History of Newcomers & Neighbors

The concept of an organization for newcomers was originally presented to the Kenmure Country Club Board of Governors by Alice Soder. The idea was endorsed and referred to the social committee; Betty Watson, secretary, presented the idea in the newsletter and several persons responded.

Known originally as Kenmure Newcomers, membership was limited to those who had lived in Kenmure three years or less. As the organization developed, members so enjoyed the activities that the length of time one could remain a member was extended several times. 

In December, 2005, the membership approved a major Bylaws that included the following:

  • Opening membership to all Kenmure property owners, regardless of the time they have lived in Kenmure. 
  • Requiring membership in Kenmure Country Club after one year in Kenmure Newcomers, with the exception of existing members who were not members of KCC and were "grandfathered in." 29 households were originally in this classification.

The KCC Membership requirement was made for the following reasons:

(The following is excerpted from Kenmure Newcomers Newsletter, Nov, 2005)

  • Kenmure Newcomers (KN) is an organization that successfully introduces new residents to the Kenmure community by providing a strong program of social activities.
  • KCC is a vital part of the Kenmure community. In addition to providing sports, social and dining facilities, it increases the value of all Kenmure real estate. Its success helps to ensure our property values and resale values, and is a necessary factor to life in Kenmure as we know it today.
    •  Many golf communities have experienced financial difficulty when the developer leaves. We are fortunate to have the current management and ownership. Constant investments in the facilities have further increased property value for each Kenmure property owner.
  • It is a concern that KN will provide the necessary elements for an active Kenmure social life for a nominal annual fee and that it could erode KCC memberships.

Due to the popularity of the open membership program, the membership voted in November, 2006 to:

  • Permanently open membership to all Kenmure property owners.
  • Continue the KCC requirement as established in 2005.
  • Change the name of the organization to Kenmure Newcomers & Neighbors.

As of April, 2015 there are 5 Grandfathered members remaining. The others no longer have grandfathered status because they have since joined KCC, moved out of Kenmure or are no longer members of KNN (see Bylaws Sections III C & E).

KNN success is a result of the volunteers who have worked untiringly since its inception and a membership that enthusiastically greets each new member.  In fact, KNN is a major selling tool when real estate agents are selling property located in Kenmure.  If you elect to purchase property within Kenmure, you are also eligible to take part in our wonderful neighborhood organization.

Thanks to Betty Watson and Sylvia Jordan for recording their recollections of the early years.

We'd love to add your memories and comments on any of these items. Please email Database Chair.   

Year-by-year development:

1998–99: Sylvia Jordan, President. Margaret Wagner, Barb Rusch, Sylvia Jordan and twenty-seven other enthusiastic women met on October 13, 1998. It was agreed that membership would be open to residents who had lived in Kenmure for three years or less. Newcomers would be a social organization that would reach out to new people moving to Kenmure, make them feel welcome and get them involved immediately with other new people in Kenmure. With 25 households enrolled, the first activity groups began meeting in November. Sylvia Jordan was elected the first president, with Betty King serving as secretary/treasurer. After one year, the membership expanded to 66 households and a directory was compiled by Clint Dodson, with cover design by Dana Carpenter. Dave Keierleber was the first editor of the newsletter. Ellen Dodson chaired the first membership get-together, a Lake Lure cruise in October. Two framed prints of Charleston, SC were presented to Kenmure Country Club for the Charleston Room. Dues were $20 per year and members could remain in the organization for three years.

2000: Sylvia Jordan, President. In February, a bylaws committee composed of chairperson Dick Kirkman, Dave Keierleber, Meredith Kuehn and Dean Jackson was formed to draft bylaws and the first executive board was elected. The initial all-member dinner was held in February, with Dennis Romeo relating his memories of Kenmure in the days when his father was developing it as a golf course community. In December, approximately 100 members attended the holiday dinner dance.

2001: Joyce Robb, President. Newcomers became so popular that members didn’t want to leave so an alumnae classification was created for members who had been in three years or more; they were allowed to vote but not hold office. Kenmure Newcomers went under the umbrella of Kenmure Property Owners Association (KPOA).  This association gives access to the kenmure.org website and the ability to post notices in the KPOA newsletter. Newcomers is self-funding and continues to operate independently. A membership chair was put in place for the following year.

