COLUMBIA — As Annie Freeman carefully watched her 15-month-old son play at Stephens Lake Spray Park, she recognized someone that she said has become somewhat of a celebrity in the community.
"She's the famous Como Kids lady," Freeman said before she introduced herself to Shannon Patterson, the creator of a local website that has gotten many parents around Columbia involved in different local events. The two ladies chatted for a bit until Freeman said something that Patterson later said was the reason behind her commitment to her website, comokidsfun.com.
"Thank you," were the simple yet profound words Freeman uttered to Patterson.
As a new mom in 2008, Patterson said that she was frustrated with always having to look for something to do for her family. "If I was looking for things to do, I was sure other parents were too. I was sure I wasn't alone," Patterson said.
Her goal was as simple as to make events easier to find around Columbia. And in December 2009, Patterson began putting these ideas into her very own website.
She began to put events together that she heard about from word of mouth and places that she visited. She updates and checks her website about four hours a day around her son's schedule, she said. Her motivation behind the website was to serve the community from experiences that Patterson said she deals with herself, experiences such as constantly looking for family events.
Patterson's website lists family-friendly events going on around Columbia but with a personal touch. She includes family pictures on the site, mostly of her 2-year-old son, Clay. "Most people recognize (Clay) first when we are out," Patterson laughed.
Patterson has also had "I love Como Kids" shirts made, which her son wears proudly. "I knew parents were going to like the website," Patterson said.
Read the rest of the story on the Missourian Neighborhood News blog.