As is often stated, JA’s mission is primarily to provide needed services to the children and families of Taney County. Fulfilling this mission requires building a strong group of mutually supportive and engaged women, a task we take both seriously and with a view toward fun. In addition to our monthly membership business meetings, committee meetings and project activities, once each month members gather at a selected restaurant or other venue for a social time. Socials provide an opportunity for prospective members to get to know some of the current members, and for everyone to learn a little more about their JA sisters. We’ve checked out a variety of restaurants, tried out the Crown Valley and Missouri Ridge distilleries, visited Bear Creek Farms and had a baby shower. In October we will gather for a “retreat” which is really an excuse to eat and play together for an evening (with some educational content, of course!) These events help develop our esprit de corps and ensure that we are grounded in the “cheerful love” that inspires and sustains our work.