Community, Latest News

Newcomers Club looking for new, longtime residents alike

MORGANTOWN — If movie nights, picnics at Coopers Rock State Forest and getting to know fellow neighbors piques your interest, joining the Morgantown Community Newcomers Club might be the perfect opportunity to do all that and more.

“People that come to town can find a place to belong and also to meet other people,” said Patricia Stewart, founder of the Newcomers Club and owner of Pat Stewart Realtors. “Something only survives if it meets a need and it, evidently, meets a need of the town.”

Originally founded in 1976, Stewart said she started the group after she acquired and sold several houses. As new people began moving into the area, she recognized a need to integrate new residents, help them get to know Morgantown and get to know one another.

“I just put a little ad in the paper and on Sunday afternoon 25 people showed up at my house,” she said.

More than 40 years have since passed and the club now has more than 80 members and is always looking for new ones to join. Newcomers might be in the name, but the club isn’t exclusive to only those who recently moved in, nor is it exclusive to those living in Morgantown. Those born and raised in Morgantown or those in the surrounding communities are just as welcome to join.

From coffee hours at members’ homes and community speaker events to luncheons at local restaurants, even those native to Morgantown and the surrounding area can find new ways to enjoy the region. Smaller interest groups are also available within the club to members looking to make friends with those with similar interests. Exploring the town with the walking group, playing cards during a game night, cooking up a new meal, or learning to play Mahjong are just a few offered. 

“Our wine-tasting group is very active,” said Denise Berrebi, co-president of the club. “We have Saturday wine-tasting parties which are nice, and a lot of people like to come and do that.”

Denise Minnear, a longtime member, said the Newcomers Club helped her when she moved here about 18 years ago. 

As an avid runner, she remembers being able to step outside and have plenty of places to walk or run when she lived in Albany, N.Y. When she moved to Morgantown, she feared she would not have as many opportunities or places to run. 

Through the Newcomers Club, she found a way to continue her running.

“One of the things that really helped me when I first moved here was learning about the rail-trail system,” she said. “I was a little bit overwhelmed because there was really hardly any place to go run on the streets and such — it was a little bit tough. I was happy to find the rail-trail.”

The club also offers larger events throughout the year, including trips to Pittsburgh. An annual picnic at Coopers Rock is the next event, which will be Sept. 19. 

Club dues are $30 per year and those interested in joining can apply online at or contact Berrebi via email at Additional information can also be found on the club’s website at

TWEET @DominionPostWV