews brought with her from Kentucky, where she lived for several years before moving to Enfield. One woman, who has attended every quarter auction, and brings her daughters and friends with her, says that this is her “new BINGO.”

Monteforte and Andrews use the proceeds of the auction to help out people in the community. They have given money to a teacher who was paying for student supplies out of her own pocket, they donate to the Enfield Food Shelf; they aided an Enfield family who lost their home to a house fire and a boy who was a patient at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Currently they have an upcoming commitment to Relay for Life.

In forming 2 Moms on a Mission, these women have combined their passion for helping others and their ability to raise funds for worthy causes into a vehicle that covers many bases where help is needed. They look for places within the community that can use their help.

The next two Quarter Auctions will take place at the Enfield Elks Lodge #2222, on May 14 and May 17.  One is for the Girls’ Softball League and the other one is for Education Resources for Children (ERfC).

The Moms are also expanding into other towns, as they launch a quarter auction on May 3 at the Charles N. Enes Community Center, 150 Nevers Road in South Windsor and on May 10, at the L.P. Wilson Community Center on Matianuck Avenue, in Windsor.  Each will benefit Relay for Life Teams.

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