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Planning, participation and pot luck for SCC

By Staff | Sep 29, 2017

Chronicle photo by Vanessa McGuigan Mike Austin addresses Community Club dinner goers.

The Shepherdstown Community Club held an open forum meeting and free pot luck dinner on Tuesday to get ideas for breathing new life into the organization.

“We have an aging membership,” said former Community Club President, Mike Austin. “Our constant frustration is that we are living in a ‘university’ town and we have limited interaction with the college. We’d like to see more young people at these events, and to make that happen we need to find ways to be more relevant in their lifestyle and what creates interest for them.”

The Community Club owns the War Memorial Building and Morgan’s Grove Park. Membership dues and large annual fundraisers like the Back Alley Garden Tour and Tea and the big book sale (coming up in October) help them maintain these two properties. However, the club feels those things are secondary to a desired primary role of serving the community.

“There has to be a balance between what we do as fundraisers and what we do just to make people feel like this is where they belong – this is the extension of their social life into the community,” Austin said. “It’s not enough just to say we exist to maintain the building and the park. The more that the club reflects what you’re interested in, the more vital it’s going to be.”

With many events in Shepherdstown happening concurrently, Austin expressed a desire to partner with other civic and community groups to collaborate on events whenever possible.

Attendees brainstormed many ideas such as more free community pot luck dinners, game nights for college students, providing Thanksgiving dinner to families in need, free or low-cost activities for families with young children such as story and craft nights, community movie viewing and membership drives, among others.

One idea that was well-received was the implementation of a physical community calendar to be located on the corner of King and German streets. The club will address that issue with the Town Council.

Additionally, the club plans to improve its social media presence and revamp its website to help enhance their relevance.

Membership to the Community Club is $30 per year for individuals, $45 for families, and $15 for students. For more information about the club or upcoming events, visit their website shepherdstowncc.org.