One sign of a great community is the presence of a neighborhood association or in the case of Mountainside NJ, a Newcomers Club. Despite it’s name, this volunteer run club is open to all residents, old and new. For a nominal annual fee residents can attend events, partake in fundraisers and more. The board consists of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary Membership and Publicity department. Divided into five different committees, again run by volunteers, there is always something going on.
The Community Affairs committee organizes various fundraisers and drives throughout the year, like book drives at the Mountainside Public Library and clothing drives. It’s most popular event though is the town-wide Garage Sale once a year in September. Residents can register their garage sale and are placed on a map that is distributed online to shoppers. The usually quiet streets of Mountainside really come to life on this day. This past year there were over 70 homes that participated.
The Children’s Activities committee coordinates fun and engaging children’s events each month. Some of our favorites are the Valentine’s Day party, Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween events. These events are very popular and fill up quickly!
Ah, Ladies’ Night Out. This committee organizes monthly events like trivia night at a local watering hole, holiday cookie exchange and a Favorite Things Party. This is an excellent way for women in town to connect and make long lasting friendships. This committee even goes as far as putting together tables of “newcomers” at the Mountainside PTA’s annual Spring Fundraiser – so those new to town don’t have to worry about who to sit with!
The Social Committee organizes three big events each year with the staple event being the Progressive Dinner. This exciting couples night out is most member’s favorite event of the year. How it works is everyone meets at an “appetizer house” then gets split up into more intimate groups of 8 or 10 at separate dinner houses, finally everyone ends the night together at a “dessert house”. 2017’s Progressive dinner took place on April 1 and I (Christina) was brave enough to be one of the dinner hosts. My husband and I can definitely say that we made some new friendships and we had a great night out.
Finally there is L.I.F.T. (Love, Interest, Friendship and Time). The L.I.F.T. committee coordinates meals for members in need due to a birth of a baby, death or serious illness in the family or any other circumstances. Members volunteer to contribute different portions of the meal (appetizer, entree, dessert). I just participated in this for the first time and there is something about helping a neighbor in need that is so fulfilling. New members also receive a baked good welcoming them to the club!
If you already live in town but aren’t a member yet, download the application by clicking on the link below or check out their public Facebook page to get a taste of some of the great events held monthly!