Warriorz-Recap from 7th Annual Valentine’s Banquet

On Sunday evening, February 17th, 2019, SingleMomzRock in partnership with Victory Mission + Ministry held our 7th Annual Valentine’s Banquet at a new location, Doubletree by Hilton Springfield.  Over 200 single moms were treated to a glamorous evening of fun and fellowship created just for them! 

The evening started off by the moms being escorted to their tables by gentlemen in tuxes and roses in hand. Delores Albers Photography, as well as CRNewell Photography, was on hand to take snapshots of the moms all glammed up, dinner was catered, and they were treated to live music by two local choirs that joined forces to bring the house down. It’s truly become the largest event in our area for single moms. It was such an inspiring night.

Our theme this year was “Warriorz.” When thinking of a theme each year, we try to find something that will resonate with our single moms. Struggles they go through. Considering all the battles we fight every single day, and how we truly are warriors, it was a natural fit to choose this theme. Moms were treated with bracelets that matched the theme. 

Our featured speaker, Jennifer Maggio, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The Life of a Single Mom out of Baton Rouge, LA. Like I mentioned that night, for us to even be able to pull off having her among us was confirmation that we are doing something right! She is well renowned in the single mom circuit and sought out all throughout the year for speaking engagements. She told her story of living in poverty, dealing with abuse of all kinds, teenage pregnancy, abandonment of family, going to college while raising two babies, securing a job in a Fortune 500 company and ending that successful career to start a single mom’s ministry. She is proof that you still get to work towards the calling God has placed on your life it may take a lot more work than you thought it would but being obedient will also bless that path! There was not a dry eye in the house after she spoke, our moms were encouraged!

Daniel Ogunyemi was the first male speaker EVER to come and talk to our moms. He let them know that they are strong, loved and to never give up. Anastasia Phelps performed a special spoken word for our moms. Titled “Rise Up,” Anastasia brought intensity and passion to her words. Check out here facebook page, Beautiful Not Broken

And did I mention THAT CHOIR? Sanctuary of Praise and Urban Praise Choirs joined to bring three songs full of hope, praise, and encouragement in the house. We got to worship together, pray together and encourage each other. It was a moment I will never forget, you could feel the movement that was taking place!

We brought back the element of having women community leaders come to the banquet to be table hosts. We had over 80 women leaders come and sit amongst our moms and pour into them, some even brought extra goodies for their tables.  We also brought back our SMR Ambassador program, where we chose three moms who we knew had been working very hard this past year to make very positive changes to better them and their children’s lives. We were able to present these three moms with $100 gas cards on behalf of Victory Mission + Ministry as well as a “shield” pin that was specially designed for this year’s banquet. 

To be able to host the banquet this year at the DoubleTree was very special for all of us. We had their largest ballroom space, and it was beautiful. After six years of using a church space, for us to be able to host it in a lavish venue just amazes me.  IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER!

Thank you to all that pour your heart into this event each year in order for it to happen. We are very blessed indeed to have such strong support from our community and churches. I don’t know how we will top next year…but I’m already thinking of ways ☺


Janelle Reed

Founder, SingleMomzRock

In His Image-Recap from 6th Annual Valentine’s Banquet

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On Friday evening, February 9th, 2018, SingleMomzRock in partnership with Victory Mission + Ministry held our 6th Annual Valentine's Banquet at Central Assembly. Over 250 single mothers got treated to a glamourous evening of fun and fellowship just for them! They were escorted to their table by gentlemen with roses in hand. Their dinner was catered by Street Chef Catering, we had a couple of photographers on hand to take their picture, they listened to live music by Patrick Mureithi and mingled with other single mom's. It's truly become the biggest event for single moms in our area. Sarah Robertson from 96.5 graciously came back to be our emcee again and the moms love seeing her each year.

Our theme this year was "In His Image". We know how society makes women feel about their bodies and we wanted this evening to be about how God created us In His Image and He loves just how he made us! Our featured speaker was Gwen Mullins, out of Tulsa, OK. Gwen is one of SingleMomzRock’s featured monthly bloggers, a single mom herself, author, speaker and cancer survivor. We knew she was the perfect fit to speak into these mom’s about being made In His Image. She brought a powerful word about her story and how He got her through some of the toughest times and encouraged us to read the Word to get us through our toughest times as well.

We also asked Sarah Buxton, SingleMomzRock’s Director of Public Relations, to speak about her living with alopecia. Her strength and testimony were powerful and brought the house to tears when she took off her wig and showed us that she had just shaved her hair off one month prior to the banquet, to the day, because of the progression of her hair loss. This 21 year old powerhouse is a true inspiration.

We went with an Old Hollywood Glam theme and all our moms looked so glamourous all decked out in their gowns. This year we had over 200 formals donated for our event so no single mom had to worry about buying an outfit if they couldn’t afford it. The tables were covered with black tablecloths and adorned with white floral arrangements and old cameras. Even Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe made an appearance for pictures.

