BY SARAH STEPHENS
Editor’s Note: Be sure to scroll all the way down for more photos from this fun event.
The Friends and Newcomers Club of Prattville-Millbrook (and area) celebrated 10 years of memories and friendship on May 2 at the Millbrook Civic Center. But it was much more than that.
If you ask local chapter founder Nancy Schrull how it went, she’ll tell you she just wanted to make some new friends. She founded the club on a similar organization where she once lived. She expected to have a group of about 10 women to meet and greet, eat lunch and support each other through life’s ups and downs. She emphasized that this club is not just about friends and newcomers. It welcomes women who have lived in the area all their lives, but need a change of pace or simply expand their social circles.
His original thought of “about 10 women” was hugely understated. The truth about what this local organization has really become is staggering. They recently welcomed their 71st member – and they will welcome other local ladies with open arms. (Husbands are also often invited to events.)
The organization’s mission statement is crisp and clear.
“Offering ladies a way to get to know each other. Become familiar with the community around them. Promote friendship through various club activities.
Sitting at the Civic Center last week, looking at the faces of these ladies was truly joyful.
What the mission statement does not say is how many tears could be seen as many women told their own stories of how they became members. Some called it life changing. He won’t tell you about the long, lonely nights of a widow, who had lost her best friend and her support group. But chance encounters or a newspaper article prompted her to establish this first contact.
A mission statement cannot explain how a single phone call has the ability to completely turn a horrible day into a joyful one. It cannot show hands held together during cancer treatments or healing from health issues and surgeries. Or the food! This group really loves their lunches and dinners.
Life is meant to be lived! While many of the members are older women, or we’ll call them well seasoned, there’s nothing boring or boring about friends and newcomers.
There are too many interest groups and activities to name here. I invite you to visit their website at www.friendsandnewcomers.org for a wealth of information.
But really understanding what can await you will still not be entirely clear. It will not show the games, the variety of opportunities, the trips, the lunches and dinners, the camaraderie….to understand one would have to join and be part of this wonderful organization.
During the celebration, there were door prizes, great food, shared memories, presentations and even a hilarious skit. But by far, for me, the most inspiring were the stories of individual members about how they think the club saved their lives or breathed new life into their world where they thought their best days were behind them. .
Unfortunately, I had other appointments to make and had to leave at the end of the official presentation. But the ladies stayed for much of the day visiting, talking, playing games and having fun. That’s what it’s about. I am so grateful to have been asked to help celebrate their day. I look forward to covering future events and sharing their good news!
The caterer for the event was A Lil’ Something Extra (Barbara Porter). The cake was made by Ashlyn’s Cake Cottage. Special thanks to the Founding Members Committee: Nancy Schrull, Beverly Vinson, Elizabeth Champion, Deede Smith and President Patsy Persons.
Tribute to the Newcomers Club
Newcomers Club, you saved my life.
I was alone, scared and blue
I thought my friendships were all in the past.
I had convinced myself that it was true.
Then, just at the bottom, you came to me
In the form of a phone call.
“I too am a newcomer,” said a friendly voice.
“And I learned to say Y’all.”
From that humble beginning came
More new friends than you might think.
But it wasn’t until I got involved
That the fun has really begun for me.
Now I’m the voice on the phone
Say, “Welcome – we’re glad you’re here.”
I’m an older newcomer you might say
And richer for both, that’s clear.
Newcomers club, hats off!!
Let your flag be forever unfurled
For the lonely, intimidated, you will continue to be
Friends of friends in this changing world.
Written by: Kay Shrider – High Point NC Newcomers Club
Yes YOU want to know more about friends and new arrivals, please visit this link to get in touch: https://www.friendsandnewcomers.org/contact us
SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE CELEBRATION AND THOSE WHO SPOKEN BELOW.