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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husband retired early and moved to Charlotte from Syracuse, N.Y., in 2002. She joined New Friends in 2004, and she and her husband have both made friends in several of the couples' groups. "I also really enjoy the Sip and Stitch group, which has some very talented women who crochet, quilt and do needlepoint," says McPhee. The group donates many of its finished pieces to Levine Children's Hospital, Turning Point Women's Shelter and the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. "New Friends is such a welcoming, easy group to join," she says. A second women's club in the area opened in 2011 and counts as members 270 women, ages 40 to 70. According to Past President Kacie Arandas, the club's overall mission is to conduct educational, charitable and social activities for women. Interest groups focus on books, food, bridge, bunco, home and garden, travel and other topics. Carolina Women's Club (CWC) also has couples' wine and dine events, as well as luncheon meetings and a few evening meetings. The club's philanthropic activities include sorting food at a food bank, holding fundraisers and participating in charity walks. A year ago, CWC began sending volunteers weekly through a United Way program to Renaissance West STEAM Academy in Charlotte to read to kindergartners. Each volunteer is assigned to the same child for a year. CWC member Connie Thomas coordinates the effort. "I wanted to make friends and have fun but also was looking for a philanthropy," she says of CWC. Each week after Thomas and fellow members volunteer at Renaissance West, they often go to lunch and share stories of their time with the kids. "I've enjoyed the social time with the other women as much as the time reading to my student," Thomas says. Philanthropic endeavors are some of Arandas' favorite activities in CWC as well. Once she quit a hectic, full-time sales job, she had more free time and was looking to connect with other women. Knowing no one, she went to a meeting with a friend and ended up signing up to lead one of the CWC groups. She's so glad she did. "That was the boost I needed to put myself out there and just go for it," she says. "I get back in spades what I put out there." Carolina Women's Club members (above) enjoy the session led by Proper Flower's Melissa Martin (below, center) with help from Ashley Schewyzk and Brooke Burch. New Friends of Carolina and Carolina Women's Club welcome women of all ages. For more information on membership or to sign up for an informational coffee or lunch, visit newfriendsofcarolina.com and carolinawomensclub.com. The Ballantyne Connection group on Facebook has more than 33,000 members. You may send a request to join at http://bit.ly/2IHm5BA. BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2019 52 Feature

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