2002: Barbara Holmes, President Kim Weatherby developed our database application that incorporates all membership and activity information. She also designed a folder describing Newcomers that was well received. Compassionate Catering was started under the direction of Madelon Recke and Dale Tait who organized the delivery of many meals to those who were ill.

2003: Kathy Meersman, President. The newsletter editor became a non-voting board member, thus attending all meetings. The alumnae classification was changed to four years because many were not eligible to serve on the board under the previous three-year rule.

2004: Cynthia Vilseck, President. Newcomers continues to grow. After many serious years, it was time to put the focus on fun and relaxation for groups and events. There was a gourmet picnic at Furman University and the most theatrical board ever entertained all with their “packing box” skit at the Kenmure Talent Show. 

2005: Donna Hastie, President. A study group consisting of past and present Newcomers presidents and representatives from KCC, KPOA and KN was formed to review the organization as it related to Kenmure as a whole. Upon consideration of their recommendations and those of the board, the membership voted to: (1) broaden its purpose to include meeting existing as well as new members; (2) have a single classification of membership with no restriction on term of membership; (3) make all members eligible for office; (4) open membership to all Kenmure property owners for the year 2006; (5) require Kenmure Country Club membership after one year in Newcomers for all members except those who were not KCC members at the time of the vote; (6) expand the six-member executive board to a nine-member board of directors in order to meet the needs of the growing organization.

2006: Susan Bush, President. The name was changed to Kenmure Newcomers & Neighbors because the Open Enrollment program (see #4 above) proved so successful. The membership voted to keep membership open to all Kenmure property owners forevermore. A record 71 households joined our ranks, resulting in the addition of seven more Area Captains. A brochure was developed for use by the membership committee; the newsletter format and its processing were upgraded. Policies were initiated to provide consistency in actions taken by the Board of Directors.

2007: Joyce Opsahl, President. This was our first year as Kenmure Newcomers & Neighbors and we continued to focus on meeting new and existing members. Due to the increased membership, our efforts were concentrated on streamlining procedures so that we could reduce the number of volunteer hours required.  Stan Christman developed a new database program in order to simplify our procedures.

2008: Bonnie Niehoff, President. This was the first year that the membership could use Stan Christman’s database program for choosing their activity groups and receiving activity packets. Larry Rostetter took us even further by developing online activity group signup for the membership and also developed our first website. Kenmure Newcomers and Neighbors has truly joined the computer age.

2009: Susan Bush, President. A new website was developed with an online database that allows us to update pages and events ourselves. It provides news and information for members and is used for activity group and dinner sign-ups. The membership directory is now online and the printed directory was eliminated. Stan Christman integrated the website database with his existing KNN database, resulting in a very sophisticated system that cut out much of the work that had previously been done manually. This meant we needed fewer volunteers, so the Area Captain system was disbanded and the membership was reorganized into Communities and Neighborhoods. The new Community Patio Parties brought us together in smaller groups and were a big hit, as was the switch to color for the newsletter. The membership voted to allow property owners of its sister community, Berwick Downs, to join KNN. KCC changed its policy and now permits the entire membership to attend KNN activities held there, including Dining at the Grill and Lunch Bunch. The Bylaws were rewritten and approved at the November dinner. All in all, a busy and productive year.

2010: Edie Lang, President.  The integration of the website with the KNN database continued to grow and simplify many of the previously labor intensive tasks that were involved in activity selection.  All of our members now use the system and manual delivery of activity packets has almost disappeared.  Many more of our members also began using the website to register for dinners. The Community Patio parties continue to be extremely popular.  This year we also introduced a new activity: Ladies Movie/Arts which has been very successful.  Also introduced this year was the organization of KNN tables at a KCC dinner event. This proved welcome to new members and those who did not wish to arrange their own groups.  After a slow start, this summer finally saw an increase of new members - perhaps a sign of some revival of real estate sales in Kenmure.

