As we first reported earlier this week, the Maennerchor Club building is for sale. Club officials citing a dwindling membership and high overhead. Today, we look at other social clubs in Erie, checking their status.
After 111 years, La Nuova Aurora, in Erie's Little Italy neighborhood, is still going strong. Manager Tony Dedad says, "our membership has grown over the past five years from about 662 members to over 1274 and we closed our charter because we think we have to slow down a little bit". Slowing down because of too many members is a choice several clubs these days don't have the luxury to make. The Erie Maennerchor Club is one example.
Other clubs in town have seen their share of the financial turmoil for the La Nuova Aurora and they say their secret has been keeping up with the times and offering a little something for everyone. Dennis says, "if you just want to come in and have a beer or two and socialize, you can do that. You want to come in and have dinner, you can do that. You want to join a bowling alley, you can do that."
The Siebenbuerger Club is one of Erie's oldest clubs, like the Maennerchor and the Nuova Aurora, the club offers bowling and dining. The manager tells us they currently have 8,000 members and couldn't be happier with their status.
Leo Musarra, the President of the Knights of Saint George, says they are surviving and working on improving their membership. One thing a couple of the club managers did express is a desire to see a change in state law regarding games of chance. Currently, these non-profit clubs have to give back 40% of their chance winnings.
The smaller, struggling clubs say they need that money, sometimes, just to pay the bills.