The Ladies of Clifton - How a Question Created a Movement
"From small things, big things one day come” goes the expression, and that was never more accurate than a recent Facebook post. A few weeks ago on the Clifton News and Community page, Clifton resident Marna G. asked, “Are there any groups [like] the women’s meet up in Clifton, I like ages 45 and up." Within a few days, there were several responses from other women saying if such a group was formed, they’d gladly join.
Local Realtor Frances Rosado took the initiative, posting that she’d be happy to host a meet and greet in her office on Clifton Avenue. A Facebook page was created, The Ladies of Clifton (TLC), and an invitation was extended to all women on the page for Thursday, September 7th. The women were asked to fill out a brief survey with their names as well as a list of topics they’d be interested in learning more about or participating in. The choices included crafts and culinary activities, walking and other fitness groups, movie nights, book clubs, travel groups, and volunteer opportunities, among others.
On Thursday evening, about three dozen women with a Clifton connection – either living or working in town – gathered in Rosado’s office where she had put together a lovely spread of hors d’oeuvres and sweets – including shrimp, Cuban sandwiches, charcuterie, and Rosado’s homemade flan – as well as wine and bottled water. Rosado started by introducing herself and her team and went on to explain how the group got started. “I saw the post on a Clifton Facebook group and the number of women posting led me to think that a group like this would be a great way for us to connect with one another."
Each guest was asked to tell a little bit about herself. There were women of all ages and backgrounds, new moms and grandmothers, teachers, office workers, healthcare professionals, and retirees. There were women from diverse ethnic backgrounds and places of birth, including the Dominican Republic, Cuba, New York City, and of course, Clifton. Everyone wore a name tag with first name and last initial and icons representing their interests from the survey they’d filled out.
Soon, the chatter and laughter became contagious – women who’d never met before were exchanging stories and making connections, discussing childcare solutions, places to go for quick lunches and nice dinners, and making plans to get together and walk, all things that – wait for it – girlfriends do with one another. The hope is that the friendships made tonight and going forward at future meetings will be long-lasting and beneficial. Another goal of the group is for women to support one another in different ways. While the internet is one way of checking in with friends, there is nothing like an actual in-person conversation. Additionally, it’s hoped that women working for a small business will be able to network. Ideally, women will be able to pose questions on the Facebook page and have others answer in a calm, positive, and non-judgmental fashion.
As the group is still in the planning stages, they are open to suggestions on activities that can be done as a group (such as dance classes or workshops), places to go together for meetings, and events that might be fun to attend with one or many friends. Rosado said that she is planning on a weekly 15-minute lunch lunch Zoom with speakers covering different topics of interest, based on group input. "My vision is a diverse group of women of all ages from all parts of the world, now forming friendships and sharing kindness," she said.
For more information please visit the group Facebook page for future meeting dates and locations. #GirlPower!