New to York County? Find some friends


Packing up a home and moving to a completely new town or city and then adjusting to the move is no easy task, but one York County club wants to make it easier than ever to meet new people when the unpacking is done.

New Friends of York County — a group formed to introduce York County women and offer them an opportunity to form friendships — is looking for members.

There's wine: Women of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to join, even if they aren't new to the area, said Cheryl Smyers, who joined the group after moving to York County from Ohio several years ago.

The group includes interest groups that focus on a wide range of interests, including book discussion, wine tasting, crafts and movies, Smyers said.

"We also always encourage our members to start interest groups," Smyers said. "Last year we had someone join who was quite good at mahjong, so she started a mahjong interest group. We have a very active bunco group and lots of activities that can include husbands as well."

As an active member of the book discussion group, Smyers is looking forward to the upcoming discussion on Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" on Wednesday.

Groups meet at different times of day so that "career and non-career people can work their schedules around their interests and our meetings," Smyers said.

Monthly meetings — which are usually held at Perkins, 2500 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township, on the third Thursday of the month — feature guest speakers and community service opportunities.

Welcome Wagon: New Friends of York County grew out of the local Welcome Wagon club, an international network of clubs that was founded in the 1920s by a Tennessee businessman who hired hostesses — women who were friendly and knowledgeable about their neighborhood — to personally deliver baskets of gifts supplied by local businesses to new homeowners.

The network of hostesses expanded across the country, and Welcome Wagon became one of the first all-woman companies in the country.

"In York it had just evolved into a separate new friends group, and they decided the membership should be open to any woman in York County, not just the new," Smyers said of the group. "Now we have this wonderful mix of ages and interests."

Smyers said it has been a joy getting to know different local women.

"We laugh a lot, and it's always fun to learn about each other," she said.

For more information about the group, visit, send an email to, or call 717-718-8683.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at