2011:  Sylvia Tennille, President.  2011 was a year of increased memberships in KNN, which was an economic plus for our community.  The purchase of a permanent office building by KPOA also provided a location for our monthly KNN Board meetings and storage site.  The position of Community Leader was eliminated and our Neighborhood Representatives now report directly to our Vice President.  With encouragement from representatives of the KPOA Board, KEI management, and KCC management, our KNN Board voted in December 2011 to ask our membership to allow renters living in Kenmure to join KNN.  This was seen to be a potential economic stimulus for Kenmure by providing a great way for more new people to learn the advantages of living in our community.

2012:  Jeanne Sudderth, President. This year we accomplished the goals that we set for ourselves and continued to build on the wonderful base that we inherited from other hard-working Boards.  In March 2012, we brought to a vote the bylaw change that allowed qualified Kenmure renters to be eligible for membership in our organization.  We updated member database profiles and then published the first KNN Directory since 2008.  We added some fun new activities to our roster of things to do, updated member photos in our database, solidified some accounting functions, revised the online job descriptions for our Board, and restructured the Patio Parties to encourage more participation in these fun events.  Best of all though, we were able to add some wonderful new members to our organization.

2013:  Lynn Johnson, President.  KNN continued to thrive on the efforts and dedication of all past Boards.  This year had exemplary Board members who brought their creativity and fresh ideas to our organization.  Activities asked our membership for suggestions on new group activities resulting in the addition of Chickenfoot Dominoes and Winery/Brewery Visits to our choices of fun things to do.  The KNN newsletter was updated and expanded to include more color photos and an additional page.  For the first time, we had 2 co-chairs for Programs which seemed to make the job easier by sharing responsibilities for setting up our dinner arrangements.  As we sought new Board members for 2014, a change was made to divide the responsibilities for Programs.  The Program Chair will now be responsible for the dinner entertainment only, and the Vice President will take responsibility for the dinner menus.  Lastly, due to the efforts of our very hard-working Membership Chair, we were very pleased to add 15 new members to our membership roster.

2014:  Betty Brown, President.  This was a good year for KNN with a great BOD.  We had continued growth of 29 new members.  Job Description changes for the 2014 VP and Program positions, made at the end of 2013, proved to be more functional.  The Visit Wineries/Breweries and Dining-In Activities continued for the June-September rotation only.  KCC, KPOA and KNN representatives met together to eliminate any duplication of efforts and, for the first time, include KNN information combined into one packet for new Kenmure property owners and renters available at the KPOA office.   The packet now includes KNN’s President’s Letter, Newsletter, and list of Activities. 

2015:  Terrie Haft, President.  Based on the results of a survey sent out to the entire KNN Membership, changes were made to our dinner format.  We moved from a traditional sit down dinner to a more casual buffet/station style dinner.  The Board also voted to subsidize $2.00 off each meal at the three KNN dinners.  Berwick Downs was incorporated into the Kenmure Drive Neighborhood.  Art & About was added to our list of Activity offerings. The Newsletter was expanded to include a “Spotlight on Your Neighbors” section.  Our Membership Chair worked tirelessly to recruit 34 new KNN members.

2016:  CC Blackburn, President.  The goal for 2016 was to enhance communications and streamline systems to meet an increasingly tech-savvy membership. With Susan Boland working diligently to update the tech-tools throughout the year, our members and prospects received more information in a clearer, more concise format.  With a helpful nudge from a healthy real estate market, Marian Hansen's hard work paid off with a membership gain of just under 15%.  The Neighborhood Rep program was expanded with Karen Balkman's care; Beth Rountree worked to refine our activities; Virginia Rehn found us wonderful entertainment for our 'party' events while Karen Pryde produced our newsletters; Beth Couch kept our books and Donna Johnson, documented our history.  A successful year!

Previous Boards:

2016Pres: CC Blackburn; VP: Karen Balkman; Secretary: Donna Johnson; Tres: Beth Couch; Activities: Beth Rountree; Database/Website: Susan Boland; Membership: Marian Hansen; Communications/Newsletter: Karen Pryde; Programs/Entertainment: Virginia Rehn

2015Pres: Terrie Haft; VP: CC Blackburn; Secretary: Louise Wiley; Tres: Cynthia Vick; Activities: Elaine Hessong; Database: Jeanne Sudderth; Membership: Marian Hansen; Communications: Aggie Alexander; Programs: Sid Alexander

2014:  Pres:  Betty Brown; VP:  Terrie Haft;  Secretary:  Margie Scott;  Treas:  Cynthia Vick;  Activities:  Elaine Hessong;  Database:  Jeanne Sudderth;  Membership:  Jane Holland;  Communications:  Sue Gordon;  Programs:  Joe Pucilowski and Susan Kasper. 

