“I’ve met so many nice people,” said Sherri Jacobs, who, as a member for approximately a year, is currently serving as the club’s second vice president. Born and raised in Canfield, Jacobs said members of the club come from all walks of life and range in age from 20’s to 60’s.
One other member knows all too well the benefits of the club. Julie Van Devender was once new to the area herself and with the exception of a few relatives, “didn’t know a soul.” She said a neighbor’s invitation changed all that.
“I really enjoyed the activities,” said Van Devender, who moved to the area three years ago and is now serving as club treasurer. She referred to Welcome Wagon of Canfield as “a blend of social and philanthropic,” a club which wants to be sensitive to its members and its community.
Welcome Wagon of Canfield meets monthly, September through May, and is actively seeking new members.
Van Devender shared that meetings include socializing, special guests and the promotion of their mission of forming lasting friendships while actively promoting charitable and civic causes. Van Devender added that the clubs primary focus is to be a gathering place for women in the area to meet and make friends.
Last year’s activities included a crazy hat party, yoga instruction, and an all-encompassing birthday party. In addition, Welcome Wagon of Canfield offers a book club, and occasional opportunities for casual dining, which include husbands.
According to Van Devender, the group has recently added babysitting services to their meetings making them that much more accessible.
While the older version of Welcome Wagon is a for-profit organization, “We are a club,” said Van Devender, one that she said is currently facing the challenge of a possible name change and move to 501 (c)(3) status. That move would offer donors the opportunity to write off their donations.
With the majority of their funds raised at one main event, which is held in April, this years “Gala for Giving” is already in the works, and promises much in the way of entertainment.
According to Van Devender, Welcome Wagon of Canfield donated approximately $5,000 to local charities, including Beatitude House, Help Hotline, Make-A-wish, and Sojourner House last year. Jacobs added that all of the charities to which they donate are local.
While their current membership of 40 is comprised mostly of women from Canfield, they do have members from Boardman, Poland, and Austintown. Jacobs added that membership is open to all residents of the Mahoning Valley.
Those interested in learning more about Canfield Welcome Wagon can find them on Facebook, visit their website at www.CanfieldWelcomeWagon.com, or contact Jacobs direct at 330-507-3093.
Photo by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
As members of Welcome Wagon of Canfield, Julie Van Devender and Sherri Jacobs enjoy the clubs primary focus of being a gathering place for women in the area to meet and make friends.