A Little History

Current Board of Directors
Organizational Guidelines (2015-16)

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History of Sandwich Newcomers & Neighbors

For more than three centuries the Town of Sandwich lay mostly undiscovered, a sleepy little village with 95 percent of its population congregated in and around Route 6A. The population grew slowly with many descendants of families that settled the community in 1637.

Once the migration to Cape Cod began, the Sandwich population exploded, nearly doubling in just one decade from 10,000 to 20,000. For the first time, newcomers were not just visiting but relocating and settling in town. But once here, many floundered. The cartons were unpacked, the curtains were up, but they had no idea what to do next.  In 1999, a newspaper reporter working with the Upper Cape Cod Regional Chamber of Commerce in Sandwich lamented the difficulty she was having finding friends after living in town for more than a year. There were dozens of clubs, organizations and community programs, she said, but none specifically to welcome newcomers. This observation led to Sandwich Newcomers Day, a daylong event to which all of the local clubs and organizations were invited to participate. At tables set up in the Henry T. Wing School, they shared information about their programs with the public. To welcome newcomers, the reporter set up a coffee and conversation corner where she introduced herself in the hope of meeting other newcomers.

One of those visitors, Pam Mittendorff, said she had been interested in a newcomer club since moving to town, but had been unable to find one. The reporter said she was gathering names that day, but that there were no plans to start a club. Pam had other ideas and was willing to pick up the ball. A few months later, she hooked up with another newcomer, Liz Desaulniers, and together they decided to test the waters. Did the town want or need a newcomer club? Maybe the reason there was no club was because there was no interest in one.

The two women contacted the reporter who wrote a story about the possible formation of the club, announcing its first meeting at the Sandwich Public Library on September 24, 2000. Hoping for a handful of visitors, they were stunned when more than 30 people crammed into a tiny meeting room. The attendees were enthusiastic, all talking about the difficulty of relocating to a new town. They did indeed want a club and were quick to offer to help. Before the meeting ended, committees had been formed and one couple agreed to host the first wine and cheese party.

The party itself was a huge success. It's hard to say how many people attended; it was a crush of new faces, with everyone trying to remember everyone's name and story. Happily, many of those first party goers are still active in the club.  Over the years, the club has grown in membership and expanded its offerings with something for just about everyone. Each year, new activities are added, new subgroups are formed, and new friendships are cemented. This was the mission of the original Sandwich Newcomers Club and it continues today.

On August 10, 2010, the Board of Directors voted to change the club's name to "Sandwich Newcomers & Neighbors" (SNN) so that newcomers and established neighbors alike know they are welcome to join the fun.

Board of Directors for FY 2022-2023


President: Annie Adler

Vice President:Paul Coteus

Secretary:Marge Foster

Treasurer: Ron Murphy

Standing Committees:

Newsletter: Candice Murphy
Publicity/Web: Jean Dorcus
Membership: Rosi Holcombe
Social events: Suzanne Hansmire
Wine Socials: Sharon Hunt