Ballantyne Magazine

SUMMER 2019

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Members of Carolina Women's Club's home and garden group gather at a private home for a container gardening workshop. New Friends was established in 1989 to offer a broad range of activities and functions for members and their spouses. The group currently has about 300 members. In addition to a monthly members' lunch at a local country club, members can take part in smaller groups, depending on their interests: book clubs, movie and dinner clubs, lunch groups, bunco, bridge, theater/play groups, gardening and couples' dinners. Monthly membership meetings provide opportunities for guest speakers (a recent speaker came from the TV show "Antiques Roadshow"), and every year the group picks a local charity and raises funds. Members cite a variety of reasons for joining. President Kathy Consler was new to Charlotte and knew no one in the club when a woman working at HomeGoods mentioned New Friends to her. "Few of us are native Charlotteans, and everyone needs someone you can talk to," Consler says. "We call ourselves the sisterhood." Membership Vice President Karen Bearss, a 13-year club member, concurs. "This club saved my life. I knew no one when we moved to Charlotte. I had immediate friends and a calendar full of activities to choose from." Originally from the U.K., Jean Griffiths lived in Los Angeles for 14 years before moving to Charlotte after her divorce, to be closer to her daughter. "I thought I might not fancy being in a group of all women, but I went to a newcomers' coffee and everyone was so welcoming," she says. Since joining in 1999, Griffiths has been active in the Lunch Bunch group, mah-jongg, Matinee Madams and bowling — "I was the worst bowler of all," she says, noting that it was still a lot of fun. "It's a great way to become involved in the community, whether you are new to Charlotte or have lived here for years," Griffiths adds. Carol McPhee and her Carolina Women's Club BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2019 51 Feature

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