The Naperville Woman organizes non-alcoholic meetings for women to build friendships

NAPERVILLE, Illinois — As adults, many women find it increasingly difficult to meet new people and make new friends, and when they want to do so in an alcohol-free environment, it can be even more difficult. Naperville resident Michelle Flynn decided to change that.

“We are a group of mothers, women coming together. We’re like-minded because we don’t drink alcohol. So none of our events are about alcohol,” Flynn said.

The group meets regularly for events including painting parties, outdoor walks, pottery classes, coffee dates, and lunches. The women do not pay any contributions or fees, but rather pay for their individual event.

“We have fun. We have fun without drinking and we don’t feel bad the next day. It’s really beautiful,” said group member Layne Drever.

Flynn formed the group after her 50th birthday when she decided to quit drinking. She realized that she didn’t have many friends or opportunities to meet new people.

“I stopped drinking over two years ago. Most networking events revolve around alcohol. I wasn’t interested at all. So I asked a mothers’ group if there were events for women who don’t drink. Everyone came back and said ‘No, no, no… we’d love one, we’d love one.’ So that’s what I started with,” Flynn said.

In less than a year, the Facebook group grew to over 800 followers.

“I’ve met some really, really incredible people so far and we’re not even a year old now. So I’m just super excited to see where we go from here. I’m kind of emotional, I’m overwhelmed away. I’m literally blown away, I never expected this. It’s so organic. I really never thought this would grow where it grew. I’m floored,” she said.

Group members choose to remain sober for a variety of reasons, whether it be religious, health, or personal.

“I would say 30% of our members are in recovery. So our group is open to everyone. We have an age range that’s probably pretty wide. Anywhere from probably late 20s to maybe mid 60s,” Flynn said.

Aside from socializing and making friends, members have found many benefits of joining this group.

“It gave me confidence. And to see people really want to be my friend was amazing,” Flynn said.

To join the club or learn more, visit the @DryNapervilleSocial Facebook page The Naperville Woman organizes non-alcoholic meetings for women to build friendships

Dais Johnston

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