Twenty-five years ago, the Rebuilders group in Puyallup started as a place for widows and widowers who were seeking friendship to gather.
Today, club secretary and treasurer Lee O’Leary said it has morphed into a social setting that provides a safe and comfortable environment to relax.
The club, which saw more than 30 members at its peak, has fewer than 20 today, O’Leary said.
“Our membership has dropped as some have moved or gone into care facilities or have passed away,” O’Leary said. “We would like to get our membership up to 25.”
O’Leary, 66, has been a member since 2005. Her husband died about a decade ago. She started to attend a singles club for those 50 and older and met Dennis, who introduced her to the Rebuilders group. They married two years later.
Lee and Dennis are not the only ones who have met through the group and later married. There is also Bob and Norma Davis.
Dennis set Bob up with Norma, who said she was looking for companionship.
“It’s not something where we’re trying to be a dating service,” O’Leary said. “But if someone is lonely and needs someone, we’ll introduce them to people.”
The Rebuilders group meets from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sundays at the Puyallup Activity Center. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.
“People come around at 4,” O’Leary said. “We do a flag salute, a small meeting talking about plans and upcoming events. After that, we sing a blessing, we have our meal, and after our meal, we visit and play games.”
Bingo is played once a month. People break into groups of four to eight and play games like Mexican train and card games like pinochle and bridge.
“We’re looking for more card players,” O’Leary said.
Membership is $25 per year, or $1 per meeting, if one decides not to join. New people can try it once for free.
Those who attend are encouraged to bring a dish for the potluck, O’Leary said. If not, they’re asked to pay $3.
O’Leary said the group is thankful for the space provided at the Puyallup Activity Center.
“The PAC provides the space to us for free, which is really nice,” O’Leary said. “I enjoy the companionship. We have a wonderful group of people.”
For more information, call O’Leary at 253-864-9225.Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.