The East Coast Social Group formed after an unfortunate chain of events involving a New York family.
A woman moved to Arizona with her children after her husband was killed in the Long Island Railroad massacre in 1993.
Two fellow New York transplants placed an ad in a local newspaper seeking to meet East Coast natives after hearing that the woman moved back to her home state after only a year — and never made any new friends — in Arizona.
More than 300 people responded to the invitation. The social group has since thrived, with members who live all over the Valley.
About every other month, the group hosts social events primarily in Scottsdale and Phoenix, including bridge tournaments, hayrides, golf, hiking, an annual picnic and dining out.
"We usually find we socialize better with forks in our hands," joked Phyllis Seminara, who creates and distributes the group’s newsletter.
Seminara, who was raised in the Bronx, N.Y., moved to Scottsdale about nine years ago from New York City.
While members come and go, Seminara said the group often provides needed comfort for East Coast residents new to the Valley.
Although the Valley contains people from all over the country, differences in backgrounds and upbringing can make meeting people difficult.
"Even if it’s just for a little while, it’s something to do for people who don’t know anybody," Seminara said. "This is a great way to meet people. I’m so glad the group came along.
"I feel a part of the community. It’s like a family."
Dues for the club are $15 per person each year. Couples and singles are welcome. Information: (480) 991-4185 or (602) 971-2427.