This year we added a couple new elements to the banquet. One being we invited women leaders from the public to come and be table hosts and to sit at the tables with our moms throughout the evening. This was a huge hit with everyone. We wanted to create intentional conversation and relationships between women in the community and our moms. One table host said this, “I loved it! It was truly amazing! I met some wonderfully awesome ladies. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of it”!

We also decided to create a new SMR Ambassador program, which is where we chose a few ladies who we knew had been working very hard this past year to make very positive changes to better them and their children’s lives. We were able to present three ladies with $50 Gas Cards on behalf of Victory Mission + Ministry as well as a bouquet of flowers. All three were shocked and grateful to even be acknowledged.

I was so thankful to have our event this year at Central Assembly, a church that has supported SingleMomzRock for many years. It was almost like a true full circle moment for me. What was even more special was having my new boss, Jason Hynson, Executive Director of Victory Mission + Ministry to see this event first hand. He talked about the new partnership of Victory Mission and SingleMomzRock and then he prayed for all the moms there that evening. I think I even saw him serving some meals to some ladies. He is a class act and I couldn’t be happier.

As I got up to speak, I let everyone know that I had not prepared anything really. Which is unlike me. This year was so different from last year. As I looked into the crowd of table hosts and all the single mom’s that I have worked with over the years, I let them in on a little secret. I almost gave up. Last year after my much needed break there was a time where I didn’t know if I wanted to come back. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue to do SMR. I was tired. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to just come home on certain nights and watch tv and relax with my girls. And every time I would think that way, one of the moms would message me saying, “thank you for helping me get through this” or “you were put on my heart tonight and I wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you”. I told them to never stop doing that. I struggle just like anyone else. I work full time, have my daughters and of course their activities, I am in my final legs of my bachelor’s degree all while running SMR. I am exhausted most days. But I just couldn’t give up. And in this past year, a lot of doors have opened up. An opportunity presented itself for SingleMomzRock to come under Victory Mission + Ministry’s 501c3 as well as me getting offered a full time job in the Development Dept. As I explained to them that evening, I would have never been able to come up with a more perfect job for me if I tried. God knew. And as I have prayed for years, for SMR to find a home, we found not only a home, but we found a family. As I said that evening, don’t ever give up because you never know what’s just around the corner. Just like I never even knew I would be working for Victory Mission and I sure didn’t think SMR would have a home finally. But both things have come true all because I chose to not give up. I don’t want you to give up either because you were made #inhisimage and He knows exactly what you need!

~Janelle 

It’s Perfectly OK to Not Be Perfectly OK.

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As 2017 ends and 2018 begins, many people are setting new goals and reaching for the stars. They’ve ended 2017 big and are ready for an even bigger 2018. My hat’s off to them and I’m truly happy for them. But, are you ready for a great big huge secret? My 2017 wasn’t so great. And to many of the single moms around me, they’ve whispered the same thing.

            Goals weren’t met.

            Relationships struggled or failed.

            Jobs were hard.

            Money was tight.

This has been said with eyes downcast and voices low. They felt as if they just barely made it to December 31st. And they are left wondering if something is wrong with them. Did God not hear their prayers? What happened?

So, I’m going to say this right here, Sweet Momma’s. It’s Perfectly OK to not be OK. It’s fine that life didn’t go as planned.

Want to know why I can say that? Because the Apostle Paul talks about it. Yes, the man who wrote most of the New Testament, the Apostle who taught us so much about faith, about God, and about the Holy Spirit.

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. Philippians 4:11-14, NLT

I see so much in this passage:

Paul knew how to be content in all situations.

He understood what it was like to have nothing.

He knew what it was like to have everything he needed.

Paul’s circumstances were hard at times. I mean, it’s hard when we don’t have the money to buy the chicken, so we feed the kids ramen noodles and add a can of corn or peas.

Paul experienced betrayal and hurt from those around him.

He was shipwrecked…while doing his God-given assignment.

But, Paul held onto something stronger than hunger, better than friendships, and as steady as his personal commitment to serve God. Paul knew where his strength could be found. That strength was found in Christ, His Savior.

Because of that, Paul could say he was never in need. Because all he needed was in Christ and in that, was contentment.

So, ladies, feel free to acknowledge, out loud, that 2017 might not have been everything you hoped for! Allow yourself to grieve what didn’t come to pass. Embrace the fact that some things just weren’t OK.

But, never let go of the source of your strength! Never lose sight of what keeps you going every day. Life isn’t always going to be easy. But, you know what? Life is constantly fluid and as you trust God, it will get better. That season is just that; a season. A time. A line on the timeline of your life.

That test is a testimony of God’s faithfulness. The time will come when you can look back and say, “Things weren’t OK and that’s OK. Because I kept believing and now look at how God took a difficult time and turned it into something beautiful.”

Have an amazing 2018, Momma’s!

Gwendolyn Irene

www.gwendolynirene.com