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Club offers a chance for newly relocated women to connect

For women who move to Las Vegas and are looking for ways to network with other women, the Desert Newcomers Club offers events throughout the month.

"I moved here two years ago and didn’t know anybody," said Judy Kinal, the president of the Desert Newcomers Club. "Now I have 200 friends."

The organization has been active since 1990 and brings relocators together and introduces them to social activities and community happenings.

Before she was the group’s president, Kinal was another newcomer in search of a new social outlet when she moved to Henderson two years ago.

She had lived in Buffalo, N.Y., her entire life, and her social network centered around her job of 21 years. That all changed when Kinal retired and moved.

"When you’re working, your social life revolves around work," Kinal said. "I needed a social event to meet other women."

Kinal had tried other ways to connect, such as church groups. But from the first time she attended a Desert Newcomers monthly luncheon, she realized that was what she needed.

"I have met women from all career paths from all over the world," Kinal said. "They have been ambassadors, nurses, lawyers."

Kinal said she doesn’t know what she would have done if she hadn’t found the club.

Desert Newcomers has a monthly luncheon, usually the third Wednesday of the month, and a welcome coffee meet-up, usually the fourth Thursday of the month.

At the events, Kinal said she schedules speakers from the community to educate newcomers about various topics and to help connect them with ways to volunteer.

Aside from meetings, Kinal said the organization has book clubs, dining gatherings and game nights.

"We play a lot of games and do a lot of eating," Kinal said.

The group tries to connect women and their families with local dentists, doctors or recommendations on where to get their hair cut or nails done.

"You never know where to go get these things done and who has good, quality service," Kinal said.

In addition to being open to women who have lived in the area less than three years, Kinal said the group has open enrollment twice a year for all Las Vegas-area women in August and February.

"This is for women who might have been in Vegas for 20 years but were working," Kinal said. "Because they’re not working, their whole lifestyle changes."

Kinal said she gets about four or five phone calls a month from people interested in joining. She encourages them to check out a couple of meetings to see if it’s a good fit. The club’s policy allows prospective members to attend two luncheons and welcome coffees before joining.

Kinal became the group’s president this year and recently was renamed the president for 2013.

Desert Newcomers costs $25 per year to join.

For more information, visit desertnewcomersclub.org.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 702-387-5201.

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