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Area residents flock together in Florida



Published: Sat, April 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



There were 95 relocated Newton Falls Tigers in attendance this winter.

DAVENPORT, Fla. -- Some 1,100 miles from home, nearly 100 snowbirds have made Newton Falls Day here an annual event.

Susan Clonch is among the Newton Falls Day committee members in Davenport, Fla. She and her husband, Roy, grew up in the Falls and retired from General Motors in 1997. They winter in Florida.

It turns out, she said, that there are plenty of Trumbull County folks living or wintering across the state.

For more than a decade, they'd get together for a large Trumbull County Day event in the same area of the state, but two years ago the Newton Falls natives realized they had enough people to hold their own dinner.

"The majority of them are retired. Sometimes they just come down here, not-quite-retired, just to check it out to see if they want to stay down here," Clonch said.

Others come from places like Punta Gorda, Tampa and communities to the north and south.

"We're right in the middle of the state, so you can make anywhere in about an hour," she said.

Growing group

The event has grown by word of mouth and increased as people move south, Clonch said. The second annual Newton Falls Day was held in February at Boggy's Restaurant at the Days Inn -- and there were 95 relocated Newton Falls Tigers in attendance.

There were name tags made by Alice Whaley featuring the covered bridge on them. There also was a Chinese auction, raffle, door prizes and a luncheon prepared by the restaurant staff. Positive Image of Newton Falls donated several gifts for the auction.

"My friend Pat Davis and I donated a lovely tea basket, and my husband was lucky enough to win it back for me," Clonch said.

The 2006 event, like this year's, will probably be the first Saturday in February.

It's not too unusual to come across people from Newton Falls who vacation down south and know each other, Clonch said.

"Newton Falls is a little town. If you've lived in Newton Falls all of your life, your kids went to school with their kids," she said.

A lot of them have contact on a regular basis, playing cards, golfing, checking out flea markets, buffets, the ocean and space shuttle launches.

The Clonches, who live on Jay Street, plant to return home at the end of April.




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