Fifty years of fellowship and good works for the community by a group of dedicated women were celebrated Sept. 19 at Cold Springs Country Club in Placerville to recognize the landmark birthday of the Placerville Fellowship and Newcomers Club.
Despite the “newcomers” moniker, some of the members of the club that helps local youth with scholarships, and other philanthropic efforts, have been with the group for decades, according to club President Jennifer Stoeckle.
“We are Newcomers, but some have been members for over 40 years,” Stoeckle, of El Dorado Hills, said. “We just enjoy the friendship and the good feelings we get from being in this club and what it represents.”
What it represents is impressive.
Founded in 1963, the club’s first president, Dorothy Patton, wrote then, “The objective of this club is to promote sociability, friendship and philanthropy, to promote and encourage the pleasure and recreation of its members, and to manage and conduct entertainment and social meetings for its members.”
The bylaws of the Placerville Fellowship and Newcomers Club go a step further, stating that “the objective of this club shall be to provide scholarships for worthy students entering college …”
While that worthy goal has been accomplished in spades, the club does not turn its back on the more fun side of membership, according to Stoeckle.
“Anyone wanting to join our club will have numerous activities to choose from, in which to participate,” said the president, who herself became a member in 2000. “We have bridge, book club, bunco, pinochle, Red Hatters, needlers, couples groups, TGIF Gals and committees you may join for our fundraisers.”
Additionally, the philanthropic side of the club is not limited to the three to five scholarships awarded each year.
“I believe our goals have evolved to benefit even more of the community,” Stoeckle said. “Each year we have two food drives to donate to various organizations in need. We also have a toy drive at Christmas time.
“Our board sets apart a certain amount each year to give to needy organizations. But, again, the largest part of our philanthropic budget goes to our scholarship fund.”
Stoeckle said the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Fellowship and Newcomers Club is its Fashion Show, held on the third Thursday of October. This year, mark your calendar for Oct. 17.
Also contributing to the scholarship fund are the proceeds from Game Day in February and the club’s annual Boutique each March. Raffle tickets each month also help swell the coffers.
The club meets at Cold Springs Country Club, 6500 Clubhouse Drive in Placerville, the third Thursday of each month, August through May, for a luncheon and short meeting. A program of about 40 minutes follows lunch, with the lineup including bands, singers, speakers and community leaders.
There currently are about 100 members in the club. Women interested in joining the Placerville Fellowship and Newcomers Club may attend a luncheon to see if it is indeed their cup of tea.
Cost is $14 and President Stoeckle asks that potential members call her at 916-933-8807 four days in advance of the luncheon date to set a reservation.
Stoeckle was introduced to the club shortly after she and her husband Charles moved to El Dorado County from the Bay Area upon retirement.
“I knew no one,” she recalled. “A friend of mine from the Bay Area introduced me to her sister living up here who was a member and I joined this club the first time I went to a meeting.”