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|Rolling out the welcome mat|
|Tuesday, 25 August 2009 16:14|
Since 1965, the Newcomersâ€™ Club of Duxbury has been helping families get acquainted with their new hometown. Club officers, however, say that the club is much more than a welcome wagon, and provides social activities and charitable support for all residents.
Many of the the clubâ€™s 125 members are stay-at-home moms, who join the club looking for play-group opportunities for their children. In fact, thatâ€™s how co-presidents Maggie Sanford and Megan Lemieux first got involved with the club â€“â€“ Sanford when she first moved to town, and Lemieux when she left the working world to start a family. However, in their new leadership roles, the two want residents to know the club is so much more than childcare.
â€œThe club provides social and recreational services ... it also raises money for charities,â€ said Sanford.
The Newcomersâ€™ Club tries to hold at least one to two events a month. They can range from a monthly book club to a ladiesâ€™ night out activity, field trips for the kids and wine tastings for the adults.
The club also provides a significant amount to charities. The club was incorporated as a non-profit in 1982, and excess profits from any of the clubâ€™s events are given back to worthy causes.
â€œAny money that is made for any event [over and above covering the costs] is donated to the community,â€ said Sanford.
Some of the recipients of the clubâ€™s charity over the years have included the Duxbury Bay Maritime School, the Duxbury Education Foundation, Friends of the Duxbury Library and Crossroads for Kids. Sanford said the club tries to pick local charities. The Newcomers have also made connections with local businesses, such as participating in the Duxbury Business Associationâ€™s Holly Days event.
â€œBecause weâ€™re a non-profit, and weâ€™re trying to give back to the community, we also want to support local business,â€ Sanford said.
Last year, the Newcomers donated almost $10,000 to local charities.
The club also reaches out to its members in need. Helping Hands is an inter-club organization that seeks to help members in need, such as bringing meals to new moms.
â€œWe gather together and provide things where we can,â€ said Sanford.
The club isnâ€™t just for mothers with children, however. Sanford and Lemieux pointed out that there is an offshoot of the club called the Empty Nesters, people whose children have already grown and flown the coop.
Overall, the two co-presidents stressed that the Newcomersâ€™ Club is all about getting to know your neighbors, and giving back to the community.
â€œItâ€™s been such a positive experience for us,â€ said Sanford. â€œWe really want to get the word out. There are a lot of opportunities to meet new people.â€
â€œIâ€™ve met people that I wouldnâ€™t have otherwise met,â€ added Lemieux.
Sanford said that sheâ€™s felt more connected with the workings of the town since joining the club.
â€œI love Duxbury and I feel like Iâ€™m part of whatâ€™s going on,â€ she said.
The club has a yearly membership fee of $40 dollars, but some of their events, such as the upcoming Octoberfest-themed event Oct. 3 at Duxbury Bay Maritime School, are open to non-members as well.
â€œIt would be a good fit for a lot of people. If you grew up here you can still join the club,â€ said Sanford.
For more information or to apply to the club online, visit duxburynewcomers.com.