2013: Pres:  Lynn Johnson; VP: Betty Brown; Secretary: Margie Scott; Treas: Jan Powell; Activities:  Judy Rountree-Benedict; Database:  Jeanne Sudderth; Membership: Jane Holland; Communications:  Sue Gordon; Programs:  Mary Jane and Chris McDonnell.  

2012Pres: Jeanne Sudderth, VP: Lynn Johnson, Sec: Rosemary Mulcahy, Treas: Jan Powell, Activities: Paige Willms, Communications: Patty Truax, Database: Madeline Daubert, Membership: Harriet Garrison, Program: Ann Armstrong

2011Pres: Sylvia Tennille, VP: Jeanne Sudderth, Sec: Rosemary Mulcahy, Treas: Christina Thornton, Activities: Kathleen Finigan, Communications: Patty Truax, Database: Madeline Daubert, Membership: Pat Wilson, Program: Janel Barberito

2010Pres: Edie Lang, VP: Sylvia Tennille, Sec: Carol Brown, Treas: Jan Tanner, Activities: Kathleen Finigan, Communications: Patty Truax, Database: Madeline Daubert, Membership: Jackie Murrill, Program: Eavelyn Brooks

2009: Pres: Susan Bush, VP: Edie Lang, Sec: Karen Johnson, Treas: Jan Tanner, Activities: Ellen Ziperman, Communications: Patty Truax; Database: Debbie Evilia, Membership: Jackie Murrill, Program: Barbara Beckerman.

2008: Pres: Bonnie Niehoff, VP: Christine Glaser, Sec: Patty Siebert, Treas: Judi Dietrich, Activities: Karen Roberts, Database: Debbie Evilia, Membership: Ellen Ziperman, Newsletter: Shirley Behley, Program: Karen Johnson.

2007: Pres: Joyce Opsahl, VP: Bonnie Niehoff, Sec: Betty Watson, Treas: Judi Dietrich, Activities: Karen Roberts, Database: Joyce Ann Millard, Membership: Jeri Gonzales, Newsletter: Shirley Behley, Program: Karen Johnson.

2006: Pres: Susan Bush; VP: Joyce Opsahl; Sec: Linda Mensch; Treas: Kay Leyrer; Activities: Nancy Andris; Database: Joyce Ann Millard; Membership: Marie O’Connor; Newsletter: Sue Amsler; Program: Pat Bennett.

2005: Pres: Donna Hastie; 1st VP: Babette Huesken; 2nd VP: Susan Bush; Sec: Nancy Ticko; Treas: Kay Leyrer; Membership: Pat Alden; Database: Joyce Ann Millard;

2004: Pres: Cynthia Vilseck; 1st VP: June Rostetter; 2nd VP: Diane Butler; Sec:Barbara Grant; Treas:Georgie Farmer; Database: Julie Ashbeck; Newsletter: Sue Amsler.

2003: Pres: Kathy Meersman; 1st VP: Barbara Carter; 2nd VP: Betty Roemer; Sec: Dale Tait; Treas: Sandy Enslen; Membership: Donna Gorshe; Computer Services: Julie Ashbeck; Newsletter: Sue Amsler.

2002: Pres: Barbara Holmes; 1st VP: Paige Wilms; 2nd VP: Gloria Richards; Sec: Martha Dill; Treas: Charlie Williamson; Membership Chair: Carol Brown; Newsletter: Jeannie Harbaugh; Computer Services: Kim Weatherby.

2001: Pres: Joyce Robb; 1st VP: Cathie McFadden; 2nd VP: Janet Keierleber; Sec:Judy Bolster; Treas: George Roberts.

2000: Pres: Sylvia Jordan; 1st VP: Virginia Sweetman; 2nd VP: Ellen Dodson; Sec: Joyce Robb; Treas: Lynda Snyder.

1998-99: Pres: Sylvia Jordan; Sec-Treas: Betty King.

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