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Meet Cheryl Firenze, our new membership chair

Our new FOVEC membership chair, Cheryl Firenze, has much in common with other members we've profiled on this website.

Like Cheryl, we may seem like newcomers, but many of us grew up in Fair Oaks and surrounding communities and then lived elsewhere for a while before returning to Fair Oaks because we wanted to settle here and share our strong sense of community and traditions. We all love the Village, its celebrations, and one-of-a-kind shops and dining establishments.

FOVEC members are also very good at hospitality. When I arrived at Cheryl's lovely home off Sunset Avenue, she immediately offered me a sweet pot of tea and scones in her inviting dining room. I knew Cheryl would be easy to talk with, and I was right. That sense of hospitality brought Cheryl to FOVEC via Nan Danford. As their realtor who helped

them find just the right place and then provided referrals and resources after closing escrow, Nan became a dear friend and invited Cheryl to FOVEC social events and encouraged her to volunteer in the Village.

We tend to respond to personal invitations much better than postings and emails about events and opportunities to help out. Whether once or as a regular part of a committee, volunteering brings us all together and is a great way to get to know the people who work hard to keep Fair Oaks Village thriving. Showing our hospitality by inviting people to join us is the best way to grow our membership and support our community.

Cheryl brings her volunteer and hospitality experience to our Village to help us connect with our existing members and help new members learn more about FOVEC. Cheryl, her husband Dennis, and their two children, Derek and Casey, moved around the country for Dennis's work over the years. Cheryl created a welcoming home, found time for career moves, and volunteered in each community. Cheryl's experience during those moves was a great way to integrate into each new community, and she found that making herself needed in the community gave her a better sense of belonging.

After we shared tea, delicious scones from O Café, and stories, we went outside to wander

around Cheryl's garden and visit her beautiful chickens. She has unique breeds that are hens and named for famous female icons in the music industry like Bette, Tina, and Cher, and one rooster who pretended to be a hen until maturity gave him away. Luckily for him, he's very handsome and has a home with a lovely hen harem.

Cheryl and I had a great time sharing garden stories and admiring the oak in her backyard that may be the oldest oak tree in Fair Oaks. FOVEC's outreach team is in excellent shape if Cheryl gives FOVEC the attention she pays her lovely home, chickens, and garden, and her hospitality and expertise are excellent qualifications.

Story by FOVEC Reporter Pat Cole

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