, Newburyport, MA

October 30, 2013

Newbury Friends asks for residents' ideas


---- — NEWBURY — With an eye toward fostering more of a spirit of collaboration and civic involvement throughout the community, the newly established Friends of Newbury recently launched an online survey.

The brief survey asks residents to weigh in on questions such as what they enjoy most about living in town, what types of events or activities they would be interested in attending locally, what is the best method for communicating information to residents and what can be done to improve the sense of community townwide.

The brainchild of residents Mike Doyle, Beth and Dave Stracher and Eileen Wallwork, the Friends of Newbury seeks to connect residents of Byfield, Old Town and Plum Island in meaningful ways that will hopefully unite and improve the quality of life for residents.

Wallwork said the geographically distinct nature of the three areas in town makes it challenging for residents to connect with each other. She initially began mulling over the idea of forming a group to help unify the community back in December 2012.

“I asked people what they thought, and everyone seemed genuinely excited about the idea,” she said. “Luckily, I mentioned the idea to the right people — individuals who wanted the same sense of community and were willing to do the work to get us here.

“We believe there are people who are willing to help each other and the town, but they just don’t know how to. Friends of Newbury is about connecting residents to each other and the town through volunteer opportunities, events and communication,” she said.

The Friends became incorporated in June and Wallwork is now in the process of applying for tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.

She stresses that the group is non-partisian and its direction will be guided by input from the community — which is why it is important for residents to take the time to share their unique perspectives by filling out the survey.

The Friends meet monthly on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Beachcoma Restaurant on Plum Island. All are welcome to attend.

To complete the survey or learn more about this new community organization, visit Residents can also “like” the Friends of Newbury on Facebook page and receive updates that way if they prefer.