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New Residents Club celebrating 55th anniversary

By Staff | Jul 21, 2022

The Cape Coral New Resident Club is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year. A special dinner dance is planned on Saturday, Sept. 17, with entertainment provided by “Peace of Woodstock.”

“It’s exciting to be able to celebrate 55 years of an organization that’s sole purpose is to create friendships and have fun,” said Dot Binder, president of the Cape Coral New Resident Club.

In 1965, Helen Peck and her husband Milfred purchased a home in Cape Coral, known as the “waterfront wonderland with more canals than the city of Venice, Italy.” The developers, the Rosen Brothers, tasked their Marketing Director Paul Sanborn to find ways to entertain the residents of the growing development. The local hotel agreed to allow the local kids access to their pool once or twice a week, and Sanborn started holding potluck dinners at the Yacht Club. The residents started looking forward to these events and as the neighborhoods continued to grow, so did their friendships.

Helen Peck could see these potlucks as an opportunity for something more, and she had ideas of what that might look like. So she would visit Sanborn at his office several times during the week. Sanborn finally decided that Peck needed something to do, so he convinced her into taking over the potlucks. So take over she did, and decided that there could be something more than just the potlucks, and in 1967 the New Residents Club of Cape Coral (“NRC”) was organized. The constitution she helped create is still at the core of all the club does. Peck envisioned that the NRC would “give newcomers the opportunity to exchange ideas and form friendships”.

Fifty-five years later, the potlucks are the same as they were in 1967, but they are now held in members’ homes, at local parks and at restaurants. In addition to potlucks, there are monthly events that have become members’ favorites, including the dinner dance with catered food and live bands; ladies luncheon held at local restaurants; men’s breakfast; and cocktails on the Cape, along with weekly activities such as bocce, bunco, cornhole, euchre, golf leagues, mahjong and pickleball to name a few. There are also special interests groups such as the boating, CC Ryders Motorcycle, Night Owls & Families, Singles Mingle and Widows Groups. Activities and groups are continually evolving and members are encouraged to start new activities and groups that reflect their interest.

The general meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 9:15 a.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.) at the Lake Kennedy Center, located at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd. The meetings were previously held at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, but due to planned renovations, the meetings and dances were moved to the Lake Kennedy Center.

The meetings are a great opportunity to socialize with other members, while having a complimentary continental breakfast. The activities for the month are reviewed and there is a guest speaker each month speaking on local interests and topics.

Upon joining the NRC, the new member will be placed into a group with others who joined at the same time. The group will hold its own activities, as well as participating in events held by the NRC as a whole. The group is typically 40-55 members. This gives new members the opportunity to get acquainted with their group, but still involved with the NRC as a whole in the numerous activities planned. More opportunities to make friendships.

Personally, said Dot Binder, “My husband and I have been Cape Coral snowbirds for several years, and all we heard about was the New Resident Club and how much fun they were having. In 2020, we knew it was time to leave Austin, Texas, so we started considering different areas to live in Florida. Cape Coral was at the top of our list, basically due to the New Resident Club. We joined in March of 2021 and have never regretted our move to Cape Coral, due to the opportunity to meet NRC members and attend the activities. The NRC is more than a club — it’s a family.”

For information regarding the Cape Coral New Resident Club, check out their website www.capecoralnewresident.com or email info@capecoralnewresident.com.