• January 23, 2012
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Bonding time: Mom-son ‘charity league’ planned - Brenham Banner-Press : News

Bonding time: Mom-son ‘charity league’ planned

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Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 9:22 am

The Alpha Charity League started with a mom, a baseball roster and a desire to be closer to her son as he got older, and grew to over 600 members of mothers and sons who spend time volunteering for charities together.

"One of my friends told me about how she saw a new side of her daughter in a mother/daughter program in the Memorial area (of Houston)," ACL founder Elizabeth Rutherford said. "I told her that it was a shame that there wasn't a group for mothers and sons and decided to start one soon after that."

The Alpha Charity League started in February 2009 with 30 mothers and lots of word of mouth, and now with four chapters in the Houston area, one chapter in San Antonio, Rutherford is starting a chapter in Brenham after volunteering at Camp For All.

"This is a fun organization where boys do charity work with their mothers and share experiences and values," Rutherford said. "The boys run the meetings, elect the officers, chose the charities and chose their inspirational quote."

The league allows the boys to have complete control of the class and every chapter has the opportunity to impact their surrounding areas, and is very sweat-equity, Rutherford said. ACL is hands-on with all their charities and there is a lot of guy stuff with a lot of sweat involved, she said.

"We donated $2,700 to Camp For All for a BB-gun shooting range, but we didn't stop there," Rutherford said. "The boys and moms got together, cleared the field, removed trees and shrubs and set up the targets."

The ACL generally doesn't make monetary donations often, and usually does the more physical charities including Habitat for Humanity, the Citizens for Animal Protection shelter and Camp for All.

"We have a charity that helps young children learn how to play baseball and our boys are the assistant coaches teaching them how to throw, pitch, bat and run bases," Rutherford said. "I had one boy volunteer 20 hours one week at a baseball camp.

"We want boys to think differently about charity work and to be appreciated by the people they are helping."

Each member commits to performing a minimum of 15 hours of charity work each year and to be apart of the ALC from the seventh to the 12th grade.

The membership was opened to seventh and eighth graders because they start to become more independent and peer focused. This group won't stifle that, but keep the mother-son relationship in the picture, Rutherford said.

"I didn't want the organization to be life consuming the way other organizations are," Rutherford said. "I wanted them to be affordable, and the requirements as stress free as possible.

"Mothers can be just as busy as high school boys."

Many ALC members play football and baseball along with doing the charity work and the entry membership fee ranges from $125 to $135 a year for both mother and son, Rutherford said.

"The dues are $100 a year, the boys have to purchase the polo shirt at $25 and they can get the T-shirt with their logo printed on it for $10," Rutherford said. "All the moms need to do is attend two meetings and volunteer for six hours a year.

"I didn't want any one to chose between my organization and football or baseball."

Any mom interested in joining the organization can attend an introductory meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Fireman's Park.

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