Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

New Residents Invited to Network at Inaugural New to CU Mixer

New residents will have a chance to meet and connect at a new event hosted by Visit Champaign County and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. The inaugural “New to CU Mixer” will be held on Tuesday, May 24 from 5:00–7:00 p.m. at the Blind Pig Brewery beer garden. Residents that have moved to the greater Champaign-Urbana area since 2020 are invited to attend to connect with each other and meet with members of the Chambana Welcome Crew.

Moving to a new community presents challenges in settling in and finding new friends and activities. The pandemic exacerbated these challenges and made many new residents feel disconnected from the communities they now call home. To help combat these challenges, the Chambana Welcome Crew was launched in August 2021 by the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and Visit Champaign County to connect community ambassadors with new or potential residents.

“Meeting new people face-to-face is critically important to making authentic connections,” explains Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement for Visit Champaign County. “After months of connecting with our ambassadors, and virtually corresponding with our new residents, I’m thrilled we’re at a point where we can safely meet in person to welcome them to the area.”

The event will bring together members of the Chambana Welcome Crew and new residents that have been connected to these ambassadors through the program. Additionally, the event is inviting any new residents that relocated here since 2020 the opportunity to attend and connect.

“Over the past year, we’ve heard from several new residents that have been here since 2020 that haven’t had the chance to make connections due to the limitations of the pandemic,” states Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. “By making this a welcoming event for all newcomers, we’re helping to facilitate new connections and introducing them to members of our community that are very engaged and ready to assist.”

Visit Champaign County will be on hand to share information on the many amenities to enjoy in the community and the Champaign County Forest Preserve District will also be there highlighting the many outdoor activities available in the preserves. Food will be provided for all guests of the event.

“This will be one of many events that we hope to have to welcome our new residents as we continue to foster a welcoming environment for all in our area,” shares Reifsteck.

Reservations are required to attend the event. New residents can RSVP at Follow the event of Facebook:

To learn more about the Chambana Welcome Crew, visit