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Truro’s Friendship Club so popular it has a waiting list

Members of the Friendship Club share a lot of laughs when they get together. Current members are, front row, from left, Nola Ashton, Darlene Shaw and Michelle Brush. Second row, Penny Brown, Krista Gregory, Heather Smith, Nellie Watson, Shirley Skidmore, Wanda Scott, Kimberly Shaw, and Betty Butt.
Members of the Friendship Club share a lot of laughs when they get together. Current members are, front row, from left, Nola Ashton, Darlene Shaw and Michelle Brush. Second row, Penny Brown, Krista Gregory, Heather Smith, Nellie Watson, Shirley Skidmore, Wanda Scott, Kimberly Shaw, and Betty Butt. - Contributed
TRURO, N.S. —

When Penny Brown got a few friends to form a club she would have laughed to hear that years later there would be a waiting list to join.
“We just celebrated our 20th year,” she said. “I never thought about it lasting this long. I just saw an article about a club and thought it would be nice to get together with friends once a month. We had so much we kept going.
“I think it’s the people in it that makes it continue. We like to be silly, dress up and forget our problems. We’ve celebrated positive things together and helped one another through difficult things. When my mom passed away there was a whole row of girls from the club to support me. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Sometimes there are themes and the women dress in costumes; sometimes they just sit and talk. They also help out charities by collecting items or cash to donate.
Although many people would like to be part of the club, the number of members is kept at 11. They get together once a month, so each woman hosts during the year and a special Christmas event is held in December.
If one of the members leave, a name from the waiting list is drawn from a hat.
“I was on a waiting list for a few years,” said Michelle Brush, the newest member, joining in 2016. “I was totally excited when I found out I’d made it and a couple of people I know were jealous.
“I couldn’t be happier to be part of this group. We encourage and help each other out, and we have so many laughs together and so much fun. I love the little silly games we play and I’m a big fan of dressing up. No fools, no fun!
“When it’s a day we meet, I look forward to it all day.”
Nellie Watson, at 78, is the oldest member of the club and is one of the original members.
“Penny asked me if I wanted to go so I went, and I stayed because of the friendship,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of friends. Different people have come and gone but they’ve all been very nice. We do a lot of laughing and laughing takes away stress.”
“I knit a fair amount but that’s not something where I get to socialize. This fills another space.”
She enjoys being a little stilly, too.
“Nellie’s quiet, but she’ll dress up and get into the spirit of things,” said Penny. 
Krista Gregory joined the group in 2001 and loves attending get-togethers.
“I’m a social person anyway so I love a chance to get out,” she said. “I found it fun right away. I’ve made great friendships and I keep in touch with some former members who’ve moved away.”
She finds gatherings provide her with a chance to relax. One of the times it was her turn to host, she had everyone join her at a cabin for a bonfire.
“We can count on one another for support, too. When my father passed away so many of them came.
“This is about friendship that lasts forever and I’m thankful that I’m in it
With so many people expressing a desire to join the club, Penny doesn’t understand why more people don’t form their own groups.
“I haven’t met anyone else who’s part of a similar group,” she said. “I’d encourage people to form groups because, 20 years later, I feel this is one of the best accomplishments of my life.”

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