Emily Kasel

a message from the president of the garden city welcoming club

Welcome, we are so glad you’re here! Isn’t feeling welcome and connected what truly makes a place your home? As someone who grew up here in town and is now raising her own family here, Garden City holds a very special place in my heart. As excited as I was to return with my husband, Rob, to raise our family here - it came as a surprise to me that when I returned I felt new to the town I was born and raised in. I felt embarrassed to say that I didn’t really have much of a social circle, at first. That’s where the Welcoming Club came in and thank goodness it was there for me. Since joining the club, I have been thrilled to serve on the board in a variety of capacities. I am humbled that this year I will serve as the President of this incredible organization.

 

With nearly 70 years of history, the Welcoming Club of Garden City is one of our community’s longest standing traditions. Our community and the club have so much to offer you. For those new and established in town, the club is the best place to get familiar with the village and meet both new friends through our many events and clubs.  For those returning, the club enables you to carry on the tradition of being a member of the Welcome Wagon, like my mother was during my childhood. 

 

While the club has evolved and grown over its decades long history, we remain rooted in our original mission of welcoming new neighbors into town. In addition to our

primary mission, the club now raises money for a Long Island based charity through our many events and activities. So in addition to building friendships and attending amazing events, we will be raising money for The INN located in Hempstead. 

 

As a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization, The INN provides a broad variety of essential services to those challenged by hunger, homelessness and profound poverty. The INN partners with its guests in a dignified and respectful manner to help them achieve self-sufficiency. The INN operates the Mary Brennan INN, the largest soup kitchen on Long Island, as well as shower facilities and a food pantry. In addition to the soup kitchen, the Center for Transformative Change (CTC) serves as a resource center offering a host of social services and free clothing and housewares boutique. Emergency and long-term housing shelters round out The INN’s programs.

 

I can’t begin to describe how excited I am as we embark on a new year together as a community. The circumstances as I transition into the role of President have been unprecedented, to say the least. The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted our community in big and small ways and it feels as if it touches every aspect of life. At the very least, this experience is reminding me what is truly important - our health, our family, friends and the relationships with those loved ones. Now more than ever, we need to stick together and feel connected. Our events may not look like they have in years past, but you can be certain this year’s team is up for the challenge of finding new and innovative ways to get together and feel connected while remaining safe. We will take on this year - make new connections, raise money to support our neighbors in need and have a lot of fun doing it! I can’t wait to see you around town or at an event soon!