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Iron Horse Mothers Club Bylaws

Name of Club

The name of the club shall be the Iron Horse Mothers’ Club (referred to hereafter as the “IHMC” or “Club”).

Purpose

The IHMC is organized for the purpose of providing mothers of children from late pregnancy (3rd trimester) through age six, with a social, educational and recreational resource in the local communities of San Ramon, Alamo, Danville, Dublin and Pleasanton, California. IHMC creates opportunities to explore the nature of parenthood and to enjoy the process as we live through it. All activities sponsored by the Club are done within the realm of this purpose and are not for profit; the club’s status is 501(c) (7). This organization does not contemplate pecuniary gain or profit from the members thereof and is organized for nonprofit purposes. Membership within the IHMC is open to anyone with a child or children age six and under without regard to race, creed, color or religion. There is no class structure to membership. All members pay the same dues and maintain the same level of status in the Club. Any member in good standing is eligible to vote and/or hold an office pursuant to the rules laid out in this document. Consistent with the goals, and character of the Club, the IHMC does limit its membership to parents living within the community and surrounding areas. While families are welcome to join in IHMC activities, the main focus is on mothers and women’s family issues.

Definition of the Club

We are a member-led social and support group for mothers of children from late pregnancy (3rd trimester) through age six. Every member will be encouraged to volunteer, participate, and share her ideas and talents. The Club is not intended to be political, partisan, or sectarian. However, as part of a larger community, the group may provide a forum to openly and fairly discuss current issues and concerns of parents and children, with the Steering Committee’s approval.

Dues

  • The IHMC will derive the majority of its financial support through annual dues.
  • Dues are $45.00 per year, which will be a rolling enrollment, to be repaid one year after joining the club.
  • Dues must be paid by online payment.
  • Dues may be adjusted annually. Any change in the amount of dues must beapproved by the Steering Committee. Increases of less than 20% do not need a bylaw amendment vote. The attached Bylaws Amendment Procedure shall approve any change in dues.
  • Dues must be current in order to participate in any Club function.
  • Payment of dues acknowledges acceptance of current bylaws.

Requirements

  1. Members of the Iron Horse Mothers’ Club must live in San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Pleasanton or Dublin. Most club activities are centered in the Tri-Valley area.
    • If an active member moves to a location outside of the required membership area, their membership status will remain active.
  2. While membership is available to any mother in the above-described areas, the Club focuses its activities and programs on mothers in late pregnancy (3rd trimester) and children between the ages of birth through six years.
    • Membership status will remain active once all of a member’s children pass the age of six.
  3. Members must pay non-refundable dues via our website. Members will immediately lose access to BigTent once their membership expires. However, the renewal link will remain active if renewal does not occur before expiration.
  4. No alcohol will be purchased using IHMC funds.
  5. Guidelines for dads and older siblings:
    1. Dads may join the Club,but the main focus is on women and their family issues.
    2. Older children can participate in Club activities, but it is the families’ responsibility to use discretion to ensure that the presence of older children in no way detracts from the ability of the younger children to freely enjoy the club activity. Club activities are geared toward children from birth to age six.
  6. Members must commit to delivering one meal per calendar year to a member mother with a newborn baby. Please see “New Mommy Meals” subsection for details.

General Courtesies

  • Parents are responsible for the well-being, safety, and behavior of their children and guests when attending playgroup and social functions.
  • Do not attend playgroup or functions when you or your child is ill. Help and encourage your children to pick up toys when playgroup is over.
  • In the spirit of support and cooperation, damaging or derogatory remarks about fellow members or any aspects of the Club will not be tolerated. Inability to openly accept differences among the membership can result in a revocation of the offending party’s membership.
  • If you are unable to attend a function you have committed to, please inform the coordinator or appropriate person.
  • The vehicle for soliciting any goods or services through the Iron Horse Mothers’ Club is via the IHMC online forum in the classified section only.
  • Members are not permitted to use the “Iron Horse Mothers’ Club” name as an endorsement for their product or service unless they are a current member of the IHMC Moms in Business subgroup (MIB).
  • The member roster, available through the IHMC Online Forum, is for member use only. The roster is not intended to be used as a commercial mailing list, email list, or phone list for members or outside organizations.
  • A member’s name is included on the roster upon payment of dues.

Termination

A member may voluntarily terminate membership by notifying the Co-Directors. The Steering Committee may request termination of a person’s membership if:

  • Violations of these bylaws continue to occur after three warnings have been given. (A warning is defined as a written notification from one of the Co-Directors and can be via email or mail.)
  • Violations of the Forum Posting Guidelines continue to occur after three warnings have been given. (A warning is defined as a written notification from one of the Co-Directors and can be via email or mail.)

Dues are not refundable, regardless of the reason of membership termination.

