Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Local News

Madison Newcomers Program Looking for Members

The Madison Newcomers Club was created in 1968 to welcome new residents to town and provide valuable information to make transitions to the shoreline as smooth as possible. This group continues to not only welcome newcomers, but provides a wide array of speakers and lectures for residents and fundraises for a number of local non-profits and scholarship programs.

Club President Cindy Breckeimer, who is also a recently re-elected member of the Board of Finance, said the decades old organization is a vital source for those newly arrived residents and their families.

“The purpose is for new residents and those who have moved here in the last few years to meet people and become acquainted to the town,” said Breckheimer.

The group holds a monthly general meeting of the club, but also hosts five to six other events every month on topics ranging from diversity to where to find a local handyman.

“This year we have had the Madison Diversity and Inclusion Committee [and] Madison Youth & Family Services” at events, said Breckeimer. “This month we are actually having the school superintendent come and speak about the school referendum plan. So we always try to have speakers at our meetings to provide information about the town.”

The group also offers events for specific groups. Kids & Coffee for moms and kids to meet other locals, a sunshine group for those who may need a little positive reinforcement, a Wine Club, Gourmet Club, and Book Club are just a few of the offerings provided.

“We also have what we call SIG, or special interest groups, who come and speak to members as well,” Breckheimer said, “all designed to assist newcomers as to what is available, and to help them find out what Madison is all about “

The Newcomers Club also engages in a number of charitable activities and works closely with non-profits and local businesses. Breckheimer said it is a great way to fundraise for the many donations the club makes throughout the year.

“Our other big aspect is to be able to give back to the community. We do a lot of community work. This month we’re collecting money for the Food Pantry. We do coat drives, all sorts of events,” said Breckheimer. “We help out at the Bauer Park Festival every year doing a kid’s station; we do Touch a Truck every spring; and we also have a scholarship program where we give away a scholarship every year to a Hand High graduate.”

The club, just this year, has endowed a number of charitable organizations. According to Breckheimer, the group gives out welcome bags to new residents, has donated to ABC House and Neighbor to Neighbor, and also provided three separate $3,500 scholarships.

Breckheimer said anyone new to Madison is welcome to join. Members usually stay in the group for several years and “old” Newcomers members often are an integral part of the welcoming after they have become part of the community.

“This is a really amazing group. But we could definitely use some more input, because it’s such a wonderful way to welcome people into the community, and to have people feel like they are already part of it right from the beginning,” Breckheimer said. “This is such an important group for our community. It’s really hard when you move to a new community and don’t know anybody. We can handle all the questions—about doctors, schools, vets, and electricians—so our group really helps people connect and make friends along the way.”

For more information, visit www.madisonnewcomersct.com.

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