By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Whether new to the area or a longtime resident, the Rancho Bernardo Newcomers Social Club is a way to meet people in the community who share your interests.
The club — originally known as the Welcome Wagon — came to Rancho Bernardo not long after its founding 50 years ago. It was for new residents so they could learn about the area and meet people, according to Brian Finneran, a membership committee member and former board member.
But over the years, especially by the 1990s as Rancho Bernardo neared build out, the club started to transform, extend beyond those who moved to the community and increase its social activities. Eventually members decided to change the club name to reflect its new social focus, he said.
The club, which recently redesigned its website and has a new address at
, now has more than 300 members, many of whom are in their late 50s and beyond, Finneran said.
For Finneran and his wife, Eileen, the couple decided to join after moving from their home in RB’s Eastview neighborhood to one in Oaks North, part of their transition to a new phase in their lives now that they are empty nesters, a common reason for many members’ relocation, he said.
Besides no longer having a schedule based around their children’s activities, retirement is another reason many join the group, he said.
“Once retired, people don’t know what to do now that they’re not working,” he said, explaining some take up new hobbies while others want to enjoy the opportunity to travel.
Whatever the reason or appeal, Finneran said the club provides many “very affordable” opportunities to participate in activities with others who share one’s interest. Among club options are couples and singles bridge groups, golf outings, no-host breakfasts for “Old Bold Pilots,” a men’s “Lunch Bunch,” tennis league, wine groups for singles and couples, plus group dinners, dances and day trips organized by other organizations. The latter include evenings at the theater, days at the race track and attractions in San Diego County and throughout Southern California or beyond.
As for the most popular club activities, Finneran said they include the monthly wine groups and dinners at country clubs and fine dining restaurants. He said by going with the group participants receive significant discounts.
Annual dues are $25 if a mailed newsletter is preferred or $20 if the newsletter can be sent via email. For details, go to
or call 858-774-6517.