It was just two years ago this month that the Canyon Lake Family Matters Club burst on the scene in Canyon Lake. Founder Shawna Bowen had noticed clubs for women, men, kids and specific organizations; but what she really wanted was a group that was more family-oriented. As a result, she created Canyon Lake Family Matters, a POA-sanctioned club that supports families and community. All ages are welcome, with or without kids.
Shawna has been a Canyon Lake resident for six years. She is the mother of two teens, both active in the community. Her daughter, Karina, has been a member of the Royal Court and this year served as Mermaid Queen (an ambassador position) for the Canyon Lake Woman’s Club.
The first year’s president was Tammy Macias, the reigning Mrs. Canyon Lake and Volunteer of the Year for 2013. Serving as president of the club last year and this year is Sosy Robinson, the winner of this year’s Citizen of the Year award.
Because youth are involved in the club, there is a junior committee. There, too, it’s clear that volunteerism is a priority as several of these junior members have served as community ambassadors on the Canyon Lake Royal Court and in other volunteer positions.
The Family Matters Club holds meetings the first day of every month in various locations, depending on the season and activity. Members are kept informed via their “Canyon Lake Family Matters Club” Facebook page.
The club hosted or significantly assisted with several community events last year, including the Cosmic Carnival, Flick n Float, Renaissance Faire, Halloween Carnival and Towne Center Tree-Lighting.
Fundraisers included a Troys Pizza Fundraiser, Grads and Dads Fundraiser, selling snacks at Family Movie Nights and two Quartermania events, among others. These helped provide funds for such outreaches as a Senior Spaghetti Dinner at the Senior Center and the Santa Letters and Gifts. Miscellaneous activities included Beach and Park Cleanup Days (followed by free spaghetti dinner), Paddle & Potluck and a Turkey Hand Coloring Contest.
In addition, Family Matters supported Fiesta Day with a parade entry and booth, as well as decorating a median tree at Christmas.
The club also holds what it calls a “Family Meet-Up” several times a year. Last year, members visited the Fingerprints Museum, De Jong’s Dairy, Perris Police Station, Storm Stadium, Legoland Park, Mr. Joe’s Farm and the Orange Empire Railway Museum.
Shawna says, “In addition to all the great, no-cost or low-cost events this year, we were able to make several donations to families in need.”
All of these events and activities take time and organization. Shawna says the Family Matters Club is the first and only Canyon Lake organization to offer President’s Volunteer Service Awards for volunteer hours. It’s no surprise that Sosy Robinson, the main cook for most of the above meetings and activities, was named this year’s Citizen of the Year.