Welcome Club of Sarasota/ Manatee


There are no strangers here,
just friends we have not yet met.



Next Monthly Luncheon Meeting:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Message from the Co-Presidents


Do you remember what you were doing or (gulp!) how old you were 60 years ago? One of us (Mary Alice) was 7 going on 8, and the most important thing in life was finagling a seat next to her best friend Laurie in Sister Mary Margaret’s second grade classroom. One of us (Ellen) was 10 going on 11 and had moved from Brooklyn to Fair Lawn, NJ, a short, very quiet and shy fifth grader who struggled to make friends in a new place. If only Thomas Edison Elementary School had had a Welcome Club! She was lucky enough to find Joyce, now a lifelong friend who ultimately introduced her to a cute and funny guy who would become her husband.

Meanwhile, in Sarasota, a group of women talked about forming a club whose purpose was purely social…a place where women and couples would gather for fun and friendship, where no one was ever a stranger, whether they’d lived here for 10 days or 10 years.

And so, the Welcome Club came to be, 60 years ago this year. It was all about friendship then, and it’s all about friendship now.

That was never more evident than at Carnivale earlier this month, our Mardi Gras-style dinner and dance that featured our members in stunning costumes and one-of-a-kind masks and headdresses. As we danced – sometimes in twos, sometimes in tens! – we laughed and sang and linked arms with friends we feel like we’ve known forever. More than a few of us were feeling very thankful for our predecessors’ grand idea 60 years ago. And Carnivale was just the latest of many fun ways that we celebrate this remarkable anniversary in 2018. Watch your newsletter every month for more!

Mary Alice Czerwonka and Ellen Taub

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