The Morgantown Social Club is celebrating three years of meeting this December, marking the occasion with a toy drive and holiday party at Bartini Prime.

Established in 2013, the Morgantown Social Club used social networking website meetup.com to gather a group for informal social events at local restaurants. Since then, the MSC has grown to involve hundreds of locals who gather for happy hours, pickup vollyball, charity auctions, and many other social events.

“Jenna Lapointe and I met at another group in town back in May of 2013.” explains Theresa Bailey, who co-leads the MSC with Jenna. “We became quick friends, bonding over the fact we were both transplants to Morgantown. After a couple of months of attending groups more geared towards business professionals, we decided we wanted a group that was specifically aimed at expanding our social circle.”



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The MSC’s monthly events usually draw between 20 and 30 people out to a local restaurant for dinner or drinks. Host restaurants will often offer food specials or unique cocktails to the group. Both “town” and “gown” are represented at MSC events, and participants vary across age and relationship statuses. Along with visits to local restaurants, the MSC also participates in fundraisers and community charity events, hosting silent auctions and sponsoring teams for 5k races.

Founding Members of the MSC Jenna Lapointe (left) and Theresa Bailey (right).

Founding Members of the MSC Jenna Lapointe (left) and Theresa Bailey (right).

“We started off on meetup.com and our first event had over 30 people attend, and that in itself was an accomplishment.” shares Bailey. “Now we have a steady 20 to 30 people at the monthly socials, 150+ members on meetup, and a facebook group with 400+ members. It’s so fulfilling knowing that this simple idea Jenna and I had over 3 years ago not only worked but it’s still thriving.”

Members agreed that, even though first time visitors may feel anxious, they can expect to be quickly welcomed into the group. “There’s an obvious effort to be inclusive and welcome newcomers at every single event” shares Stephanie Carter, a resident of Fairmont who joined MSC in October of 2015. “My fear at the first group I attended was that I would feel like I was crashing a private get together of already established friends, but everyone is so open and friendly.” MJ Ahmad, a Qatari expatriot who joined MSC in 2013, agrees: “Expats, and international students and employees would really benefit from MSC. Its extremely hard, and very challenging to make new friends when you are in a new country or city. The MSC community has always been there for newcomers, and I am lucky I got to know them.”

 

msc-members-raising-money-at-for-autism-at-the-iasd-5k-may-2015

MSC Members at the iSAD 5K in May of 2015

The three-year anniversary party at Bartini Prime will be held on Wednesday, December 7th, from 6pm to 8pm. “In prior years we’ve had an ugly sweater contest, which has been a really big hit,” explains Theresa. “This year we’re going to shake it up and do a dress your best event. Since it’s our 3 year anniversary we want it to more resemble a New Year’s Eve type celebration and so Bartini is the perfect place to host again.” All guests are asked to bring an unopened toy to donate to the U.S. Marine Corps charity Toys for Tots.

For more information on the Morgantown Social Club, and for more information on their anniversary event, you can find them on meetup.com, or join their facebook group.

 



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