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Camp Pendleton woman honored with "Heart to Heart" award

FALLBROOK – Rachel Gariepy, a military wife living on Camp Pendleton, was acknowledged by Fallbrook Women’s Connection at their April Brunch for her extraordinary work with the Pray & Play program now offered on the base.

When a children’s playgroup was recently discontinued at the base, Gariepy sought help to keep the concept alive as she saw the tremendous benefits it had for the moms and children. At the same time, Stonecroft Ministries was beginning to establish their new Play & Pray program on Camp Pendleton.

“Pray & Play” extends an opportunity for military wives and children to meet one another, enjoy new friendships and support, and study the Bible. Gariepy and Shirley Fender of Fallbrook defined their goals and developed the program that exists today.

A play group called God’s Kids (Moms and Kids) meets on Tuesday mornings to play and socialize, and the Pray & Play Moms meet on Thursday mornings to study the Bible and interact with one another. Both weekly events take place at the Abbe Reinke Community Center on Camp Pendleton. Childcare is provided by “Mentor Moms” on Thursdays.

The program started with six new moms approximately10 weeks ago and there are now 25 to 40 moms who are participating in some aspect of the new activities.

“The growth of the program is due to the persistence and commitment of Rachel Gariepy,” said Fender, who is Chair of Fallbrook Women’s Connection.

“Gariepy promotes the program on the internet and anywhere else she can communicate with military families on Camp Pendleton,” added Fender.

Gariepy was presented Stonecroft’s Heart to Heart Award for her enthusiasm, her desire to serve, her persistence and her heart for others.

Fallbrook Women’s Connection is seeking women who are willing to volunteer and support this ministry where needed. For more information on these programs, call Shirley Fender at (760)



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