Finding friends in a new place can be difficult, even in a growing city like Georgetown. That's why for the past 50 years, the nonprofit Newcomers and Friends of Georgetown has offered opportunities to meet new people and learn about the community.

In a nutshell

Newcomers and Friends of Georgetown holds monthly meetings and over 40 special interest groups centered around a variety of activities, from poker and bunco, to movie and book clubs.

In addition to their monthly meetings, the group encourages civic engagement and provides educational opportunities, such as day trips touring the Williamson County Courthouse or local fire department.

Most recently, Mayor Josh Schroeder spoke to the group about the upcoming bond election, the water supply and internet improvements Oct. 12.

The group often gives back to the community through honorariums in which the guest speaker can donate to a charity of their choice. Some examples of their recent donations include Harley's Angels Sanctuary, a dog rescue program that prevents euthanasia, and Faith in Action, a nonprofit that provides free transportation and support services to seniors.

The backstory

The group began in 1973 when four friends and new Georgetown residents, Jean Rusk, Patti Hewlett, Glen Compton and Jeannine Fairburn, decided to spread their newfound knowledge of local businesses.

The group would meet at Stonehaven Apartments on 18th Street, now home to the Stonehaven Senior Center, and treat themselves to doughnut holes and coffee, current co-President, Donna Hood said.

"They didn't just want to have people coming and going each year, they wanted it to be a forever organization, ... so that was why they called it 'Newcomers and Friends of Georgetown,' so that it wouldn't just be strictly for newcomers," Hood said.

The present

Now, the club has over 200 members, and the monthly meetings are hosted at the Hewlett Room in the Georgetown Public Library.

Hood said the Thursday morning meetings remain well-attended, and some members join from as far as Pflugerville. Yearly dues are $25.

"Over 50% of our members are from Sun City," Hood said. "Most of our members are older, but not because we want it that way. We are trying to get more younger people involved, and we have gotten some this year."

The bigger picture

Three years ago, Hood and the other co-president, Rudy Branham, met through Newcomers.

Branham had just arrived to Georgetown in 2019, and Hood was struggling to find social activities during the pandemic. Together, the two formed a mahjong group, and the rest was history, Hood said.

"Everybody needs to feel connected. Everybody needs something and someone to identify with. Georgetown Newcomers is a great place to do it," Hood said.