SR Welcome Club zooms into 40th year
By Denise Stewart
What began in Scripps Ranch in 1981 as a way to meet new neighbors is now celebrating 40 years of enduring friendships.
According to Becky McDonald, the Scripps Ranch Welcome Club’s founder, the original group had 12 members who met regularly to share games, crafts, coffees and luncheons. Occasionally, there were mom and tot activities and couples’ dining. Starting out back then as the Welcome Wagon, the group subsequently abandoned the “wagon” and has become a thriving club of 130 members.
“We are still going strong and making more wonderful memories,” McDonald observed.
The Welcome Club that began in ’81 has evolved through the years and is currently initiating some significant adaptations to fit the COVID-19 era.
Facing the realities of the COVID-19 epidemic has altered the club’s social calendar significantly, according to the current President JoAnn Farmen.
“We miss the togetherness that is such a significant part of our club’s identity, but we are making plans for smaller virtual gatherings that will support our relationships within our group until the current situation is over,” Farmen explained.
“The Welcome Club has purchased a Zoom account that will facilitate not only club business meetings, but coffee, lunch and evening gatherings to keep the members’ relationships thriving. We are currently setting up the systems that will support these social gatherings while we remain safe,” she explained.
Even though 2020 did not permit meetings and social events, members’ loyalty to the Welcome Club motivated them to pay their annual dues and to wait impatiently for the fun to resume. Without any significant expenses for the year, the Welcome Club board voted recently to renew all current memberships without any payment of dues for 2021.
The board and activity chairs are planning to rejuvenate the traditional social schedule of live gatherings as soon as such events are deemed safe and responsible. A catered celebration of the Welcome Club’s 40th Anniversary will highlight the agenda that should be possible later in the year.
The Bunco groups, trail walkers and movie goers are still on hiatus waiting for the inoculations to roll out, but the Zoom events will help to liven up the COVID calendar.
“Meanwhile, members can keep the warmth of friendships alive and have some fun over the internet,” Farmen said. “It will be a celebration when we all welcome one another in person again.”