Like a good neighbor, the Neighbors of Suntree are there to help


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he annual fashion show of the Neighbors of Suntree is one of many events that raises funds for local charities. The group invites prospective members to attend its upcoming free Welcome Coffee on Sept. 20 at the Suntree Country Club.

VIERA VOICE Maria Sonnenberg

If only we could all have neighbors like the Neighbors of Suntree (NOS), a women’s civic group that welcomes newcomers to the area while simultaneously financially supporting a plethora of charities.

You don’t have to live in Suntree to join the membership, which now numbers 300. An annual fee of $25 per household and a desire to connect with the community are all the requirements.

The group began with a handful of women in 1984 with the purpose of raising funds for nonprofit groups. From the proceeds such as the bazillion of donated gift baskets that are auctioned off at the club’s holiday extravaganza, memberships and a major fashion show, the Neighbors of Suntree have donated more than $28,000 to groups that include Candlelighters of Brevard, Serene Harbor, Women’s Center, Joe’s Club, the Viera High School band, Brevard Zoo, Florida Wildlife Hospital and Harbor City Ambulance, among many, many others.

This year’s recipients of the Neighbors’ largesse will be the Children’s Hunger Project, Paws for Veterans, the Space Coast Symphony and Promise in Brevard. In recent years, the annual awards average $2,000 per charity.

It’s not all just raising funds. There also is fun.

“In addition to being a charitable organization, it’s a social club that encourages members to join in fun-filled activities every month,” said June Mikell, the vice president.

Friendships have blossomed through its many activities.

“We have 12 different activities members can enjoy in a small group,” said Carla Parsons, the president.

The club offers a Book Club, Breakfast Club, Day Bridge, Evening Partner Bridge, Hand & Foot (a canasta-like game), Bunco at Suntree Country Club, Cocktails & Conversation, Pampered Palates and NOS-on-the-Go get-togethers. The Breakfast Club meets at a different restaurant each month and is open to both men and women.

Couples are welcome at the Cocktail Mixers held monthly at various bars and lounges. Pampered Palates is a social dining group which meets monthly in the homes of its members. Members take turns hosting a home-cooked meal. The host prepares the entrée and assigns a side dish or dessert for each guest to bring.

September will be a big month for the members, since it brings the club’s annual Welcome Coffee, a critical event that draws new members. The bigger the membership, the more money it can raise for the various charities. That is what good neighbors do.

The Neighbors of Suntree welcome any woman in Brevard interested in joining an active, civic-minded organization to attend the club’s Welcome Coffee with continental breakfast at 10 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Suntree Country Club at One Country Club Drive in  Melbourne.

While the event is free, reservations are required by Sept. 10. Email an RSVP to events@neighborsofsuntree.org.

For more information, go to neighborsofsuntree.org.