A Brief History of the Cambria Neighbors Club

(Formerly known as the: Cambria Newcomers Club)

In the summer of 1995, a group of recently retired Cambrians who had been walking, enjoying lunch, and playing bridge together came up with the idea of forming a social club modeled after ‘Newcomers’ clubs in other parts of SLO County.  When they got together in August 1996 for a luncheon held at the JanKris Winery, the group voted to form the Cambria Newcomers Club.

The initial steering committee consisted of Joan Cobin in the leadership position, Anne Grossman, Barbara Gilston, Viv Raives, and Taylor Hildon.  They studied the by-laws from other local Newcomers clubs as a guideline.  The group removed the residency restriction typical in most of the by-laws they reviewed and made the Cambria club available to all residents of Cambria, regardless of how long they had lived in the community.

The first board of directors included Judy Levi, President; Taylor Hildon, Secretary and Activities Chair; Viv Raives, Treasurer; Barbara Gilston VP/Program Chair; Shirley Green 2nd VP/Membership; Lee Kruger  Reservations Chair; Helen Harper Sunshine Coordinator; Anne Grossman Historian/Photographer; and Becky Kincade Newsletter Coordinator.

In October an ‘Invitational Tea’ was scheduled to introduce their newly formed social group to members of the community.  Served on fine China and crystal, the Invitational Tea held at Taylor’s home was a success.  The new larger group discussed forming special interest activity groups, signed up formally as club members, and selected the 3rd Thursday of each month as the regular meeting time.  Brambles Restaurant was the location for the first luncheon held on January 17, 1997. Brambles required a minimum of 30 guests, which caused some anxiety amongst the founders.  They need not have worried.  Over 60 people attended this first luncheon.  The speaker was Sharon Lovejoy, author and owner of Heart’s Ease.

The second luncheon in February attracted over 90 attendees and the CNC was truly on its way!  Early events included frequent teas with all the fancy China and crystal, monthly luncheons usually held at Brambles, and two fashion shows a year.  Special interest groups were formed including a walking group an international dinner group, birding group, bridge group, and others. 

It was important from the beginning that the club would push no agendas.  Politics, proselytizing, and sales have always been off limits.  CNC was formed strictly as a community gathering place where members could pursue their interests and form new friendships.

The club’s name was changed to the Cambria Neighbors Club in 2018.  Although changing the name of the club was discussed and tabled by most boards in the past, the decision was finally made to change the name to more clearly reflect why the club exists.  Although CNC has accepted members no matter how long they have lived here, and members may stay for as long as they wish, the Newcomers name still created confusion amongst potential new members about eligibility.

Now in the second decade of the 21st Century the club continues to grow, with nearly 300 members, and has taken steps to modernize its ability to communicate with members and the local community.  CNC has an active Facebook page and a website with all the club information one might need including archived newsletters, a calendar of events, photos of members and events, and how to join.  Please share the website address with any friend or neighbor interested in learning more about the CNC:  https://cambrianeighbors.org/thinking-about-joining/