NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- As adults, many women find it harder and harder to meet new people and form new friendships, and if they're looking to do it in an alcohol-free environment, it can be even more difficult. Naperville resident, Michelle Flynn, decided to change that.
"We are a group of moms, women, who get together. We're like-minded because we don't drink any alcohol. So none of our events are centered around alcohol," Flynn said.
The group meets up regularly for events, including painting parties, outdoor walks, pottery classes, coffee dates and lunches. The women do not pay dues or a fee, but pay for their own individual event.
"We have fun. We have fun without drinking and we don't feel bad the next day. It's really nice," said group member Layne Drever.
Flynn created the group after her 50th birthday when she decided to quit drinking. She realized she did not have many friends or opportunities to meet new people.
"Over two years ago now, I stopped drinking. Most networking events center around alcohol. I was not interested whatsoever. So, I asked on a mom's group if there were any events that were for women who don't drink. Everybody came back and said 'No, no, no... we would love one, we would love one.' So I started it," Flynn said.
In less than a year, the Facebook group grew to over 800 followers.
"I met some really, really incredible people so far, and we're not even a year old now. So, I'm just super excited to see where we go from here. I'm kind of emotional, I'm blown away. I'm literally blown away, I've never expected this. This is so organic. I really never thought that this would grow to where it's grown. I'm floored," she said.
The group members choose to remain sober for various reasons, whether they be religious, health or a personal choice.
"I would say 30% of our members are in recovery. So, our group is open to everybody. We have an age group that probably is pretty wide. Anywhere from probably your late 20s to maybe middle 60s," Flynn said.
Besides socializing and making friends, the members have noticed many benefits in joining this group.
"It's given me confidence. And to see that people actually like want to be my friend, it's been incredible," Flynn explained.
To join the club or find out more, visit the Facebook page @DryNapervilleSocial