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Something Social: Women’s South Delta Wine and Cheese Rotational

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: SHIRLEY SILVA, ELAINE CAMPBELL, SHELLEY PATER AND SUSAN EIDT

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: SHIRLEY SILVA, ELAINE CAMPBELL, SHELLEY PATER AND SUSAN EIDT

The conversation is easy and the smiles are natural as these four members of the Women’s South Delta Wine and Cheese Rotational talk about their friendship. There are sudden outbursts of laughter, like when organizer Susan Eidt explains who is eligible to join.

“Any women from Ladner and Tsawwassen. We also include people who live in Point Roberts, just to be nice,” says Susan.

“Don’t say it that way!” replies Elaine Campbell with mock outrage.

What’s amazing is that just a year ago the four scarcely knew one another at all.

Susan was born and raised in Delta but at the age of 21 she moved away to Toronto and then to Edmonton and spent 13 years in each city.

While in Edmonton, she started a local “pub night” that became quite successful and popular. But Susan says with men and women both attending the events became a bit of a dating venue, and that wasn’t the intention.

When she moved back to Tsawwassen and tried to reconnect with the community Susan noticed a trend where women were already in established social groups. She decided to change that by creating a wine and cheese social inviting women to come and meet other women regardless of their occupation or socioeconomic status.

Today, they have 103 members ranging in age from 25 to 75, with female longshoremen to politicians and everything in between.

So, how did she get the ball rolling?

“I just started by email spamming all the females I know and it just grew from there,” says Susan.
The first to respond was Shelley Pater, a local realtor who says it’s a great way to meet new people and find mutual interests.

“I see it as an opportunity for professional women in South Delta to network, socialize and potentially exchange services.”

The event is inclusive to all ages and levels of health because of the simplicity, says Shirley Silva, a Ladner resident. There’s no hiking or running here.

“I like this club because you don’t have to do any homework like a book club,” adds Shirley.
However, she notes it’s a good place to find others who have common interests so if you are into hiking or running or books you’ll usually find somebody else who shares that passion.

The reasons for joining seem to vary from woman to woman.

“Support is a good thing for people to have in a community. You can find common interests in other people and make new friends,” says Elaine.

Despite the membership numbers, the busy schedules of many women keeps the monthly events quite reasonably cozy. Their largest event was 26 people, while their next one has 17 people confirmed.
So, how do women usually find out?

Shirley says she heard it from her girlfriend, who heard it from Susan’s husband, with whom she plays volleyball.

“So it’s like six degrees of separation,” says Shirley with a laugh.

There’s no need to be intimidated if you’re not a connoisseur of fine wines or cheese. Despite the name, the focus of the club isn’t about wine or cheese but just getting out there and making connections.
“All wine is good wine,” says Shelley with a laugh.

There are a group of regular hosts who volunteer their homes for events, while co-hosts will arrive early to help set up or stay late to clean up afterward.

Participants bring wine or snacks, but everybody shares. And some don’t drink at all. That’s an important thing to note, since the friends carpool to encourage social responsibility and avoid drinking and driving.
If you’re a woman in South Delta (or Point Roberts) and would like to get in on the fun, you can email sue@eidt.org to be added to the mailing list.

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