This article can be found published on the Southern Chester County Weeklies‘ website.
Sometimes is can be hard to make new friends in a new environment, but the Kennett Square Area Newcomers Club is looking to change that for residents in the area.
The organization, which has been around for almost 40 years, offers a variety of events and activities for women — and men also — not only in Kennett Square, but also southern Chester County, southwest Delaware County and parts of northern Delaware.
“It’s not limited to just women, but that is who really are the ones participating in the activities most often,” said Nancy Hofer, the publicity chairperson for the club. “Men are invited to participate. Some of the dinner groups we have at restaurants or at different homes does involve couples.”
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The club offers luncheons, monthly trips somewhere and activity groups.
Basically, anyone can find something they’re interested in with the club.
“The range of ages among the women are pretty much around late 30s up to later 70s or early 80s,” Hofer said. “(The older ladies) don’t participate in as many things.”
The Newcomers Club holds a luncheon every month and typically has a guest speaker present.
“We might bring in somebody from the medical field to talk about women’s health issues,” Hofer said. “We have people from a variety of local stores including someone from West Chester come to give a discussion about using various olive oils. We’ve had people come in from local floral shops and talk about arranging.”
The club tends to plan activities around the cultural events constantly going on in Kennett Square.
Other times, ladies can partake in the trips, which can range from local spots to out of the state.
“In September, we’re going to Pennsbury Manor, the home of William Penn,” Hofer said. “It’s a tour of the mansion and then lunch on the property.”
The club has taken trips to Baltimore, New York City at Christmas time and are planning a trek to Washington, D.C., later this year.
Some of the activities offered include books clubs, home and garden, knitting, dinner clubs, community service groups, Longwood walkers, bridge games, bunko games and so much more.
The Newcomers Club is very involved with community service. A group in the club which plays chimes performs at the senior center regularly, make meals to feed the poor and make fleece blankets for Fleece for Keeps, among other things.
They also gave $1,000 donations to various organizations in the area, including the Special Olympics of Avondale, the Food Bank of Chester County, Kennett Square Meals on Wheels and the Kennett Square Senior Center.
When a woman has a younger child, it’s typically easier to bond with other women through playdates or on the playground, but for those whose children are older or if they have none, making acquaintances can prove to be more difficult.
“(The club) is a great way to learn your area,” Hofer said. “Some people that are coming into the club are older, in their 50s, and their husbands got transferred over because of their job. They’re planted here.”
There is no minimum or maximum number of activities or trips a member has to be involved in. You can do as little or as much as you’d like.
The Newcomers Club is run by an executive board of officers, heading by President Trisha Palmer, First Vice President Becky Hux, Second Vice President Barbara Bartash, Secretary Linda Clarke and Treasurer Wanda Kelly.
The current membership for the club, which has a cost of $25 annually, sits at 220 people, but they are always looking for more to join.
The club welcomes members to bring along a friend to the activities, especially trips, where they can see what they are all about.
“We offer a lot of diversity within learning more about the area,” Hofer said. “Because of all the different groups and the different women, you learn a lot. It makes you a little more comfortable learning the area. It’s a great group of women. You can find a niche with somebody interested in the same activities you are.”
For more information, visit their website at www.ksanc.org. There is also an introductory coffee on Sept. 10.