Group of friends creates ‘country club,’ then helps fill shelves of 18 food pantries

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Members of the Forrest Greene Country Club

QUINCY — The gathering of friends hanging out and chatting on a Saturday night typically just leads to a good time.

And in a backyard in Quincy, one of those Saturday night gatherings in June 2021 led to the creation of the Forrest Greene Country Club.

Someone shared that a co-worker always posted pictures of herself by the pool of her country club. That spurred a tongue-in-cheek idea.

“We should have a country club, so we started a country club,” said Michelle Terwelp, marketing director of Forrest Greene Country Club. “And the five of us who were sitting there became the officers, and we came up with a name. It was a running joke at first, but now we have like 31 people.”

Living within four to six blocks of the “clubhouse” — the home of one of the club’s members — was initially a key to membership. However, it didn’t take long for the club membership to grow.

“We kind of invited other friends of ours to join,” Terwelp said. “We’re just basically a group of friends that likes to hang out, have fun, do things together.”

The group gathers monthly. Earlier this year, they had a neighborhood crawl with games at each location. They tailgated at a Quincy University football game. They had a Kentucky Derby party.

The Forrest Greene Country Club then took things one step further.

“We just thought we need to do something to give back,” said J.P. Snyder, the treasurer, security officer and maintenance director. 

Members of the club previously collected canned goods and other non-perishable food items, but they only filled the shelves of a few local pantries. However, the group donated more than 500 items before Thanksgiving, then filled the 18 food pantries of the Quincy Neighborhood Federation on Black Friday.

“We divided into three SUVs with four people in a car and went around and made sure all those pantries were packed the day after Thanksgiving.” Snyder said.  “The majority of the pantries were completely empty when we got there.”

“We had lunch and then we went out for drinks afterwards. We kind of made a day of it,” Terwelp said.  “We like to do that kind of stuff. We thought it was a great thing to do for our community, especially around the holidays. People might have an extra need for it. It’s just something we wanted to do.”

Admission to the club is by invitation only.

“Basically, we’re just as a group of friends and neighbors who got together and created a fictitious club to have fun and give back to the community,” Snyder said.

“But the bar is getting pretty low,” he added. 

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