Newcomers' club takes all comers

The Newcomers' Club is opening its membership roll to everyone who lives on the Northern Olympic Peninsula.

Since its founding in the 1980s, the club always had restricted membership to those who recently moved to the area. Now anyone can join, says president Heidi Hansen.

Hansen said the club sometimes advertises to help expand the membership, but most new members are recruited by enthusiastic current members.

The club was formed to help introduce newcomers to the area, a job it accomplishes through a variety of fun means. Luncheon meetings, held the first Tuesday of every month, feature expert speakers on various topics including the local flora, the history of peninsula lighthouses and more.

But most of the meetings are purely social, including a monthly coffee and a once-a-month get-together for appetizers. Regular "dinners for eight" also are held.

New sub-groups spring up all the time and now include a book club, a chess club and the "Needlers and Hookers." The bicycling club took a trip to Whidbey Island in early September. A gardening club is the latest topic of discussion.

Fall events include a wine tasting at a local winery and a visit to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.

The club also holds fundraisers, with the proceeds donated to local charities. The club encourages volunteerism.

Members includes folks from Joyce, Port Angeles,

Sequim and points east, including Chimacum. Membership currently numbers 175.

Annual dues are $20 for a single person and $30 for families.

Jonda Rourke, a board member and the newsletter editor, moved to the peninsula in December 2008. She says the club was a great way to meet people.

Elaine Churchill, the membership chairman, is another newcomer. She noted many of the club's members have just retired to the peninsula. Their families are often elsewhere.

"It was essential to me. I was going stir crazy. This is a great way to meet people - to meet friends."

For more information, contact Elaine Churchill, 360-808-7044, or elaine Or visit

Reach Mark Couhig at

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 20
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates