Are you new to the Athens area?
Have you been here a while?
Are you looking for something to do?

Then AFAN is for YOU!


AFAN is a non-profit social organization based in Athens, Ohio for women. Founded in 1969, it assists women from Athens and the surrounding communities to make friends and become better acquainted with the area. With over 300 members, belonging to AFAN is open to anyone, no matter how long they have been in the area. Dues are $15.00 per year.


AFAN opens the year with an evening reception in September.
Monthly luncheons or dinners are held on the second Thursday of each month through May.  In addition, there are Special Event trips to interesting places in Ohio on the  fourth Thursday of each month.

                       Check out our Programs and Events 


The heart of AFAN is our Interest Groups where small groups of members meet to     share a common interest.  Some of our current interest groups include: Antiques & Collectibles, Knitting,  Book Review, Bridge, Euchre, Hooked on Crochet, Gourmet, Needlework, Tongue and Thimble, Pho-tos(Scrapbooking), Quilting, Lunch Bunch, and Women Who WhINE.

                         See our Interest Groups


During the year new and prospective members are invited to attend our Newcomers' Coffee.  This gives us an opportunity to get to  know our new members and introduce them to other members.

Athens Friends and Newcomers

Welcome to AFAN!
Interested in joining?  Download the membership form.
AFAN Board Members 

       What an exciting meeting we had on Thursday, January 10th. The weather cooperated, mostly, the food was fantastic and thank you all for the recipes. The drummers from the 
West African Drum Group, UGATA Underground African Themed Arts, were spectacular. We even had a surprise 
visit from ‘June Weimer.’ June was the very first Chairwoman 
of AFAN. We couldn’t have had a better day!! Of course, the beautiful birthday cake was very tasty as well. I hope those of you who were able to attend had a delightful day. We honored Past Presidents with yellow carnations, which is now the new official AFAN flower as voted on by the Governing Board at our December 2018 meeting.
    In this newsletter, you will see the sign-up sheet for the 
May 9, 2019 –50th Anniversary Celebration taking place at the Ohio University Inn. We do have a limit of 150 guests due to the size of the second floor ballroom. Make your reservations early! 
      I look forward to seeing many of you at our February 14 meeting being held at Christ the King Holy Family Center (where January’s meeting was held). I know it is Valentine’s Day, but our topic of ‘Aging Brain Health’ will be a good one because overall good health is a gift we can give ourselves 
and our loved ones. 


                                        Janis Tysko
A Letter From Our President
There once was a newcomer in town, 
Having no friends made her frown. 
So she joined the group AFAN 
And off to activities she ran. 
Now she has friends all around!

Looking Back...1969 

    September: Do you remember the song “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies? Well, it was the favorite pop song in September 1969. So, I just have to assume it was ‘sweet’, just as our AFAN year will be starting in September. When the first fall reception was held for AFAN in September, 1969, they had 120 in attendance. According to an article from The Athens Messenger, September 14, 1969, about 200 names were listed on interest group sign-up sheets. That’s of course considering many women signed up for more than one group. Maureen Wootton was listed as program chair and Bea Rothel, arrangements chair. Hospitality was handled by Judy Billups and Vernah Gardner. Let’s make our attendance and sign-up as big or bigger!! 

     October: Well, with all the latest devastation caused by the 
hurricane and tropical storm Florence, we hope that there are no more tragedies this year. In 1969, when AFAN began, the hurricane season was the most active since 1933 with 12 hurricanes in the Atlantic. One of the hurricanes, Camille, made landfall and caused significant devastation to the Gulf Coast. Fortunately, Athens was not harmed by Camille and AFAN rolled along as a new group.  
  In October, 1969, the group had a luncheon at Baker Center (the old one which was uptown where the OU School of Journalism is now) and the program was Dr. Stanton Oates speaking on “Nature’s Paintbrush.” They had 98 in attendance. Let’s try to match that. 

​     November:  As I was researching some past events from November 1969, I found that Sesame Street debuted at that time!! How many of you remember watching yourself or with children or grandchildren? AFAN had younger members and an active Mom and Tots interest group when I joined in 1979. If you know someone who is younger and would like to join, we do have evening meetings and interest groups!! Just ask them; maybe we can get some younger members. The world has changed since 1969, definitely everyone working now!!  

     December: As we look back, I’m taking you to December 1968, just prior to January when AFAN started. The cost of gas was 34 cents a gallon? A new home cost just under $15,000 and the average rent was about $130. How many remember those low prices? Inflation over time has definitely raised the cost of almost everything. The winter Olympics were in France. Apollo 8 orbited the moon and returned to Earth. The fashions for women included mini-skirts, high boots, bell bottoms, and tunic tops to mention a few. We all wore these, correct???? AFAN was gearing up for their very first meeting in January, 1969. They gathered for monthly meetings through May. They waited until April to elect officers and that board served the rest of the year into the following year. 

    January: We are coming up on the 50 years celebration of the very first meeting of AFAN held in January 1969. You have already read many things over the last year and a half about the background and what was going on in the United States and World in the months leading up to this celebration. We will be having a small birthday celebration at the January meeting, including cake and lots of good food. You will soon be able to register for our larger celebration taking place on May 9, 2019 at the Ohio University Inn. We will begin taking registrations at our February 14 meeting. In January, Live Local magazine will feature an article celebrating the 50-year history of Athens Friends and Newcomers. Copies will be available in various stores, restaurants and some offices throughout Athens and surrounding areas. Don’t forget to pick up a copy. AFAN will be featured at the Southeast Ohio History Center in January, along with some other local groups. AFAN will have two showcases and this display should be up about mid-January. We will let you know details as they are received. If you have AFAN items from the past, especially the early years, please contact me so we can arrange to get them in our display cases!! 

    February: Thanks to Kim Knapp-Brown, who volunteers at the 
Southeast History Center, I was able to get a copy of the March 1969 Athens Friends and Neighbors newsletter. It was noted that they had seventy-one ladies in attendance at the February 1969 meeting and that they celebrated with the theme of ‘Birthday Fun.’ 
  One of the activities they did was to have everyone sit at tables with those individuals who had the same birth month. Since Interest Groups were just getting formed, different members donated favors and door prizes. These prizes included Magi grip favors, Hallmark Cards, donated date books and stationary, gift boxes of Lucien LeLong cologne and also wine!! Wow, what wonderful prizes for their first real meeting. organizing a tennis group to play at the O.U. courts in spring and summer and a sailing group to be based at Lake Logan. What fun.  

Make your reservation for the 50th Anniversary Dinner. 
(Members only)