By Sandra Zunino
Whether transitioning from the breakup of a marriage, death of a spouse or suffering empty-nest syndrome, life as a single can be challenging. For the past 28 years, Activities Single Klub (ASK) has been a support network for singles in the Easton and surrounding area.
Originally started as a church group in 1982, ASK is a not-for-profit, non-denominational club for single adults who want to re-enter the single world, gain confidence as a single person, make new friends and enjoy fun activities. Open to 21-year-olds and older, current members range from 50 to 70.
Although some members do connect, start dating and have even married as a result, ASK is not a dating group. “We tell that to people up front,” says ASK Program Chairman Nancy Seaman of Preston. “This is for socializing with other people similar in age.”
Not only has Nancy been a member of the club for nine years, she also served as club president and activities chairperson. Nancy and her husband divorced soon after she moved to the Eastern Shore. “Not only was I in a new community with a new job, all my friends were on the other side of the shore or in other states,” she explains. “I had no social life.”
When Nancy came across an ASK flyer in the local post office, she decided to call the contact names. “Bam,” she says, “all of the sudden there was this group that I could do things with.”
Right away, Nancy broadened her scope of activities and made true friends. “First you might make some acquaintances, then you make friends,” she explains. “Should you stay in the club, they become like family and in times of need we really do help each other.”
Nancy says ASK members are sensitive to the issues of those transitioning to single life. “We have people who have never been married to those who are separated, divorced or widowed,” she says. “We recognize there are stages of grief and we try to support each other.”
ASK members gather at area restaurants as well as meet at members’ homes for parties or game nights. “We try to have locations that are scattered because we have members from Cambridge to Denton,” says Nancy. “We also try to have different price ranges to cater to the various incomes of our members.”
ASK members will sometimes embark on daytrips with other groups such as AARP in Anne Arundel County. They hold an annual crab feast, annual picnic and one member hosts an annual St. Patrick’s Day party at her home. When new members express certain interests, they often find others to share in those activities. “What’s nice is that no matter what your interest is, you are bound to connect with someone who shares that interest,” says Nancy.
Other singles clubs have emerged in the Easton area and fallen by the wayside but ASK keeps going, possibly due to a written constitution and bylaws formed when the club started. Members receive a monthly newsletter and calendar of planned events. Membership fees are $20 per year, which has remained the same since the club’s inception. Fees cover newsletter expenses as well as food items for the picnic.
ASK meets in the back room of the Easton Denny’s the second Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. Please contact Janet at 410-745-2797, if you wish to attend a meeting and learn about ASK.