It has been many years since I wrote to you as president of the club, and although many things have changed, many have stayed the same. Writing this letter means that summer is winding down, but as I look out at my yard, the grass is green, the trees are lush, and today is a perfect day in Central New York.
I first joined as a new resident with young children hoping to make friends, find my way around the area and get recommendations for doctors and home repairs. Gourmet Dining gave me an opportunity to get out of the house with my husband and talk to adults after spending most of my time with small children. Eventually, I joined groups like Bunko, Bridge and Canasta, and started to make more friends. Book club offered a way to meet a different circle of members, and I was happy to be pointed toward books I might not have chosen otherwise, and later to join that group at the Rosamond Gifford
Lecture series. Working with the Volunteer Group has been rewarding as well and our club supports many local charities. Whatever your interests, there is bound to be an activity for you. . . and if you don’t see what you want, talk with our activities
chairperson, Ulla Brasz, and start your own!
We are already off to a great start of the year, thanks to Nancy Shepard and the many ladies who helped with the plant sale. We have raised over $700 for the ABC House. Other volunteer activities continue throughout the year, so please consider contacting Nancy if you have any ideas or want to join her efforts.
Consider attending our first luncheon of the season on Monday the 24th of September at the Cazenovia Country Club. There you can hear more about each of the club’s activities, catch up with friends, meet new people, and enjoy a good meal. I hope to see you there. (The reservation form for the Luncheon and the renewal form for membership dues are included in this newsletter).
I love Central New York!... for the natural beauty of the hills, lakes, and streams; the resurgence of downtown Syracuse; our educational and healthcare institutions; music and theater; and most of all, the friendly people.
I recently read that Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner proclaimed Central New York (CNY) to be a Compassionate Community under the Charter for Compassion. The Charter was first proposed by British scholar Karen Armstrong when she won a TED Prize in 2008. To hear her talk, go to this website: https://www.charterforcompassion.org/charter/historic-moments-for-the-charter. The main tenet of the Charter for Compassion is “treat others as you would want to be treated.” Every religion has a version of this “Golden Rule,” and more than 300 cities around the world have signed on to the Charter.
CNY may claim the Compassionate Community designation because Syracuse welcomes more than 1000 refugees each year, shelters and feeds the homeless, and is home to an organization called Women Transcending Boundaries that began with a Muslim and Christian woman sharing coffee after 9/11. The organization includes women from the many religious and cultural communities of CNY. They will host a World Interfaith Harmony Assembly with the theme, “Love is the Answer,” at University United Methodist Church, 1085 East Genesee St., Syracuse the evening of February 6.
Neighbors and Newcomers members, as individuals, honor the spirit of Compassionate Community by volunteering at food pantries, animal shelters, Francis House, Meals on Wheels, schools, refugee resettlement, playing Bunco at Brookdale, singing at nursing homes, knitting and sewing, providing flower arrangements to assisted living facilities, and donating clothing and household items for those in need. I’ve probably forgotten some. What others do you know?
We belong to Neighbors and Newcomers because of all the fun activities, but each year our Club donates to a charity. This year, in addition to supporting “Three Steps Forward” at East Syracuse Minoa Schools, we, also, contributed to Fayetteville-Manlius Dance Marathon, which will be March 18 and is the annual fund-raiser for Camp Good Days.
If you know of an eastern-suburb non-profit organization that will need our support next year, please let us know. The Neighbors’ board wants your ideas about charities and activities because this is your club. Send any suggestions to us or come to the next board meeting on February 6 at 10:15 at the Manlius Library.
Be sure to check inside to see what’s happening this month and in the months ahead.
Nancy Shepard, President