If you want to know what the Top of Utah has to offer by way of dining out, entertainment, recreation and friendship, your best source may be someone new to the area -- if that person is a member of the Top of Utah Newcomers Club.
For example, Patsy Ott of North Ogden could introduce you to all kinds of fun activities and people now, but when she moved here from New Orleans five years ago, she didn't know anyone or anything about the area.
"You can't say there's nothing to do around here. There are so many activities. Anything you want to do, it's in (newcomers club)," she said. "I've met so many people. ... It's a wonderful support group. If somebody needs something, they are there for them."
Newcomers president Rosemary Kappes of Layton said the group spun off from a welcome wagon group years ago and now has more than 200 members. Most have settled in Utah after a career in the military, but people of all ages and professions find the group from its website, fliers in the library or word of mouth.
"There are guys and ladies, lots of different people. We have lots of Mormons, Catholics -- the cultures and professions are mixed, and everybody is willing to talk to the other person," she said. "It's nonexclusive. Everyone is very friendly. It doesn't matter your financial status or what you've done with your life. No one cares about that. If you jump in and take advantage of the activities, you immediately become part of the group."
Former president Geri Carrier of Layton said there is a wide range of ages.
"The oldest is 103 and the youngest are in their 30s and 40s," she said, "There are a number of people who were born here, but like to play cards, ski or snowshoe. Many have a military influence. There are all nationalities, all faiths."
Kappes said about 15 percent of the members are native to Utah. There is also a group of men who fish, motorcycle, bike or play cards together.
"There is a very active group of men who are new to the area and are finding friendship with other men who are new to the area. They organize themselves into their own friendship groups. It's a place for them to meet men with a lot of the same interests. They branch off and do their own thing," she said.
Jan Fogle of Ogden joined the group because for years she "got lost in her own family," but now has time for herself after returning to Utah from Washington.
"I have a feeling of belonging to a large group of women who are all extremely nice. They offer a lot of different opportunities to do things with couples or singles," she said. "There are bridge games, hiking, a lot of nice eating opportunities, either going out or cooking gourmet in your home. ... I've had a chance to meet people and make a lot of new friends."
When Linda Metz moved to North Ogden from California, she began volunteering at the Carriage House in the Eccles Community Art Center in Ogden. She was there during a newcomers coffee.
"They went to the house and had a coffee and I was told they were a newcomers group. I thought, 'I'm a newcomer!' I went to a luncheon in March and joined," she said.
"I love it. It's such a neat group. The majority are over 50. That's made it even better. I feel like I have something in common with everybody. It's just an awesome group of people. I look forward to coffees, luncheons and bunko. It's awesome."
Those interested in joining can print an application at www.newcomerstopofutah.com.
Annual dues are $15. Activities include pinochle, mah-jongg, golf, bridge, book club, snowshoeing, kayaking, dominoes, dancing, theater, bunko, coffees, crafts, hiking, wine tasting, garden club, gourmet dinner club, dining out and couples poker.