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Winchester Area Newcomers Club


Winchester Area Newcomers Club

General Meeting

Guest Speakers



Our General Meeting with a speaker is held every month from September through May.




February 2024


Sarah Young


Sarah Young is the Rec Manager at County of Frederick Parks and Recreation. In this role, she manages 14  full-time employees and over 70 part-time employees. Her department is located in 8 different sites  serving over 400 participants. Her department is committed to promoting and providing quality parks  and recreational facilities, programs, and leisure opportunities for our community. She works closely  with Tanner Lippold who has recently been working with Paulette Jennis (Chair, Travel Club) on  coordinating our upcoming trip on the Cherry Blossom Odyssey Cruise in March. Paulette has been  working diligently with Tanner to create a partnership with their department so we can offer additional  trips for our members.  

Sarah works with active adults which includes two social clubs (the Gad Abouts in Stephens City and a  club in Gainsboro). Active Adult Social Clubs They are always looking to add new members to these  clubs. The monthly Mystery Trips are a focus of these two groups. A Mystery Trip leaves at about 9:00  AM and returns about 5:00 PM. Participants are instructed to dress comfortably, bring money for lunch  and enjoy! Mystery Trips have included a Llama farm, the Green Valley Bookfair, and a Lavender Farm.  Last month’s Mystery Trip was a visit to the Camera Museum in Staunton followed by lunch at the Wood  Grill, a visit to an antiques mall and to Sammy Lou’s Bakery in Strasburg. A Mystery Trip always includes  sweets and/or shopping on the way home. (Parks & Rec has a 20-person van, a 15-person van and a 12- person van.) 

The focus of their programming for active adults is to help people stay active and healthy. Facilities  include walking trails at Clearbrook Park (1/2mile which will be expanded to a full mile) and Sherando  Park (which has a lot of trails) as well as pickleball courts at Frederick Heights Park, at Clearbrook and a  planned opening of pickleball courts at Sherando Park in April 2024.  

WANC has partnered with Frederick County Parks & Recreation for the Cherry Blossom cruise in March. The trip is full. Sarah said how helpful it is to get input from WANC about ways that Parks & Rec can help  people stay active and healthy. Sarah brought printed copies of the Spring Parks & Rec catalog which is  also available on their website. P&R Spring 2024 Catalog Note that the Mystery Trips are in the Active  Adult section of the Catalog. The Department is looking into offering overnight trips. They are  considering a trip to Williamsburg or Richmond.


March 2024


John Conrad

President, Kiwanis Club of Winchester

John Conrad, President, Kiwanis Club of Winchester, VA John Conrad is the newly elected President of the Kiwanis Club of Winchester. The Kiwanis Club of  Winchester is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “Change the world one community and one  child at a time.” The Kiwanis Club is focused on the community. It is non-political and has a primary  focus on helping children in the community. The Club distributes funds to community causes (primarily  to help children). In addition, the Club provides $10,000 in scholarship money which is used in area high  schools. John described the membership of the Winchester Kiwanis Club as being a wide spectrum of  people. The Kiwanis Club has weekly (Wednesday) lunch meetings at the Moose Lodge on Cork Street.  The only requirement of members is to pay the $160 annual dues.  

The Kiwanis Pancake Day feeds about 6,000 people twice a year which brings in approximately $30,000.  These funds go back to the community, primarily for children. Many non-member volunteers help with  Pancake Day. John has served as the head of the Pancake Day Committee. Pancake Day was cancelled in  Spring of 2020 due to COVID. Subsequently, Pancake Day was moved to a drive-through event during  COVID which was very successful. The next Pancake Day (which has returned to an in-person event) is  scheduled for April 20. 

The Kiwanis Club puts on a Christmas party each year for approximately 70 elementary school children.  Each child receives a bag of presents specifically chosen for that child.  

The Club is looking for volunteers (even if you are not a Kiwanis member). Volunteers participate in such  activities as Pancake Day, road clean-up, and packing lunches for Bright Futures. Anyone interested in  volunteering should contact Patty Maples who will pass the information on to John.  


Speaker: Lauren Clouse

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Winchester Rescue Mission (WRM)

434 N. Cameron Street, Winchester, VA

Lauren Clouse serves as the CEO and supervises approximately 15 staff members at the 

Winchester Rescue Mission,  a faith-based, non-profit organization that has been serving people experiencing homelessness and poverty since 1973. In March 2022, it was named the “Non-profit of the Year” by the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber. Since its inception, WRM has experienced tremendous success in providing food, shelter, mental health services, and vital community engagement to numerous individuals experiencing challenges such as homelessness, job insecurity, and poverty in their lives. 


Lauren spoke passionately about the work of the Mission and the needs of their clients. Lauren asked us what we thought caused homelessness, and our  list included; medical expenses, divorce, loss of employment or under employment, domestic abuse, cost of housing, addiction, mental health. Lauren pointed out that these were all important factors, but the key to understanding the homeless was to realize that they often suffered from broken relationships, and unlike many of us who might suffer from some of the above, we most likely have a family support structure to help us out.


The Rescue Mission creates a space that is designed to reflect their clients innate dignity. The  current capacity is 10 women and 20 men. The Mission provides 3 meals a day and operates a food pantry. The Mission evaluates a client in order to determine the best way to meet their needs and get them back to independent living. The average stay for a client is 12 to 18 months. The Rescue Mission is renovating a property on Valley Road that will increase their capacity, but the need is great and they have to turn people away.


There are over 200 children in the Frederick County school system who are homeless! There are no homeless shelters for families in this area. Families are welcome to eat at the Rescue Mission, but there is only limited help from some area churches who will do temporary hotel vouchers. 


The Rescue Mission relies heavily on volunteers, and there is always a way they can use your volunteer help. Lauren is happy to give anyone who is interested a tour of their building on Cameron St.



Guest Speakers



Anna Lehman

Program Coordinator

Godfrey Miller Center


Kristen Laise

Executive Director

Belle Grove Plantation

Middletown, VA


Sharen E. Gromling


Shenandoah Apple Festival


Dr. John Toliver

Retired USDA Forest Service Research Scientist

& Associate Professor of Forestry at Louisiana State University

U.S. Army Vietnam era Veteran, Avid Naturalist, Conservationist.


Dolly Vachon

Board Member and 1st Vice President

Winchester Little Theatre


Andrea Cosans
Executive Director
Congregational Community Action Plan (CCAP) 112 South Kent St.
Winchester, VA 22601 


Robyn Miller

Executive Director

Winchester Area Temporary Transitional Shelter (WATTS)



Guest Speakers



Tonia Sweeney

Director of Volunteers for Blue Ridge Hospice


Mike Robinson

Local author of “Winchester Tales.”


Elizabeth Albert

Managing Director

Shenandoah Theater Summer Music Program


Sabra Veach

President of the Winchester Lions Club



Karen Rice

Director of Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning

Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV


Stacy McFarland & Jill Johnson

American Red Cross

Dr. Donna Michel

Winchester Medical Center “Walk with a Doc Program”