Guests

Guests are welcome to attend the Speaker Series events and the Preschool Night event with a current member. Members are responsible for informing guests of fees, contributions, club rules and personal responsibilities. Guests are encouraged to join the Iron Horse Mothers’ Club after attending an open event. Guests may not attend members’ only events unless permission has been granted prior to the event by one of the co-Directors.New

Mommy Meals

IHMC requires members to provide at least one meal to a new mom member per membership year via the New Mommy Meals program. If you choose to make a meal outside of the program, such as providing a meal for a playgroup member, this does not count toward your New Mommy Meals obligation.

The New Mommy Meals coordinators will post on the online forum when volunteers are needed for a new mommy meal.

If you commit to delivering a meal, and are unable to complete the task, please notify the New Mommy Meals coordinator IMMEDIATELY.

New mommies will receive three meals through this program. Please notify a New Mommy Meals coordinator once you are ready to have your meals scheduled. Contact information can be found in the IHMC Newsletter.

Members who need help from the club due to a loss in their family or surgery can also contact the New Mommy Meals coordinator and ask for assistance. The New Mommy Meals Coordinator can use her discretion in these situations.

Fundamental Activities

In support of the educational and recreational components of the IHMC’s stated purpose, the Club will sponsor different activity classifications for its membership:

Education

a) The IHMC will hold various Speaker Series programs per fiscal year. These meetings will be open to Club membership and their guests and will include guest speakers focusing on issues that enrich, educate, and provide services to mothers.
b) The Speaker Series shall generally be held at 7:00pm. The day of the meeting is usually the second Thursday of the month, but may be changed without bylaw amendment if needed. Any changes to the regular schedule or location of these meetings should be announced at the Speaker Series meeting prior to the change, and published in the newsletter.
c) All members are encouraged to attend.
d) At the discretion of the Program committee, an alternate activity may be held in lieu of a speaker.
e) The agenda is set by the Speaker Series committee.
f) Newborns up to six months old and nursing infants are welcome to attend Speaker Series meetings with their mothers.

Newsletter

a) The IHMC will provide a monthly electronic newsletter for each dues-paying member. The newsletter will communicate Club resources, activities, current events, and community services pertinent to membership.
b) Paid advertising for outside services is available in the newsletter.
c) The newsletter may not be used to espouse political or sectarian views. All content is subject to scrutiny by the Steering Committee, and may not be published if it is deemed too controversial.
d) Newsletter content, including calendar listings for Club events, is due the 21st of every month, and may be submitted by any member of the club. It is up to the discretion of the newsletter editor and/or the co-directors as to the content of the newsletter.

Recreation

a) The IHMC will fund seasonal events and parties during the fiscal year. These events are open to all members and their families with the goal of providing a safe and fun environment for meeting new people and bringing families together.
b) The IHMC will host several “Moms Only” events during the year. These events are geared at providing members with a social outlet and offering them unique opportunities outside of the home.
c) The IHMC will support “Sub-Club” Groups. These sub groups within the Club will focus on select activities and further provide members with a resource for networking and sharing common interests. Each will have a member act as the sub-club coordinator to organize and run the special interest group. All members are welcome to join a sub- club.
d) Playgroups are designed to benefit the children of IHMC members. They provide a time to help build social interaction among young children. Playgroups will comprise mostly of mothers and their child(ren), but other caregivers may join and attend with the child(ren), such as stay-at-home fathers, nannies, grandparents, aunts, etc. Playgroup coordinators will place all types of caregivers in playgroups. Consideration will be given to geographic proximity when possible. Nanny/father/other caregiver playgroups may also be set up independently through inquiries on the IHMC Moms online forum outside of the official playgroup placement process. While we will make every effort to place you and your child in a playgroup as soon as possible, you may need to wait until a group appropriate to your child’s age has an opening or enough new members join that we can form a new playgroup.

Please refer to the playgroups listed on the BigTent sub-group page or contact the Playgroup Coordinator directly at playgroups@ironhorsemothersclub.com

Community Service

The IHMC will have a focus on community service via the Outreach team on the Steering Committee. The Club will source various needs within the community and encourage membership participation and contributions.

Communications

After January 1, 2007, all members must be able to receive all Club communications electronically.

The IHMC Online Forum

The IHMC Online Forum is available via the Club’s BigTent website and is accessible by anyone who is a current member of the Iron Horse Mothers’ Club. It’s purpose is to provide a comfortable, easy, helpful and safe place for our members to network and support other mothers in our community.

Whether you have questions about parenting a toddler, want to find a new daycare facility, or need to find some family-friendly restaurants, there’s a pretty good chance an IHMC member has her experience to share. Supporting each other is what this group is about.

Please remember to keep postings civil and within the IHMC guidelines. The forum is moderated and if inappropriate items are posted, they will be removed, and appropriate restrictions imposed (see bottom paragraph). The guidelines can be accessed anytime in the files section on BigTent. All updates to the guidelines will be announced to the Club via the online forum.

