Fun and games and capes and ice cream in Farmington
Sarah Carrero believes single moms are heroes, which is the short explanation for why there will be a few dozen women and children running through Farmington in costume Saturday.
It's the latest installation in a series of events designed to get single moms out and active.
Since last fall, Carrero has been the driving force behind a one-woman organization called MaxaMom. Her goal has been to get single parents out and doing things together -- to help keep them from turning into what she calls Mombies. So, she's organized trips to the Apple Valley Fire Department and the Burnsville Police Department. She arranged a February trip to explore helicopters at the Assault Helicopter Battalion in St. Paul.
"I've kind of found that I have a gift to make people happy, as arrogant as that might sound," said Carrero, who is a single mom herself. "I do my best to put together events that are fun and empowering."
MaxaMom was really born at Caponi Art Park. Carrero was volunteering there when she helped put together a Halloween event that included an obstacle course for parents and kids to run through together. The event ended with parent and child running down a hill into a giant pile of leaves.
The activity went over well, and things have been growing ever since. Carrero has put together a website at maxamom.com and a facebook page. She keeps both stocked with ideas for activities as well as connections to businesses that have offered discounts for single parents.
She has also tried to plan at least one group outing every month, though she missed March when her daughter had her tonsils out. For May, that event is a costumed 5K run -- complete with a stop for ice cream -- through the streets of Farmington.
Carrero said she chose Farmington for this month's event because of the World War II reenactment taking place the same day at the Dakota County Fairgrounds. She has a friend who is involved in the reenactment, and she figured moms who showed up to run might want to check out that event as well.
The route for Saturday's run was still up in the air late last week. Carrero planned to map it out after work. The only thing she knows for sure is that there will be a stop at Cow Interrupted for refreshments.
"We're doing a 5K. We're probably stop in the middle and get some ice cream because we're not super athletic," Carrero said.
And the superhero costumes?
"Really, that's what single parents are."
There is no charge for the event. For the time being, at least, MaxaMom is not a money-making venture for Carrero. She does it because she has fun, and because she likes to help others have a good time.
"I'm trying to empower parents to live their lives and have wonderful times," she said. "Single parenting can be hard at times."
More information about May 18 run, as well as a route, will be available soon at the MaxaMom Facebook page, facebook.com/maxamom.