Westborough Newcomers Club not just for newcomers
By Mary Pritchard, Contributing Writer
Westborough – The Westborough Newcomers Club has been welcoming new neighbors, connecting people, and supporting the Westborough community through their Community Giving Fund, for more than three decades.
Christina Zogg is in her third year with the “social and civic club,” which she said is open to all Westborough residents regardless of how long they’ve lived in town.
“My first year was as a member,” she said. “My second year I served in the role of historian/publicity and in June I became president of the club.”
According to Zogg, the club began in 1979.
“We have binders full of all the records going all the way back to the beginning,” she said. “The historian handles publicity and keeps a record of everything the club does. Although much of what we do is electronic now, we still continue to add paper records to the binders to pass on. We have a record of everything the club has done. The point is for the club to stay intact and to remain what it is supposed to be. Our records are a wonderful resource. We have old newsletters, treasury reports – everything.”
Members of the board are looking back through the history of the club and while technology has made it so easy to communicate, they want to bring back more of the personal interactions.
“We’re trying to go back to basics,” Christina said. “People used to pick up the phone – we plan to go back to a more personal connection, which worked well back then. We’re all so busy and it’s too easy to get caught up in email. We want that personal connection, which is one of the main reasons the club exists – to go next door and say, ‘Hi.’”
Zogg noted that the club, which has a membership of 70-plus families, is always changing.
“It’s interesting to see how board positions within the club have changed as well as the community. It is important to be able to reference back in history and also to document needs. We want to continue to have a lot of presence in Westborough; we have members of all ages, with children and without. We continue to develop with the needs of the community.”
At its kick-off party each September, the club announces its plans for the year.
“What we do depends on the needs,” she said. “Due to the economy, we try to plan social events that cost little or no money.”
The club supports scholarships, the Westborough Food Pantry, Westborough Little League and more.
“We ask members what they sense the needs are in town,” she said. “We plan out each year and really listen to people in the community. We are funded by membership dues, fundraisers and our newsletter advertisers. We now have some businesses sponsoring some of our events so we’re able to use more club funds for our donations to the community.”
The club was one reason Zogg and her husband chose Westborough when they moved from Stamford, Conn., in July 2010.
“We saw the club’s website, and that really made Westborough stand out for us,” she said.
“We’ve moved a lot in the past, so for us it was really important to ‘belong’ to a community where people know our name – to be part of a community rather than just a house number. We wanted to have real, true friendship connections. I’ve made my best friends through this club. It’s been so rewarding that I wanted to give back by becoming a member of the board.”
Christina encourages everyone to attend an event.
“You may not know anyone at your first event, but take the chance and go; you will make a connection with someone,” she said. “There are small and big events. Some include children and some don’t – whether a social event or our civic efforts, you can choose what you want to be a part of. Being a member of the club has allowed me to be involved in groups of all different ages and develop many friendships – the club has made Westborough feel like home so fast.”
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