Steering Committee

The IHMC shall have a Steering Committee. Steering Committee positions may be changed as needed at the discretion of the Committee without formally amending the Bylaws. All Steering Committee members are requested to attend a monthly Steering Committee Meeting. All Steering Committee Members are eligible to vote. The term of each office is one (1) year commencing April 1.

Steering Committee Meetings

  • Meetings are held monthly at 7:00pm. The day of the meeting is usually the third Wednesday of every month, but may be changed without bylaw amendment if needed.
  • The Steering Committee meetings are used to discuss Club business.
  • Meetings are held at the homes of Steering Committee members, or otherlocations determined by the Steering Committee. The agenda is put together by the Co-Directors. Any Club member wishing to add a topic to the agenda should contact a Co-Director prior to the third Wednesday of each month.
  • Any current Club member is welcome to attend Steering Committee meetings. Please RSVP to one of the Co-Directors if you wish to attend.

Duties of the Officers

  • All Steering Committee members are expected to attend monthly Steering Committee meetings.
  • Please respond promptly to all emails and meeting invitations regarding your attendance at the meeting.
  • Steering Committee members shall, when appropriate and necessary, submit a write-up for the monthly newsletter.
  • When possible, each member should inform a Co-Director of pertinent activities and agenda items prior to the Steering Committee meeting.
  • Each Steering Committee member is to keep a notebook of all information pertinent to her position to be passed along to her successor. Notebooks may be expensed back to the Club.

Budget and Expenses

The Co-Directors and the Treasurer must create and approve the budget for the year ahead (April-April). The budget will be presented to the incoming Steering Committee, who will have the opportunity to object with reasonable cause to line items.

Expense Reports

In order to ensure accurate cash flow reporting (budget vs. actual), expense reports with itemized (where applicable) receipts must be submitted within 45 days of incurred expense(s) in order to be reimbursed. Exceptions to this may be made by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the Steering Committee members present. Likewise, expenses incurred in excess of budget will not be reimbursed without an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the Steering Committee members present.

Change of Officers/Yearly Transition
Prerequisites for positions:

  • To be considered for a Co-Director position, one must have fulfilled at least a six- month term in any Steering Committee position.
  • Membership Coordinator(s) must have been a Club member for at least six months.
  • The terms of office are from April 1 to March 31 (12 months).

Method of Selection

  • All Steering Committee positions shall be filled on a volunteer basis. Persons wishing to fill a position should volunteer to the current Co-Directors by a date specified by the Steering Committee, and most likely the annual Steering Committee Information Party (February).
  • If more than one person volunteers for any position, the duties may be shared at the discretion of the Steering Committee or the Co-Directors in the event of a midterm vacancy. If more than two members volunteer for the same position, names will be placed in a hat for random selection. The exception to this is the Co-Director, who is chosen by the sitting Co-Director.
  • If no one volunteers for a position, the Steering Committee will approach a member to accept the duty. Ultimately, if no volunteer is found, the function of that committee will be discontinued until a volunteer is found.
  • The open positions to be filled will be announced in the newsletter, Online Forum Groups, and the Steering Committee meetings at least a month prior to the scheduled turnover.
  • Steering Committee members shall not serve in the same position for more than two consecutive terms, unless the position is uncontested and the Steering Committee member wishes to continue in that position for a third term.
  • Any Steering Committee member who cannot complete her term of office is requested to contact a Co-Director 30 days prior to her resignation (when possible).

Bylaws Amendment Procedure

These bylaws may be amended by, the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present at a Steering Committee meeting. Any member wishing to amend these bylaws will follow this procedure:

  • Present a written proposal of an amendment at a Steering Committee Meeting at least one month ahead of vote.
  • Proposed amendment will be printed in the newsletter prior to the meeting.
  • Members must be present to vote.
  • The adopted amendment will be posted in the Online Forum. Minor changes tothe bylaws, which do not change the primary functions being performed, may be voted on and approved by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will determine whether proposed bylaw changes are substantive or minor.
  • Bylaws will be reviewed by each incoming Steering Committee prior during the May or June Steering Committee meeting.

Bylaws Acknowledgment

The Iron Horse Mothers’ Club and its officers cannot be held liable for the safety of members at club events. Each member is responsible for the safety and behavior of her own child/children and must acknowledge that they have read and understand these bylaws. In order to participate in the Club, all members must have checked the box on the site that indicates they have accepted the bylaws.

In the event the IHMC dissolves, its assets will be equally distributed or refunded to members once all expenses were paid.

Notwithstanding any of the above statements of purposes and powers, this association shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the specific purposes of the association.

We hereby certify that the above declarations accurately represent the organizational structure of the IHMC, its purpose, and its operating philosophy. Adopted May 2014.

Jennifer Hagerty
Co-Director

Erica DiGrazia
Co-Director

END OF BYLAWS