New Canaanite: Is the Newcomers Club of New Canaan part of a national or international organization? If so, please provide details of that organization, such as the year it started, its size and scope.
Claire Foster: The Newcomers Club of New Canaan is an independent entity and not part of a larger organization.
Please tell us a little about the Newcomers Club of New Canaan itself. When was it founded, how many members does it have and how often do those members meet? Also, please let us know how members may inquire about joining.
The Newcomers Club was founded in 1957. Since its inception, Newcomers has been an entirely unique and important part of the town’s fabric dedicated to welcoming new residents, helping them get engaged and build roots in New Canaan. The Club is currently comprised of just over 400 families having moved here from all over the country and world!
Newcomers plans dozens of events each month for its members. Members and their families can get involved with regular activities such as a weekly tennis clinic, couples supper club, monthly craft club, mommy & me yoga, or a book club. The Club also hosts special events throughout the year such as our famous Halloween party, fall & spring family fairs, dads & doughnuts, popsicle parties, cocktail parties, shopping events and so much more.
If you’re interested in finding out more, or to join Newcomers, we invite you to check out our new website! www.newcanaannewcomers.com.
Talk to us about local impact. What project or projects can you highlight to give our readers an idea of what the Newcomers Club has accomplished here in town?
The Newcomers Club and its members are always looking for ways to give back to the community.
Newcomers holds a biennial Homes for the Holidays House Tour – the largest local fundraiser of its kind. The 2015 Holiday House Tour raised over $60,000 in net proceeds which directly supported a number of hand-selected local charities. Over the past decade, the Club has donated over half a million dollars to a variety of worthy organizations located right here in New Canaan and throughout neighboring towns.
Newcomers also makes an impact on a daily basis – just ask any current or former Newcomers member! The lifelong friendships people form through the Club is unlike any other community or social outlet available in New Canaan. Whether it’s through rugrats tennis, fairytale Fridays, or weekly playgroup, kids grow up together through Newcomers. Adults, too, build friendships through participation in our events and committees.
How does the club raise funds?
The Newcomers Club of New Canaan is a not-for-profit social club, and events are paid for by their participants. The operational costs for the club are covered by new member dues. The biennial Homes for the Holidays House Tour is the Club’s major charitable endeavor which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities.
What does the organization support?
Newcomers supports families who are new to town. Our stated mission is to provide resources for new residents in an effort to help them build community–a critical component to settling in a new town. We offer this support in the form of local networking (e.g. where to pick apples, what local preschools offer, what restaurants to check out, etc.), adult-only social events, family-friendly activities, and volunteer opportunities.
Now tell us something about what you all do that might surprise the average New Canaanite.
Each winter, we reserve a train on Metro-North travelling from New Canaan to Stamford and invite Newcomers families to hop aboard (in their pajamas!) and take a ride with Santa while listening to seasonal music and enjoying treats. “Polar Express” is an event that sells out in minutes every year!